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May 10, 2017

Hello again, dear heart. This one’s a bit rough around the edges.. a bit of a bikini wax gone wrong.

I was writing a letter to you yesterday morning and I just kept second guessing myself. Everything I wrote felt like it was coming in fits and stops. I’d type, delete, type, delete. I’d try and clean it up around the margins and somehow keep myself safe. I kept working to protect my true identity, sounding a little more polished and wise, a little less in process and broken than I actually am. I recognized the tension about four paragraphs in, and just lost it. Whatever those paragraphs said, it was not what I’m supposed to share with you. I have no desire to keep putting on masks with you or anyone else in my life. The whole point of grace is to take off our masks. Or as a dear friend said to me last year, while perpetually frustrated that she always had to hide her mess from the people in her life, “I am so tired of putting things in closets.”

I’m not doing this so I can read my own words and think “Wow.. well, shucks, I sure am a special person and a great writer!” I know, if it ever comes to that, it will never last. That kind of pursuit will end like all other self-serving pursuits.. burnout in a matter of days. It doesn’t take long for me to realize I am so. freaking. over. myself. so. freaking. tired. of. feeling. the. need. to. wear. masks. This is about grace, grace, grace, and more grace. This is about grace on the good days and the awful ones, grace in the mess and pain, in the struggle with self-doubt and award growth, and grace to celebrate joy anyways. I stopped writing the paragraphs that weren’t coming and I just ranted. I said the things I thought no one else would want to read because they’re too messy and honest and poorly punctuated. Shh.. don’t worry about the capitalization errors. It’s okay. We’re safe here.

” this is hard work and I’m tired. gahhhh. fuck. I really wish this was easier and I am afraid that this is some kind of strange perfectionism creeping in and then taking the form of giant speed bumps in the road to me getting something good and true and valuable and important out on the page. I am frustrated and tired and also just wish I could go on a walk. I wish a lot of things. wish I knew if today was going to be a good day or a bad one for my health. wish I knew where this was going. wish I had a clear vision and mission for this day, wish my house wasn’t so dirty. wish I was more liked or special or important. I wish my butt didn’t hurt from sitting on that stool a couple of days ago. wish I wasn’t so undisciplined or tempted or pulled to distract myself and self-sabotage at every turn. wish I could be a better partner to my husband and mother to my boys. dear lord wish wish wish wish fuck. what am I even doing here? I’ve got to return somehow to unfiltered messy shitty first drafts. I’ve got to calm the fuck down and be okay with whatever this is. I’ve got to force myself outside for a little walk and hope the sunshine can heal some part of me that is restless and making my own life feel small and meaningless.

Oh yes.


there it is. the cool drink of water and the fresh air I need.

just Grace. maybe i’m okay. and maybe it’s okay.. maybe it’s all okay and I’m going to survive and today won’t be a waste because for some reason I’m still here.

grace grace grace.

that is why, I’m still here for grace. now to figure out how to start receiving it.. I think it has something to do with releasing the tension in my shoulders and unburdening my soft and reluctant soul. with holding my raw hamburger meat heart close and caring for it, cradling it with kindness. it probably also involves going to the post office as well as returning all late library books. and making some hot tea. and reading a chapter of a good book, as well as writing a couple letters to people who need this grace just as much as I do.

some of these things I can manage today.

somehow it’s all going to be ok. “

I know moments like this well enough to know these are the sacred ones, when I’m poised on the edge of grace. If I can admit the truth about who I am and accept it, I can fall into the ample arms of grace waiting to catch me. Maybe it’s like cliff diving – without grace, it’s suicide to be this kind of honest.

Thankfully, for me and for you, grace is a deep pool of cold water waiting at the bottom of the free fall. It washes us clean, shocks us back to life, then supports us as long as we wish, letting us back float and stare up at the beautiful blue sky, clouds passing overhead.

So what about you? How’s your mess coming along today? You know I’m always here to listen, dear heart. One messy heart to another.


ash parsons


(oh! and by the way! I have a P.O. Box for my penpals now and I’m giddy like a summer camp kiddo over here! click CONTACT at the top of the page and you’ll see my snail mail address! send me letterssssss)

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