When Someone Dies

I had plans for what I wanted to write about this week that have all faded into the Louisiana breeze. Instead, I am in New Orleans for the passing of our Uncle Lloyd. He died last night. It was Wednesday, sunny and 72, clear blue skies, low humidity, a gentle breeze that passed through Uncle Joe’s backyard and over our Baby Girl who was taking an afternoon nap on the back porch in her stroller. Uncle Lloyd had the sweetest smile. He smiled every time we saw him, and you could hear his smile through the phone, too. I met…

The Purpose of Happiness

This post is part of a series on happiness. Read the first post here. I don’t know what word is best to describe my teenage years as a Christian. Wholehearted? Strident? Zealous in the best way a zealot can be? I wore the t-shirts. I read the Bible everyday. I went to Church four times a week. I went on mission trips. I had hundreds of hours of Christian CDs in my car, and I rolled through my small town singing harmony to them with the windows down. I found so much purpose in my church. So many Christian values…

A Portrait of a Woman Having Tea

I wrote this in the spring of 2009 while I was living and working in Kolkata, India, a few months before leaving for Peace Corps. I reread it recently and wanted to share it here. ______________________________ On a muggy, still, Tuesday morning, Mangal and I walked through a Kolkata slum called Boro Ghati. We met a woman; her image is still with me. She sat in a chai stall off the side of the road. The little hut was all woven and collected. Its structure was a tight bunch of crude tethers and brittle strips of bamboo. The dinted tin…

good, really good

I’ve been in that catch-up-with-normalcy phase that happens after your mom makes a whizbang journey across the earth to see you.  I feel like I used up all my language skills on my mother and for the last week or so can’t seem to construct a full Armenian sentence.  I’m feeling the weight of my current state, the missing of mom added to the pressure of work projects mixed with the swirl of information concerning my grad school search sweetened by the idea of visiting friends all floating on an under current of Oh How I Love My Life and…