Far north off England’s east coast, near Scotland, is Holy Island, known as “Lindisfarne” at first millennium’s close. Its vibrant monastery could only be reached from the mainland at low tide, by a path of mud and sand flats . . .
Stranded high on a cracking vinyl cushion, I tried not to blink, eyes filling with regret. I’d picked the pixie cut after browsing waiting-room Glamour magazines, but watching six inches of my dark locks lopped off . . .
Soon after publishing my translation of that medieval book on prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing, I crash-landed in a counselor’s office. I had become a jittery, work-driven insomniac whose old ways of coping had failed. I was living fifteen-hour writing days . . .
I was at the grocery store the other day perusing the cheese cases and was excited to see they were giving away samples of gourmet cheeses. The woman handing out the samples engaged me in small talk, chatting about the delicious cheeses . . .
I had worked there three months without even so much as tapping it once. I had, however, eyed, admired, analyzed, wondered at, and resisted it. Scholarship-enabled, I was an anxiety-ridden sophomore . . .
I’m always caught off guard by how tragedy is inevitably invaded by the ordinary. Soon after we were married my husband and I were in a serious accident that left the friend riding with us severely injured . . .