Sometimes I feel like I’m leading serial lives: youth in Pittsburgh, great media career in Boston (love that city!), then nearly 20 years living a bohemian life in Europe and the Middle East writing five novels (London and Cairo were my favorite places), then another 20 years caregiving for my dying parents as well as thousands of hospice patients as a chaplain.
And since the turn of the century, I’ve been here in Phoenix, Arizona: still writing, still editing, still living by my wits.
Jung tells us our life’s work is integration of all the parts of ourselves to achieve wholeness. If he’s right, I still have a lot of work to do. What links the novelist to the chaplain is the gift of healing with words. Sometimes that’s writing with spirit and sometimes that’s listening with authenticity to a client, a grief-stricken friend or a stranger with a story to tell.
And my lighter side? Dogs, love those dogs! Now I have two chocolate labs, Grace the mother and Merry the daughter were rescued after someone dumped them in the middle of the night in Tombstone, Arizona. They are my joy! I also swim laps at the pool three times a week, get inspired by American Indian art as a docent at the Heard Museum and find serenity with my 30-year-old contemplative prayer practice.
Finally, I renew my courage remembering the words of Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English mystic:
“All shall be well…and all manner of things shall be well.”