In search of a story: heat and ashes

When the developers of Danza del Sol in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, didn’t sell enough apartments to recuperate their investment, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara bought it to use for conferences and guest housing. I was an employee of the university, and we were offered generous discounts  on short-term rentals of  the suites. When my husband’s cousin Ricardo and his…

La Llorona

Stories of mothers who kill their children, whether news reports, fiction, or myths and legends, awaken our primordial fear of all mothers’ power over their children. The unquestioning and unavoidable trust of an infant for the mother can be terrifying to a grown-up child who realizes that his own mother should not have been trusted…

Insidious Invisibility

When #BlackLivesMatter is countered with hateful slogans of the faux-egalitarian #AllLivesMatter, I recall sadly how, for a good part of my life, Black Lives really didn’t matter. Wichita Falls, Texas, didn’t hate black people. Many of us even kind of liked black people. We expressed our racial bias in a manner even more insidious than hate or aggression. We simply didn’t see black people. The evidence of this is in vintage issues of my hometown newspaper: the lack of evidence of any black population at all.

An Open Letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton

It is never too late to do the right thing, but I fear it is too late to do the right thing and win back those of us who have admired you and wished good things for you. I would be hard put to say, at this moment, what the right thing for you to do would even be.

Testimonies, Miracles, and Green Pastures

Sometimes guest speakers came to my church–missionaries who lived and worked in other countries. They showed slides of themselves in exotic settings among dark-skinned people and told many wonderful stories of living by faith. They spoke of miracles: instant healing in response to a prayer; an exact amount of money that arrived soon after a…