Widening the Family Circle

“The problem with the world is that we draw our family circle too small.” Mother Teresa Until the age of ten, I lived like many American kids of the ‘70s, in a primly geometric neighborhood, cross-hatched with pavement, with matchbook yards and immature plantings. More than any tree, the television towered over my childhood. Sweltering [...]

Seeing Enchantment

I sit with Brother Martin Gonzales, over sixty years a monk and reflecting on the nearness of life’s end. We are at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey on a summer day when the perfume of magnolias stretches across the way and birds sing, as he reiterates words he likes to share: “I don’t care [...]

Reluctant Spokesperson

I didn’t intend to become a spokesperson for tradition. Of those who know me best, I doubt any would describe me as “traditional” (you can ask any of my three ex husbands). But along the way, I’ve become attached to the idea that we need tradition, which some find perplexing as I’m so deeply questioning [...]

Who We Are in Love

[Also published at The Christian Century.] Lent is approaching, a season associated with penitence (“regret for wrongdoing; contrition”), so perhaps we should talk about sin. Few theological concepts are as mangled and misinterpreted as the concept of sin. Yet we find the subject off-putting. We don’t understand it well because we prefer not to discuss [...]

Small Miracles

“But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be if it isn't a prayer?” Mary Oliver (from "I Happened To Be Standing") One day in late 2017, I sat writing. On this morning I rode a fretful moment, the worry du jour being my first novel, Wren, for which I wasn’t finding a publisher. The challenge [...]

Icons of Abundance

Over half of my life I operated from a perspective of scarcity. During that time, according to my skewed perception, everyone was a competitor or critic, always judging and potentially threatening, and nothing felt secure. It seemed just when I had something in hand, it would be whisked away. So everything had to be white-knuckled [...]

Introducing Wren

My first novel, Wren, has been released on Audible and Kindle! What readers are saying: "What a pleasure to find a book that beckoned me back every chance I had. Tricia Gates Brown is a skilled storyteller, an exceptionally good one.” Sue B., Amazon review "When I found myself pondering main character Wren's life, thoughts, [...]

Attending Yoga at Winter Solstice

Attending Yoga at Winter SolsticeClass starts at five and already it’s dark.Radiant sconces in the Rec-Center yoga roomdraw us like men to a dusky bar on a rain-split night in December. Black locust trees twitch scarred branches outside the windows, stripped of their nimble fringe, as we fold bodies like quilts around suspended hearts, release our breath, laden with its [...]

We Can Do Both

Last week I watched the new documentary about Mr. Rogers entitled Won’t You be my Neighbor?, so he is impressed on my mind as I absorb details of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in the community of Squirrel Hill, which was Fred Roger’s real neighborhood. My heart is a [...]