I have an essay up at The Other Journal called “Until an End Is Made.” It’s about friendship and distance and Jesus and dancing and skipping rocks and Lutherans and eternity and micheladas and poems, among other things.
You can read it here.
Jeanne Murray Walker’s memoir The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer’s is out today. It’s a funny, clear-eyed, and at times stunning journey into her mother’s loss of memory and her own recovery of childhood memories.
Eugene Peterson calls it “a sturdy witness to unexpected meanings and beauties and even humor that surface in lives of faith and suffering,” and Paula Huston calls it “one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.”
You can buy it online.
Do you know the poetry of Jeanne Murray Walker? You should. It reminds me of a dog who knows where it wants to go, but isn’t afraid to take a roundabout route, or even a few detours. Confident but not bull-headed. Surprising but wise. Playful. Loyal.
Here’s a stanza I adore. It’s from a poem called “Portrait of the Virgin Who Said No to Gabriel.” In the poem, Walker imagines the angel Gabriel appearing to another woman before appearing to Mary. This first woman says ‘no’ to the angel’s offer, but not for the reasons we might expect.
But after he walked away, she couldn’t forget his look,
the strange way his feet rang like horseshoes on the stones.
What she’d been wanting before he interrupted
was not the Bach Magnificat, I can tell you, not stained
glass. Nothing risky. Just to keep her good name.