Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Jumping Rope and Skipping Town

Bumpy few days for no single reason I can put my finger on. Right out of the blue yesterday a span of four hours in which the sole purpose was to avoid a panic attack. Strategy numero uno: Physcially shoo it away. Away with you! I metaphorically shout, reaching for a dumbbell. I am just like the motivational posters. I stop for nothing. ‘Til I do. As soon as I lift the […]

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Bringing in the Weather

Back to writing. I’ll start with the animals… My favorite thing my animals do is bring in the weather. In June Funzer, my obese brown tabby, lumbers in from the front porch into the living room and when I rub his side it feels as if he’s just emerged from an oven, carrying the full heat of the sun across his stripes. He spent his first year in this cottage […]

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Goodness

God never ceased to bless me—even in the inkiest black of days I received manna—but lately, He’s been lavish. Sometimes I’m hesitant to write of all the wonderful things because I fear making those with less feel less. But I also know I felt slivers (slivers) of hope when I read of others’ rescues: Joseph’s release from prison, David’s grief turned to joy, Christ’s rise. With that, lately, so much […]

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Past and Present

The fight or flight rang the buzzer to my brain on January 3, 2019. He stood on the street awaiting my reply, knowing my address by heart. Who’s this? I asked. Remember me, your old friend? The one you first met so many years ago and kept around for – what was it, one hundred weeks? three hundred weeks? – much longer than whatever any good therapist would recommend, no […]

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My Voice is Coming Back

It’s time to start writing again. For months, my brain was so trenched in despair that words proved a waste of the sparse reserves I had left. When panic attacks hit out of nowhere, I gasped and went mute. “Honey, what do you need?” Benson would beg. My response? Closed mouth. Balled up body. Shakes galore. In those first few weeks last fall he’d carry my tense frame to the […]

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Stuff I Saw and Decisions I’ve Made

We ran errands one day last week. You know, like when you go to Target? HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAH! (Imagine that’s a funny laugh that goes on for so long it gets awkward, and then you realize it’s a crazy laugh and maybe you should find your purse and leave.) Stuff I Witnessed While Running Errands: A cluster of men in white, walking down the crowded, Mumbai street CARRYING […]

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The Showers

A week ago, I sat in the pew of a small Baptist church in Deridder, Louisiana and watched a friend Benson and I have shared countless dinners with commit his life to his new bride. When the preacher pronounced them husband and wife, the newlyweds held hands and jumped the three carpeted stairs down to the aisle while we cheered. Later at the reception, a Cajun trio played the accordion, […]

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What We’re Going to Do

As I soak in my last few days in Houston before heading back to India, I’ve found myself worrying. I’m not worried about the next few weeks or even the next couple of months. Instead, I’m worried about what’s just beyond that. December, January, February . . . Tonight, I sat on my balcony swing, which I’ve been perched upon every day no matter the heat, reading words from John. […]

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War and Peace

So many scenes packed into one place. A young girl on the side of the road (everything is on the side of the road) in nothing but underwear, dipping water from a bucket to clean herself in front of the fort-like dwelling she calls home. A man dozing on a torn piece of cardboard, a boy of maybe four atop him, attempting to rouse the sleeper. A chicken bone hidden […]

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Chopped

Two black calves (the animals, not the body parts) goofily butt their heads together by a street food vendor as office workers stand by the beasts and eat their dinner . . . Vibrant strips of cotton spread out before me on marble floor; the fabric soon to become reusable sanitary pads for village girls who currently miss school during menstruation . . . Forty rupees (sixty cents) to have […]

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