Hello, everyone -- 

Yesterday was our first day of school here, and since we hadn't heard anything about my student's bus assignment, I was planning to drive him to school.

We were just about to leave the house when I made a last-minute trip to the bathroom. No more than a minute later, I emerged ... and he was nowhere to be seen. I called his name. Nothing. Just his lunchbox and water bottle sitting on the bench. 

Then my phone started ringing. His name was on the screen.

"Hey, where are you?" I asked.

"I'm on the bus," he said. 


"Um, what bus?" I asked, trying to stay cool. "Are you on the right bus?"

This hopping on a passing bus was not part of the day's plan, but the feelings it created played out in a recognizable pattern:
  1. bafflement 
  2. fear/worry/anxiety 
  3. a gradual seeping in of acceptance
  4. fervent hope that everything will be OK
Does this arc feel familiar to anyone else these days?

But what caused me to reflect later was the question I asked my son -- whether he was on the right bus.

As today is the very last day of August, I'm clearly sending out this month's newsletter girigiri, as we say in Japanese, "just in time." I had no intent of taking the month mostly "off" from writing, blogging and coaching, but between a family week at the lake, a battle with fleas (my fault -- I neglected kitty's flea treatment) and summer schedules, time slipped away.

Add to that the loss of a dear mentor (who I'll write about soon), celebrating another birthday and hearing that Covid is kicking up again, and I fell into contemplation. It was one of those months when time started to feel too short to keep doing what I'm doing just ... because. 

You might say I began wondering whether I was on the right "bus." 

I haven't come to any great epiphanies, but I am on my way to reestablishing some sort of life rhythm. And I have some fun things coming up, which I'll share below.

As for my son, he did board the right bus. I got to school ahead of him and handed him his lunchbox and water bottle as he walked into the building.

Maybe the lesson of our first day of school is that taking a chance, stepping out -- boarding a bus (maybe any bus) -- in faith might actually get us somewhere we need to go.

Take good care,

Join me in Fargo on Sept. 15!

When I wrote the tagline for The Same Moon -- Sometimes you have to run far, far away to find your way home -- I was thinking of my experiences in Japan.

But after another quarter century of life, and more running and more finding my way home, both literally and figuratively, the meaning of that line has evolved for me.

If you're in the area, I hope you can join me for some stories, some exploration of the idea of "home" and a little koto music at this in-person (and masked) event. I'll also have books on hand to sell/sign.

Are you ISO ... rest?

I think my family and I might have been used as a cautionary tale in this story from the August issue of Living Lutheran!

If you're in search of that ever-elusive time of rest, check out this story in which theologians, writers and church leaders weigh in on the importance of incorporating rest into our lives.
And, if you are looking for a place to find some peace and quiet, check out the Spent Dandelion in Two Harbors, Minnesota, which is part of the Living Lutheran story. It's an amazing retreat spot created by my friend theologian Anna Madsen. Here's the blog post I wrote after our weekend there last October: "What, me worry?"  

(and more) coming soon!

Ever since I saw the artwork my friend Andria Villanueva created for the cover of The Same Moon, I've wanted to wear it.

And now I can! (In fact, I'm wearing it as I type.) I tossed this post (left) out on Facebook as we were packing to head out to the lake, and a few people expressed interest in having their own Same Moon T-shirts. 
We are working on the T-shirt idea (and possibly tote bags ... mugs ... maybe yoga mats?) and will keep you posted!

Feel free to send me a note if you want to be the first to hear when they're available.

Today's writing prompt

A friend recently told me about a crisis her family is experiencing. She asked me whether writing might help bring her some calm. 

Her question reminded me of a way I have used writing to process challenging times, and I offered it to her. This might be helpful to others, so here is a prompt for you.

I learned this technique, called "morning pages," from Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way at Work

The idea is to keep a notebook and pen beside your bed and start your morning with writing -- even before your feet hit the floor, if possible. Handwrite three pages without stopping ... even if that means writing something like "I don't know what to say" or "um um um," just to keep your pencil or pen moving across the paper.
This also keeps your mind moving. The idea is that this practice will help you uncover what is truly on your mind and heart, before the events and issues of the day interfere.

I have found that writing morning pages has helped me zero in on what is most impacting me in the moment as well as in the big picture. 

I would love to encourage everyone to adopt a writing practice -- whether morning pages or other types of pieces -- in part because writing offers opportunities to encapsulate our concerns, hopes, worries, dreams, accomplishments etc. in words. This can help us see our blessings more clearly and, sometimes, cut our challenges down to size.
If you are interested in classes and coaching, please see my Memoir Moments webpage.

For more on morning pages, please visit Julia Cameron's website.
Bus photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Morning photo by Jonas Weckschmied on Unsplash
Thank you for your interest in The Same Moon and sharing stories! You are welcome to share this email with others who might be interested.

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