Stories that Matter


It’s that jolt, the sensation that you’re falling, and it usually happens during deep slumber. The freefall. It sits there, wedged between the box titled Deja vu and Death on the shelf called Things I Can’t Explain. The more it happens, the more terrifying it becomes. You’d think I’d get used to it, but I don’t. I always wake up wondering, wiping sweat with a shiver of cold and wondering, what if I’d landed? Where would I land? Would I hit hard ground, deep ocean? Immediate death, feeling nothing at all?

What causes the freefall? My brain is so much on overdrive that I really couldn’t tell you. When I sleep deeply, which isn’t often, my dreams are erratic and make no sense. Not really. Sometimes they do. Sometimes I recognize the places and the faces and the feelings…much as I don’t want to. Sometimes dreams are memories. Sometimes they are things hoped for, lost and thought forgotten. But things are never really forgotten, are they?

I’ve been pondering why I keep this blog. Why I continue to come back to it when I have so little advice to offer. I don’t even know who reads my words, except when people post a comment, then I know, then we connect. Otherwise it’s really like writing to an anonymous pen-pal. Sharing things that perhaps should not be shared at all. But I’m like that, you see. I share my thoughts far too easily, if I have the chance to write them down. Sit me across the table from you and ask me to talk, and you’ll get blessed silence. I’m not big on chatter. I don’t need meaningless words to fill the silence. I like silence more than I like noise.

I am sifting through the things that brought me here, to the place I am today, to the dreams I still hold perhaps too tightly, but am not willing to release my grip on. I don’t yet understand myself, some days I doubt I ever will, but I do know this. I must write. If I have no words, I have no me. It’s that simple really.

And that terrifying.

It is like being in constant freefall, not knowing where I’ll land. Or if.

But this is where I am. What I do. What I can’t live without.

This is me.

So, since I am a professed story teller…I think I’ll begin to use this space to tell stories. And we’ll see where they land.


The Summer I Heard The Wind…

We’re laying on thick grass as green as the magic marker that stains my hand from this morning’s coloring session. The air is warm and my mother tells me it will rain, but for now the sun burns my face and the scratchy blades poke my back through the light t-shirt I’m wearing over my one-piece. My friend beside me sighs. At first I believe it’s that contented sigh of childhood – one that sings of freedom, hope and the luxury of having nothing more to do than watch the clouds drift across a pewter sky.

Lucy sighs again, and there is a sadness to the sound that tells me more than she’s said. “Do you think God can stop the clouds from moving?”

Sometimes her questions startle me. I turn my head and our eyes meet. She’s serious of course, as she always is. I grin, but her dark eyes narrow and I know I must find an answer. “Of course He can. God made the clouds. He can do whatever He wants with them. He parted the sea, right?” 

“No. That was Moses.” 

“Oh.” I suck my teeth before I can stop myself. ‘Disgusting habit, Alison, really.’ My grandmother likes to point out things like that. She thinks I’m a tomboy. I guess I am. “Moses. Right.” I should know that, of course. But I am a dreamer, according to my parents and teachers. When I’m confined to four walls, my thoughts wander and drift as aimlessly as the clouds above us. Sunday mornings under the hardened gaze of Mrs.Waddle are no exception. And she does waddle, by the way. “Well. I still think God can do anything.” I must redeem myself somehow. “Don’t you?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if God can save me,” she whispers. Her fingers brush against mine. I’m only ten, but I recognize the intensity of the moment, the urgency of it. I grip her hand and hold tight. “Save you from what, Lucy?” Her stare screams of a heaviness I cannot imagine any ten year-old carrying, yet I can’t deny it’s there. I’ve seen it before, a couple of times now, but it scares me so much I never ask.

“Nothing.” Her wide smile returns and she scrambles to her feet. “C’mon, Alli. Let’s go for a swim before the rain comes.” 

She’s off and running, but I lay there for a long moment, staring up at the sky, contemplating the bigness of it, looking for dogs and ice cream cones and maybe even answers in the clouds as I wonder what Lucy could possibly need saving from. 

The wind picks up and blows our coloring books across the back lawn. It whistles faintly through the trees in erie warning, and somehow says I don’t want to know. 




  1. Denise Morgan on March 25, 2014 at 12:10 am

    It seems to me that you have been inside of my mind and putting words together to make the swirling thought-pictures that are constantly waning and ebbing neverendingly there into cohesive writeable sentences.

    Something I seem to be unable to do.

    You keep the blog because you have the words.
    It does not really matter who reads them or if anyone reads them.
    But those of us who read the blog do so because you do connect with us.
    You have the words. You share the thoughts that some of us are either unwilling or unable to make real by attaching words together into sentences and putting them on paper for all the world to see. You are brave.

    This is not a blog that is read for advice.
    It is read because we know it is not going to be pink fluffy cotton candy make you feel syrupy good words.
    It is read because it lets us know that we are not alone in feeling and thinking and questioning things that we were probably taught that correct ladies did not indulge in.
    It is read because it is real.
    It is life as it truly is.
    And by your words we feel validated.

    And not alone.

    Yes, God is in control of all things and nothing happens that He is unaware of. He loves us and is there for us and He will never leave us or forsake us. And for that we are humbled and grateful and thankful for the great gift of forgivenss and mercy and loving us in spite of ourselves.


    We are human.

    And with that comes unanswered questions

    And through your writing we are reassured that we are not alone in our humaness.

    Keep writing.
    We are eager for more.

  2. Cathy West on March 25, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Denise, thank you. Your encouragement means a lot. 🙂

  3. Betzina Yaley on March 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Cathy, I read your writings & find myself in awe of your gift. Don’t stop.

  4. Jennifer Zarifeh Major on March 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    “I like silence more than I like noise”

    Ohhh, Cathy, me too.
    As for freefalling, I’m not sure I hold tight to God’s hand and fall in the direction He leads, or if I fall knowing He’ll catch me.

    Great thoughts…

  5. Jenelle on March 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Beautiful, Cathy, keep them coming ok? You know your niche and you do it well. Whatever to the rest of it.

    • Cathy West on March 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Thanks, friend! Glad you stopped by to read. 🙂

  6. Sue on March 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    You have such a gift for writing and a freshness and authenticity for writing beyond the usual predicatable books. I hope you keep writing and blogging – I’m waiting eagerly for your next book.

    • Cathy West on March 29, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Me too! 🙂 Don’t worry, as soon as there is news…you will know…

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