So many permutations over the years.
Midlife Matters ~ yes, a play on words ~ begun over eleven years ago, in the hope of exploring the adventures of a midlife wife, mother, lawyer-turned-teacher, spiritual explorer, traveler, and photographer. An AOL journal enmeshed in a hesitant but hopeful community of writers suddenly offered a public platform.
Search the Sea ~ the blog that emerged from the AOL crash. By that time, the spiritual search had become paramount in my life, and at first I imagined myself as a gannet (my screen name back in those days of online anonymity was Gannet Girl), a seabird soaring across the waters of the ocean, always seeking and never landing for good.
Desert Year ~ the place in which I began to deposit the writing pertaining to my son Josh's death by suicide, writing too dark to be supported by any gannet sailing through the sky.
Metanoia ~ the name upon which I settled when I concluded that, like it or not I was in the throes of Deep Change, and might as well try to embrace reality.
Beautiful and Terrible ~ that's been the name of this blog for quite a while. It comes from a Frederick Buechner quote, and represented a form of hope: that I would somehow manage to see both, even when the terrible seemed to overtake all else. Buechner is a Presbyterian pastor who lost his father to suicide, so we share a couple of experiences in common, albeit no doubt also differently.
Fragments of Grace is my take on the title of Mary Doria Russell's novel A Thread of Grace (about the Italian resistance during World War II, not about Jesuits in space), one of my very favorite books. Her title comes from an old Jewish quote: No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there's always a thread of grace.
I am willing to admit that it takes a better, or at least a different sort, of person than I to see a thread of grace. I belong to a faith tradition in which people are comfortable talking about "God's plan." I hear it all the time from elderly Presbyterians in hospital rooms and from young Catholic college students responding to life crises. I am a good deal less sanguine than most of them are about the details of this plan.
But I am willing to acknowledge fragments of grace. I am even willing to celebrate fragments of grace.
For seven years now, I have lived the experience of walking across a sea of fragments of glass, of metal, of ice. Sharp, jagged, shifting fragments. These days, it seems that they glisten with light from above more than they reflect the darkness of the depths below.
Who knows? Perhaps they are connected by a glowing filament invisible to me.
For now, though: Fragments of Grace.