All I Have Needed

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

—I Thessalonians 5:16-18

As a counselor, I tell people on a regular basis to tell the truth, even when it hurts.  At least twice a day, I commend making the choice to express healthy boundaries to others as a means of fully loving them. I ask others to take the risk of confessing things to their partners that will forever alter their relationship. I routinely discuss the cyclical nature of grief, and how even its most subtle rage and overpowering despair are reflections of the full gamut of emotions given to us by God. I sit with many people whose most searing pain and brokenness have been the only possible means to access vulnerability and freedom. I also sit with those whom freedom and intimacy seem to elude, regardless of the fervor of their pursuit. I am each of these in some way, and my regular presence with them helps to hold my own journey in focus.

Read More

Happy Valentine’s Day, Annie Folger

February was warmer than normal in Mt. Pleasant. Less snow than rain fell, and the days were temperate enough that if you closed your eyes, you might think it was April, even May. So much so that Annie Folger’s forsythias bloomed. As they do each year, the mounds of white erupted and blocked the view of the house from one side, dusting the ground around the porch and covering Rex’s red Opel GT with shed blossoms, like a beautiful pox.

He had bought the Opel when he returned from Vietnam, weeks before marrying Annie, and it loyally followed them through three moves, three children, and forty years. He drove it to work on Fridays at the airport, when the weather was warm. It was a snap judgment, the sports car, a splurge. It reminded him of Ferraris he had seen when he was younger, and the wanton virility that he had felt in those days. The whine of its engine and the smooth lines of its body had been wild and reckless. The round taillights had alluded to speed.

Anymore though, they smacked of denial.

Read More

A Glimmer in the Road

roadFoundling House is pleased to welcome the excellent and wonderful Nathan Sharp to our list of contributors! We’re glad to have him here.

When I last looked it up a few years ago, 117,000-some-odd miles of road wound their way across the state of Georgia, including county and state roads, city streets, and interstate highways. I imagine the number remains about the same today, give or take a few miles for the roads that are paved each year for increase of use and those that are let go to seed for the lack.

As an in-home therapist, I spend a great deal of my time driving, often on a particular stretch of U.S. 27 from Chickamauga to Trion, Summerville, and Menlo. Chickamauga lies south of Chattanooga, giving its name to a Civil War battlefield and park. Trion, Summerville, and Menlo are further south still, and are primarily groupings of carpet and textile mills. The road is couched between ridges and valleys for the better part of its length and has only a few curves to speak of, leaving a driver’s mind and wheels to wander. Pines and cedars populate the medians and shoulders, along with much of the visible land on either side of the highway. Sometimes, I take the alternate route from Ringgold to Summerville down State Highway 151, a two-lane road which nearly parallels U.S. 27 but passes exponentially more cattle.

Read More