What dream do you remember most vividly? What message do you think it bears?

The dream of living in a tree in the woods by my childhood home, watching the lights of the house go on and off, hearing the noises of my family living. High up in the tree, I grew rough skin, fur. I think its message is about feeling apart, alienated, the strangeness of being an adoptee.


Why don't you listen to what the universe or your mind or your body or your god  whispers ever more closely to you?

Because it is difficult to trust, especially what appears to be good or benevolent.


If you could, what gift that is impossible for you to give would you offer and to whom? Why this specific gift to this specific person or persons?

The will to live, which I would give to any person considering killing themselves because of depression. Because I have known people who did and saw the wake of grief it leaves.


Describe a person you love. How would you know them without their face?

S—. I would know her voice, the fast tumble of words. Even without language, I'd know her habit of little burrs between sentences. Ummms and errrs, like tiny motors idling.


How did you first know you were in love and what makes you unsure of it?

It is really hard to defining the "knowing" moment but I think it was based on acknowledging how incredibly sad I would be at the thought of his absence. (That and still loving to see his profile while reading.) Ten years in, our daily-ness has dulled that sadness and certainty takes its place. That certainty can make me restless.


What besides love do you doubt and what makes you doubt it?

I doubt the existence of God sometimes, but what's worse is when I don't doubt his existence, but doubt his goodness.

In what way have you betrayed or disappointed yourself or others? In what way have you been betrayed or disappointed?

I have disappointed myself by being motivated by fear and selfishness. I have been disappointed by the same in others.


What are the parameters of your small world?

Most days, a small comfortable room. Charts and notes, computer screens with color-coded grids. A vocation made of words. A house in the suburbs backed up to a creek. A quiet husband and a cat with 18 toes. Pills before meals. Books and notebooks stacked by my favorite chair, my bed. Often, prayers for bravery.


How do you  decide where to draw the line, where to focus your energies, what to give your attention and time to?

Too often it is not a decision, but a reaction to what foregrounds. Work looms because my work is with people and their needs, so I focus on work many days, even when not there.


What, if anything, do you do to enlarge it? If nothing, why not?

I try to remember, in a way that is energizing and not terrifying, that I will die.


Why aren't you more involved in trying to better the world of others?

I am involved in trying to better the world of others in my work, but do not do that as much outside of that. Reading your question made me realize that I had thought that was enough. But it isn't.


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