Are you living a life of quiet desperation? Questioning what it means to succeed? Wondering if your efforts matter? In this uplifting memoir, Lorraine Ash uses her own life experiences to explore inner landscapes where the seeds of divine healing and insight reside. These are the landscapes on which we create our own meaning and find the resiliency to thrive in a changing and challenging world.
Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life is available in a variety of formats and online stores, all presented here, http://lorraineash.com/selfsoul.htm. It has also just become available as a digital audiobook. Find it at Audible.com and Amazon.com as well as in the iTunes store.
Lorraine Ash, M.A., is a New Jersey author, award-winning journalist, essayist, book editor, and writing teacher. Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life, is her second book. Her first memoir, Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing, was published by NewSage Press. Lorraine also is a veteran journalist whose feature articles and series have won seventeen national, state, and regional awards and have appeared in daily newspapers across the country. Lorraine belongs to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Bill.
You can reach Lorraine here:
Baked Ziti and Enlightenment
Image courtesy ©Andrea Skjold | Dreamstime.com
In graduate school at Fordham University, I was in awe of one professor—an Ivy League scholar, brilliant actor and writer, original thinker, recovering alcoholic, and seasoned life traveler. He had the brains and wit to cut down students who struggled through his classes. But he never did.
A most unlikely Coca-Cola
One hot summer afternoon, I fell ill and was curled up on the floor of a bathroom stall in the Communications Department of the university. At least the tile was cool. Otherwise, I was miserable. I heard the door open and then the clink of an aluminum can on the floor. Looking down, I saw the professor’s hand, the one with the big onyx ring, slide a frosty Coca-Cola to me under the door of the stall.
“Coke syrup,” he said. “It always works. I’ll be here if you need anything.”
Such a simple action. I have remembered it all these years.
Dozens of baked zitis
Decades later, in the early days after my daughter was stillborn and I was barely interested enough in life to brush my teeth, a friend delivered many meals, each lovingly prepared by someone in the newsroom where I worked. The first one I ate was baked ziti, prepared by a reporter’s wife. It was the best I ever tasted. Wanting to always remember how I felt eating that meal, and wanting to create the feeling for others, I asked for the recipe, written in her hand.
For years now, I have cooked and delivered baked ziti to dozens of others in need, hopefully to the same effect. As my old Aunt Esther, a true Italian cook, used to say, as she rubbed her hands together, “A little pasta and cheese, that’s all you need.”
Kindness always possible
Metaphysics, cosmology, psychology, religious rules—they’re all complicated. But in the midst of any so-called important endeavor, the simplicity of kindness is always possible. By extension, cruelty, condescension, pretension, and coldness are never necessary. Jesus said it best, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It’s a teaching within anyone’s power to achieve. A smile. A Coca-Cola. An encouraging word. A little pasta and cheese. That’s all.
Lorraine Ash, M.A., is a New Jersey author, award-winning journalist, essayist, book editor, and