“Sitting With the Storm” by Christine Hale

A new creative nonfiction piece by alumna Christine Hale (fiction, ’96) appears online at Hippocampus Magazine:

In the shrine room at the Tampa Dzogchen Buddhist Center, all is familiar and quotidian: dull strain in my low back, noted and dismissed; stinging ache in my hips and knees, a warning I’ve sat too long and will pay with sharp pain when I get up. The pitted pale surface of walls I helped the sangha repaint several years ago remains blank except for dusty sets of framed tangkhas under mildew-spotted glass. The permanent scent of the Center—citrus mold, candle wax, resinous Bhutanese red incense, and dust—envelopes me. Veils of spider web drape the unreachable uppermost corners of the building, once a Cuban dance studio, its still-lustrous hardwood floors a testament to better times in this inner-city neighborhood now griped by dereliction and violence.

Continue reading online…