Author Archives: Carmen

About Carmen

I teach English at Shorter College in beautiful Rome, Georgia.

Much Discussed, Much Debated, but Seldom Eaten

I was born with a hole in my heart. It tired me out more quickly than my friends on playgrounds and regularly sent me to Egleston Hospital on Atlanta’s Emory University campus to have an EKG’s cold electrodes attached to … Continue reading

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Strawberries, a ‘Cloud,’ and Giving Peace a Chance

I went strawberry-picking with a friend the other day. The afternoon sun was welcome after so many weeks of cold, wet weather, and when it got too warm, a good breeze blew coolness through the rows of low-growing green plants … Continue reading

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Cows and Scripture

This semester I assigned my students a half-day Facebook fast and essay analyzing the experience. Most said Facebook was hard-to-impossible to do without — they schedule extracurricular activities with it, keep up with friends, and, yes, occupy boring hours. They … Continue reading

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Embracing Cracks and Loving the Process

Across campus, singing birds pull out all the stops, and students read in hammocks strung between trees; so spring approaches: “Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!” as Elizabethan playwright Thomas Nashe wrote 400 years ago. Spring has always been popular and much … Continue reading

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Wise Words from Some of Christ’s Good Friends

May these wise words shine on our wintry souls, frozen by loneliness and hurt, and thaw us. This invocation opens Following Christ: A Lenten Reader to Stretch Your Soul, and the “wise words” it contains are life-giving writings of Christ’s … Continue reading

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Ambulatory*

I go for a walk almost every day, so when I can’t or don’t, I start feeling stiff in the joints . . . of my soul. Walking helps mend my monkey mind, or what I dub “squirrel skull” after … Continue reading

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The Baby of Love

This week, I got to spend time with a two-month-young baby. At lunch with her parents, I asked and was handed her like a gift and got to walk around with her to the oohs and aahs of the restaurant … Continue reading

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Raking, Peace, Chickpea Soup

I raked leaves all yesterday afternoon. It was a cold, bright day after Boxing Day, and I wore a skull cap my daughter abandoned a few years ago and that I love for its gray, black, and white animal print. … Continue reading

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Where are you going to. . . . Do you know?

In the days or perhaps months before the roaring fire sacralizes those golden crimson, eggplant-purple feathers, how does that gorgeously plumed flier feel after 500 years in one location? Nervous? Excited? Sad? I vote for sad. No matter what joy … Continue reading

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Vision: “The Faculty or State of Being Able To See”

I have been thinking about vision. Today in my Ford F-150, I drove past four deeply red maple trees, and as it was raining and gray-skied, the view of those trees out my rain-washed window was like a gorgeous abstract … Continue reading

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‘Tis a Gift To Be Free

My friend Cathy Griffin had an interesting status update this week on gratitude. Challenged by her pastor to make an alphabetized list of thankfulness, she wrote: “I am thankful for air-conditioning, babies, Christmas, dancing, ears, family, grapes, hydrangeas, imagination, Jesus, … Continue reading

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Dreams Unwind

I feel very fortunate to do what I do. Students teach me so much every day. The challenge of communicating from my perspective to theirs and back is one of the greatest joys I have ever known. They say I … Continue reading

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Gninetsil

Listening . . . Gninetsil can be a powerful mirror. Robert Bolton tells the story in People Skills that one day he said to a friend, “You’re not listening to me!” and that his friend then repeated every word back … Continue reading

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Random

Perhaps our thinking exemplifies a selective system. First lots of random scattered ideas compete for survival. Then comes the selection for what works best—one idea dominates, and this is followed by its amplification. Perhaps the moral…is that you never learn … Continue reading

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I love that it’s trash night because. . . .

it causes me to go out, feeling lighter from the knowledge of a cleaner house, with a white trash bag slung over my back like Santa, out, leaving my comfy black sofa, out, into the crisp, clear night with a … Continue reading

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Christmas Gifts

Spinning my silver grocery cart through Kroger yesterday searching after plain frozen spinach and garlic and onions and fresh white mushrooms and tapioca flour and eggplant for my daughter’s Torta Rustica, gliding past bright red and green poinsettas stacked up … Continue reading

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The Baby of Love

This week, I got to spend time with a two-month-young baby. At lunch with her parents, I asked and was handed her like a gift and got to walk around with her to the oohs and aahs of the restaurant … Continue reading

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Martin Luther and Mother Buschbeck

In a corner of my desk at Shorter University, I have this old, red New Testament that, because it is small, is easy to carry around. The red color of its hardcover makes me cheerful because it reminds me of … Continue reading

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Red, White, and Blue

I don’t know about you, but I am weary of all the fighting. More importantly, no jobs are being created while the arguing continues. It’s as if two people are divorcing, and they forget about anyone else in the family … Continue reading

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Simple Beauty

Sometimes life is simply beautiful. Recently, I took a plane to Memphis, to do a retreat on Hildegard of Bingen. The spirit of the city enveloped me. Here is my impression of Memphis. She is just my kind of gal, … Continue reading

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