Stream of Consciousness

My Room

I lie on my bed floating
in a sea of sensations…
The joy of a colorful world map
tacked to white walls.
The comfort of my grandfather’s photograph
smiling from the shelf.
The soft glow of golden lights around the ceiling.
The pang of singleness in the moment,
the wondering of who will come.
Fresh vision granted in the excitement of
current opportunities.
The satisfaction of revising media platforms.
The image of mischievous smiles and bright eyes
I hope my own future sons will mimic one day.
The fear of sending a stupid email
that could open a whole world.

The wonderment of meeting celebrities,
The overwhelming peace of experiencing
how normal and good they can be.
The worthiness of prayers for years
and the quiet questioning if they will be worthy
for years to come.
The spots of emptiness for times gone by
and cherished moments never to be.
The love of sisters no matter the distance.
The warmth of blankets and depth of pillows.
Eagerness standing on the edge of the future.

Tears coming for the known and the unrevealed,
the knife and the oil,
the pangs and the gratitude.
Knowing in this moving, mesmerizing sea
it will become one dance,
One weaving of souls in eternal prophecy,
One touchable wrenching of relations
that are and were and are yet to be.
And life is beautiful.




A Day In the Life


My alarm goes off at 5:45am. I shoot out of bed because although I was super tired after cooking Indian cuisine Sunday night with friends, this Monday morning is going to be busy. I’m producing a sci-fi short film for a friend at 7:00am on top of my normal daily work at a production company.

It’s pretty cool now in the mornings, so I shiver through quick morning prayers. Kettle of water goes to boiling on the stove, sausage cooked yesterday into the oven to heat up, and I dive into a precisely ten minute shower.

Three batches of French pressed coffee later, I have also packed my backpack for the work day (laptop, work binder, work lists, my own breakfast) and Bible study in the evening. The clock reads 6:23 am. So far so good. Then as I take craft services out to the Camry I realize I didn’t account for having to make three trips with all the food, water, coffee, and eating utensils. Whoops! Meanwhile, I’m texting and calling with the director and AD as we make sure everything is good to go and that crew are arriving at our transportation location.

I’m laughing at myself now because I didn’t know when I picked this day to write about that it was going to be such a hectic one. Then again, days like this will be my life for the next few weeks until I fly home for Christmas since our production company is headlong in production for a documentary.

Now it’s 6:35am. I’m pulling out of my apartment complex. I’ll be getting to our pickup location exactly on time to leave for the first shooting location, Mike’s BBQ. En route, the director lets me know the main crew and cast have already headed out to get setting up early. I’ll be picking up five crew/cast members and a load of equipment.

Gemma lets me in at the gate, Phil and Clare direct me around the corner to where Matt waits with the gear, and we load up. Delighted to learn that c-stands actually fit in my trunk, I supervise not spilling the coffee while I field calls from the AD and try to get in touch with our VFX set designer who has not shown up or communicated. From knowing his normal schedule habits, we’re confident he probably stayed up late and is fast asleep. We might need to take a second trip to get him, but in the end we decide we can’t wait for him and don’t have time to come back and get him. Thank goodness this is a forgiving student set, but hopefully in the future he’ll communicate professionally. Otherwise it will harm his reputation in the industry.

We’re off now! After arriving and unloading gear, I supervise breakfast, release forms, and any last minute items the production needs. Since we are on a tight schedule, everyone moves like busy bees and we start shooting at 7:20am. The set lighting looks amazing, cast and crew are delighted with the fresh coffee, and b-roll is confidently interviewing random crew. I watch the first few shots, proud that I am producing this set and working with this team.

8:15am comes all too quickly. As I’m grabbing my backpack, I run into an interview with b-roll. I laugh and reply to his questioning: “Hello, I’m the producer on this set. We’re off to a great start this morning and I’d like to stay, but I’m actually going directly from this set to work in a production office in La Jolla.”

As I drive away, get gas, and head to work, I can’t help but smile. This is a good life. I’m leaving one set in production to go work on another in pre-production. It almost sounds funny to call that work because I’m doing what I want to do, and I know I’m enormously blessed by God so soon out of college. (Three months out of college to be exact.) My daily Rosary en route to work is infused with so much gratitude.

I walk in the office door at precisely 9:34am (I’m still learning to plan ahead for the extra couple minutes it takes on the old, slow elevator). The office is already hopping. It’s our main producer and production manager’s first day back from a shoot in New York City, and we are already moving completely on to pre-production for the international leg of this film. I walk past our financial producer already thirty minutes into a call with the Czech Film Commission, say hi to the two other office assistants, smile at our travel planner Lauren, and ask our production manager how his shoot went. Lauren knows I’ve been up since 5:45am on a shoot of my own and is eager to hear how it went. I whisper the gist to her and then slip into the back office where our main producer is already on a call.

His office is “where it all happens” as the saying goes. I am his producer’s assistant, so I have a desk adjacent to and facing his. That way I can take notes on his calls, organize his papers, look over documents with him, and see his computer when he needs to show me something on it. I open the laptop and start taking notes on the call. He winks at me and I grin back, glad to have him in the office again.

I’m no stenographer, but apparently I take killer notes. All those pages of philosophy and screenwriting notes in school paid off I guess, and now everyone in the office counts on my notes to be forwarded by email after a call. “Not to put extra pressure on you,” says our financial producer as she laughs, “but yes, to put pressure on you. I read those notes and I don’t have to take any myself!”

While this is going on, I am also checking our Christmas book orders. Goodness, we’ve gotten thirty orders of the Christmas packages from the weekend. Sometime today I will be prepping each order to be personalized and signed by the author on Thursday. This involves logging the order info, printing screenshots of the order to rubberband to each set so they don’t get mixed, putting a sticky note in each front cover with the personalization, and keeping track of each set. I also notice that we’ve sold out of one set. That involves a scramble to let our web guy know to stop those orders and make a new set with the inventory we have left.

Today I pass off the daily orders to Tyler to package and mail because as soon as this first call is done, the main producer and I are headlong into another foreign call with our line producer in Prague. Different versions of budgets, contracts, and communication print outs lie in organized chaos around the desk as they hash out the details for making this shoot happen. After that it’s a call with the director and then the writer and director. There are two Skype interviews with potential locations managers in Munich, but the first one is a no hire and the second one gets moved to Tuesday because we have a sudden call with our other director. The production manager and I have to share a laugh because our producer dislikes the no hire so much, and then we join with him in hoping that Christian tomorrow will be better.

Suddenly, we realize that it is already one o’clock and we haven’t ordered lunch yet. Dani goes to pick it up and we eat with 15 minutes to spare before another call with the Czech bank and our US bank rep.

After that, the main producer and I finally sit back to two minutes and laugh at how fast the day is moving. “Are you scared of me yet?” he asks and I shake my head. “I love this,” I tell him. “I love being busy and I’m learning so much amazing stuff.” He gets excited. “Just wait until we get to the information gold.” He geeks out for a minute as we explore the database that all major film companies use to track what’s coming out when. (We’re in the middle of locking a release date for our current film.)

Later in the afternoon there comes a point when I am taking notes, printing order slips, writing things on his to do list, and following his brainstorming arc when he stops, looks at me, and laughs. In that exact instant my brain is momentarily overwhelmed from firing so hard on all cylinders and I can tell from the look on his face that my expression must be a priceless mix of intensity, enjoyment, challenge, and rush. “Are you okay?” he asks. I grin, “Yes, just give me 30 seconds to catch up on all that.” It is amazing working with him.

At some point, Lauren slips in to tell me she just accepted another job at a financial company where she will be moving up. I am sad that she is going to leave because we connect so well, but I am also happy for her because this job at DML Films has prepared her to move up in the world. Our main producer says pretty much the same thing, although he also says, “Lauren, you’re going to make dad cry. We’re going to miss you a lot.” We have this thing at work that the main producer and the financial producer are our “work parents” and we are all their kids. They watch out for us like that too which makes it even better.

Also in the afternoon we have an office meeting where the main producer and production manager catch us up on the New York shoot. We dive into the logistics of wrapping up that shoot, managing Christmas orders, locking down budgets and insurance for Europe, prepping for another set of interviews early December, and a sudden huge meeting with a major studio in LA that our main producer has at the end of the week. Dani and Tyler are put to scouting location options and wrapping New York stuff with our financial producer who is also working on all the accounts as well and doing the million other things that only she knows how to do. The Christmas orders are my arena. That leaves the production manager and I to prep with our main producer for his studio meeting. Before we split we also make a list of everything that we need to do for travel arrangements for November/December. Since she is leaving, Lauren will also be training Dani and Tyler on how to handle travel. I’ll be stepping in as well since she already showed it to me, but I’ll be doing more on our main producer’s end and getting them info since I’ll be mainly needed in his office.

Our main producer and I begin to wrap up the day by catching a call with an important person we will be interviewing soon. We leave messages for a couple others on the east coast that they will get tomorrow. Then it is 5:29pm. We’ve already figured out that I will stay until 7:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday to help prep for the huge meeting coming up, so today I’m out the door in a rush for Bible study with my group at JPCU. Our main producer bumps fists with me and tells me its a good thing I’m going to Bible Study to pray for everything going on. I leave happily on a burst of energy.

On my way to campus, I stop by the student housing at Latitude to pick up craft services from the morning shoot. I pop open the gate with my hand (yes, the student complex is that secure) and wait on Gemma’s brother to unlock her townhouse so we can grab the stuff. Then I’m off to the Student Life Center.

Tonight its only four of us with the campus ministry leader Chase. Half of us are so tired we keep dying from spontaneous laughter, but reading through the Gospel of Mark settles us a bit. We’re at the discourse of the end times right before the Passion narrative. Yours truly suddenly wonders at the fact that the discourse focuses a lot on natural events while nowadays the culture seems to focus on man-made apocalypses. We discuss how the end times also refer to our personal end times and what will happen at the end of our own lives. In that light, we realize the importance of making sure we ourselves don’t slide little by little into dangerous ways as the various sects of Pharisees did until we don’t know the bad choices we are making.

The sci-fi short film shoot went well, except for that fact that the restaurant manager needed everyone out an hour earlier than planned to mop the floors. That has an easy fix though—we shoot two hours of pickups on a third Monday. The director Joseph and I have already been messaging about it and have it under our control.

I head home with a full heart, a tired mind, and a peaceful feeling of blessedness. Obstacles come and go, some harder to surmount than others. However, if I rise up to take them in step I realize that as long as I am working hard and walking one step at a time in the path that shows before me, I will be exactly where God needs me to be when He opens enormous doors.

Me too?


After five and a half months of senior year and almost a month into a job in the film industry, I find Western culture rocking in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s imploding world, the outrage in the entertainment sector piling up, and females posting their harassment experiences all over social media with the #me too campaign.

I waited a couple days to say something because I don’t think only words and hashtags will change what is happening right now. At the same time, I am surprised that so many women waited so long to speak openly. I am surprised at myself, at my friends, at other women who have been discussing and shedding tears and raising voices among themselves over the regularity of inordinate cat calling, visual and physical groping, and the ensuing fear of any unknown male. Did we really think that not addressing it would cut short the baby steps towards normalizing sexual assault, rape, molestation, and abuse? Did we literally think that this had happened to so few of us, that keeping quiet would make it go away? I do not think so.

What I do know is that I watch so many girls justifying what has happened to them to stop the guilty thought that perhaps something in them is not enough to merit womanly dignity. We have discussed the fact, often proved by reactions from various pools of male friends, that disbelief or dismissiveness might be the result of sharing very personal experiences. Discretion, fear, resignation, discouragement, confusion, bewilderment, and savior complexities have helped keep so many quiet. And then, suddenly, with this disturbance in Hollywood, the stories are pouring out.

Being described as a conservative and Catholic aspiring filmmaker, I would say that I bridge a gap between the currently reeling Hollywood world and the families back home who do much to shield their children from sexual iniquities. My background is one where I grew up trusting that the males I knew tried to protect my dignity, but I am now part of a world where that trust is taunted around every corner.

As far as this upheaval in the film community goes, I myself am blessed fresh out of college to be working for a phenomenal production company. They treat me like family and are giving me every opportunity to rise as a film producer without forcing me to indict my womanhood in any way. I have friends who are not so lucky.

Even so, I was and still am preyed upon because I look so young and innocent—sixteen is the average I get from people. Let me tell you, I have somehow striven to maintain a pure character, but there is no naivety and less innocence in it anymore. College life without a car in a SoCal downtown taught me fast. Without the luxury of a boyfriend to be with me wherever I went (because I think use is the lowest form of human relationship and a definitive far cry from love), I walked alone. Friends would get mad at me for traipsing to events at night by myself because something would happen almost every time, but there is a humiliation about daily begging for someone to walk with me as if there was nothing I could do. My five foot three inch self preferred a taser, a pocket knife, and sometimes pepper spray coupled with a limited background in karate rather than continuously bothering guy friends or wrangling a group of girls. I don’t like wearing stilettos, so I didn’t have those as another sort of defense.

But the guys that I pass everyday don’t know I have those weapons in my backpack. It doesn’t matter what I wear. I’ve seen friends whistled and kissed at on the street corner for wearing sweat pants and t-shirts just as much as I’ve been yelled at or cajoled to get into a car while wearing a dress or a pair of bootleg jeans.

Yet despite being followed numerous times at night, I am almost ashamed to say that my most harrowing experiences happened in broad daylight. I don’t think its supposed to be normal for a guy to drop his pants in front of you and then tell you off with an “f*** you” because you won’t do goodness knows what on the street with him. Or for a six foot fellow to try to run you off the crosswalk into incoming traffic and then yell at you halfway up the street simply because you are wearing a modest, feminine dress. Or for two guys clearly in the prostitution business to haggle over what they think your looks would fetch as you walk by them at the corner of the drugstore. I don’t think it is considered natural for a girl to have guys honk, whistle, make sexual noises, or throw derogatory comments at her on a daily basis as she walks unassumingly through normal activities.

In my personal experience, it hasn’t solely been guys on the streets though. What of the numerous men who have gallantly thrown coats over my shoulders in a time of need only to turn around and force the gift of physical affection even when I clearly express my distaste? The thought has crossed my mind if I actually will meet a man I am attracted to who does not demand false intimacy that is devoid of simple honesty and selfless interest. Who thought that guy friends would think comments of “Your smile is pretty. So is your a**. Aren’t you going to give me more?” from bums at the bus stop would be a better compliment than a simple “You are beautiful,” from an honest friend?

To throw things in perspective, the last two times a male acquaintance told me I was beautiful (in those words) was at a winter formal dance two years ago and a couple weeks ago over Facebook by someone I haven’t met who keeps telling me I am a close friend and whose intentions I haven’t figured out yet. The other time I felt that a man thought I was beautifully worth it was when a trusted friend told me I was a precious flower he didn’t want to see crushed on the sidewalk as he warned me about a guy he was afraid would use me. On the other hand, numerous degrading, teasing comments have been thrown my way by guys for whom I want to make allowances about cultural desensitization because I have called them some of my closest friends.

This is not to point fingers. It is simply to say that there is something direly wrong with the presentation and permissive action of men’s sexual attraction toward women. Something that must change if we want to repair the relationship between men and women.

Believe me, I realize that at least two generations of women have done much to harm our own cases. However, there is a deadly truth stemming from the ancient power struggle between men and women that is bursting into outrage with the #me too campaign now trending.

We are woman, so fiercely independent because we are so easily manhandled.

Behind every woman’s note of bitterness and every quick jump to lash out is tucked a painful experience. Every single one of those incidents has been piling up distrust to reveal a grotesque cultural situation that can no longer be ignored by men or women.

I struggle with resenting guys who force me to do something that feeds their gentlemanly nature simply because I am a woman. I dislike them just as much as I gross out after a guy friend tells me the woman he will date needs to have a butt that measures from here to there as if who I am and the obvious attraction between us isn’t enough. However, mere resentment will not fix the problem.

Sometimes I am tempted to think that I come in contact mostly with men who are soaked in the permissiveness that has allowed Harvey Weinstein and the Hollywood elite to grope along their oily, gross journey. Sometimes after run-ins with especially immature men who would otherwise have been very lovable, I feel a certain despair. Why haven’t my hopes and dreams crashed there?

I also know a select few men who value the dignity of women the way my father has defended my dignity as his daughter and a woman and the way I hope my brothers will always uphold the women in their lives. For that reason, I trust and hope and pray that someday one of those men will step forward to guard and defend my womanhood in ways that I cannot from the everyday nightmares who have not yet learned what their manhood truly means.

Thousands of women posting “Me too” on their social media feeds will not fix the repugnant problems that are coming to light. They will, however, continue to open eyes to how widespread this grotesque feature of our porn infested society has become. The dialogue we need to have now is what we will do to execute concrete solutions. For starts, it will require girls to recognize the authentic dignity of their womanhood. It will require guys to grasp their manhood and take a firm stand in the breach so that girls don’t feel the need to cry, “Me too. Where are the men?”


PC: Sophie Flemings


Artist’s Eyes

Artist's Eyes

Artist’s eyes are a gorgeous sight
In them dances a myriad of lights,
Countless emotions of age old race
accepted into so small a space
between two ears, but expanded
Down the stretches of eternity, forever stranded
Past the ends of the universe,
Endlessly traversing a deepening course.

Who knows of behind the artist’s eyes?
The flow of tears and pain and sighs,
Joy and laughter, loss and gift,
Such vast understanding as to cause a rift
between vision and another’s sense of reality,
Finding wonder in each bit of causality,
Pricelessly awed as if drunk by a magic potion,
Wrought and torn in a sea of emotions.

No wonder the colors are bleeding together,
A poignant masterpiece running over,
These attentive eyes created and vast
Reaching into the future, present, past,
By deeper mysteries in the mundane
haunted, untamed they are never insane.
Drink of the wells and tell me you too descry:
Vivid, copious are the blessings of the artist’s eyes.


Art Credit: Watercolor painting by Cierra Campbell.

Cierra is one of my fellow students at John Paul the Great Catholic University. She is a very talented artist in various mediums and has illustrated for numerous companies. Check out her website and store at

Attitude of Gratitude: The Benefits

Through Christ's Strength

Okay, I am excited right now. I am very excited and happy and grateful! Among the obvious reasons are the fact that two of my good friends just got engaged in the past week, my cousin is dating an amazing guy, and my sister recently got yet another outstanding music scholarship. My suite mate and I spring cleaned our apartment, I was able to make a larger tuition payment upfront than I thought I could, five of my other friends and a cousin are knee deep in wedding planning, I spend yesterday afternoon in Julien on a location scout at a gorgeous vineyard, and my roommate just got back from Virginia. On top of that I just spent a sweet half hour putting the two-year-old darling I babysit to bed after an hour of enjoying Disney’s Robin Hood, tomorrow I am going to an early Mass and coffee with a dear friend and then picking more friends up from the airport, and I am half done with my pre-reading assignments for the start of the quarter on Monday. The list could go on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having my fair share of insecurities, frustrations, lack of time, and other such pains this week, too. It is appropriate, however, to take this moment to focus on the fact that my heart is overflowing with happiness and jumping with joy. (My friends and siblings can attest to the fact that if I was around them at the moment I would be talking ninety miles per hour and physically dancing around.)

I could choose to dwell on some major frustrations and personal pains, but I simply don’t want to in this snapshot of time. There are so many things to be thankful for. Besides, I notice that the more I give thanks for the blessings, the happier my mood, the easier it is to meet the rest of my battles head on. It’s actually scientifically proven.

The benefits of having an attitude of gratitude include opening the door to more relationships, sleeping better at night, improving physical and psychological health, and increasing self-esteem, empathy and mental health as is put forth by Psychology Today in an article.

A Harvard Health Publications article announced studies by the Universities of California and Miami that show persons who write about things they were grateful for had more optimistic outlooks within ten weeks than a second group that only wrote about irritations.

A second study mentioned by the same publication and conducted at the University of Pennsylvania showed that those who wrote a simple letter of thanks to someone from their early memories who had never been properly thanked witness a high increase in satisfaction.

Books such as Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray also show a pattern of greater well-being and happiness in the relationships of couples who take time to verbally or otherwise communicatively appreciate each other.

“Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence,” St. John Paul II spoke to us people in modern cultures. The truth is, gratitude breeds enthusiasm which imbues a human person with enough confidence in the goodness of creation to move forward unflinchingly into the future. It’s well worth a bit of extra effort.

These are three things that I find helpful in maintaining the perks of gratitude:

  1. Say “thank you” to a person for something every day.

Make that magical phrase for something unique and personal to show that you really mean it and put thought into it. Something a little more than merely for food or holding a door open, but don’t forget to give thanks for those unparalleled daily blessings as well.

2. Each week give a written thank you note to a person who particularly reached out to you in the course of the past seven days. 

It doesn’t have to be a long note. Simply show them you noticed, appreciated, and cared that they cared for you. It goes a long way toward brightening someone’s day, strengthening their resolve to keep doing those things, and fostering a relationship because you are joyfully appreciative.

3. Each morning when you wake up and each night as you lie down, repeat out loud three things you are thankful for in anticipation of the day and for what happened during the day. 

This is an especially important little step because it bookends the day with generous, blessed thoughts. If you are especially ambitious, try taking some of your annoyances or pains from the day, find what you learned from them, and thank God for those lessons.

“The Lord has given this land to us, no need to fuss. He knows what he’s doing. We know that he will take care of us if we will follow him.”  –Veggie Tales

Photo Credit: Maria Andress

It’s Not My Place to Question

I didn’t know today would be our last

Or that I’d have to say goodbye to you so fast

I’m so numb, I can’t feel anymore

Prayin’ you’d just walk back through that door

And tell me that I was only dreamin’

You’re not really gone as long as I believe.

“Jealous of the Angels” by Jenn Bostic is a song on my list that I play on loop every so often as a cathartic way of breathing out the emotions in my heart. It is a song of loss, particularly from death, but I’ve found it relatable in another way.

My mom had always told us when we were homeschooled that our sisters would always be our best friends. I was never sure I believed that all the way, but it was written as a thick leaf in my book of life as Michaeline, my younger sister nearest in age, became my confidante, my guide, my champion, and my fellow conspirator. And then she was gone. And I could not understand why the one girl I actually looked up to and trusted with all my heart was taken away.

My heart numbed when half of it broke off and ran away after her as she entered the Carmelite cloister. That was two years ago, and it hasn’t gotten easier. Maybe I don’t sit in the quiet darkness of my room and sob my heart out nearly as often as I did the first six months when I missed sharing everything with my sister so much. Maybe now I can see my sister for an hour or two three times a year and enjoy those moments no matter how hard I take it afterwards. But deep down, my heart has become very vulnerable to loss.

In the couple ensuing years, I seem to have a knack for forming deep bonds with the most amazing souls who are then suddenly asked to put out into the deep again and journey far away. Usually they happen to be the dear friends that I clicked with immediately and deeply in vulnerability, caring, laughter, spirituality, nurturing, and the other more goofy things that good friends can do together. Every time it’s the ones I look up to. Every time it opens my heart up again a little more at the throbbing incision inflicted when I gave up my first best friend.

And once more this week this is the point I stand at. Another sweetheart is leaving. The loss is for everyone at school because this particular girl is widely thought of as the kindest, purest person at our small university. In a special way, however, it brings out a deeper hurt in me. Of all last fall’s incoming class, she was the one that I completely bonded with within the first week on our kitchen floor, and from there we only grew closer in an older/little sister bond that had the familiar sweetness of the one with Michaeline. I love and esteem this friend so much. In her I find a comfort and a call to be a better version of myself while she also looks up to me and finds the good things I don’t know about myself. Together we have a treasure. I know that we’ll be visiting each other and keeping in touch, but there’s still a hurt in the separation. That’s when I think of the second verse of Jenn Bostic’s song:

“You always made my troubles feel so small

And you were always there to catch me when I’d fall

In a world where heroes come and go

Well, God just took the only one I know

So I’ll hold you as close as I can

Longing for the day, when I see your face again

But until then…”

Somewhere in the communion of saints and the Church Militant, the ties of our souls are working together for a deeper purpose than chance meetings and fleeting bonds.

I said it never gets easier to not question in the pain. The heart passes through a link of seasons though, and in those seasons I go through different moments of realizing the pain as new ways of growing in a different relationship with the dear, little souls I’ve lost.

“It’s not my place to question, only God knows why…” Sometimes I do ask why we formed such a deep bond. Why yet again a true friendship is taking new directions away from the dynamic of living near each other and into the more spiritual and emotional aspect of long-distance. Why all these moments?

A realization I shared a couple weeks ago with another close friend still here at school comes back to hearten me. These bonds, experiences, and friendships are not like rocks we carry for a bit and then tumble down the trail of life as useless; they are like rocks we build houses or roads with. They are foundations for what comes next, and we will often come back to them in new light or revisit these old haunts throughout life—when we are meant to.

And in that realization, I know that the dear, little, gone souls who have a piece of my heart forever with them are not truly lost. We won’t have a physically close proximity together anymore, but in our bond friendship finds new ways of union and different methods of keeping in touch. The threads that tie us together from so far away were fastened for a reason that only God knows. Their love “lives on inside of me” and I can’t help but “hold on tight.”

Amidst the bittersweetness of the love and loss, hope says that the interweaving of our lives is not over yet. But in the meantime I’ve learned it is okay to find relief and solace in the tears of a strengthening vulnerability to the pain.

The Point of Blood


It’s the end of a crazy quarter at school, and the middle of the most stressful finals week at university I’ve ever had. But in the midst of it all, St. Perpetua and Felicity’s feast day was yesterday. I am very positive that their martyrdom experience was much harder than any university finals week I will ever go through. After all, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood,” as St. Paul writes in Hebrews 12:4. Perpetua and Felicity (Felicitas in the Latin) certainly did. Theirs is a story of friendship across race and rank as well as the martyrdom of two young mothers. Continue reading “The Point of Blood”