My name is Margaret. When I was a girl, it felt like an old lady name. I think I’ve finally grown into it.
I’m a middle-aged woman, with a
middle-school child (update: high school child), in the middle of the road. I’m either a young Boomer or an old X’er . . . caught somewhere between The Big Chill and The Breakfast Club. I’m neither Old School nor New Age, traditional nor contemporary, conservative nor progressive. Or maybe I’m all of those things? I believe people are too eager to choose sides and declare allegiances. I know we’re tribal by nature, but my tribe is those who are between tribes. I believe wisdom is wisdom, wherever you find it, and that much of what passes for wisdom… isn’t. I think life coaches are only human and self-help will only get you so far.
I was raised in the Methodist Church, but found true religion in Narnia. These days, more often than not, I run smack into the back of the wardrobe. But once you’ve seen Narnia…
I never stop talking to God. Sometimes, I believe he talks back. In my mind, God looks like C.S. Lewis or Gerard Manley Hopkins . . . Jesus of Nazareth, Albus Dumbledore, or a Barred Owl on the branch of a live oak. His voice sounds like a Bach Cello Suite or an early U2 anthem, an aria by Puccini or wind chimes or the song of the Carolina wren.
A fairly conventional Southern girl with the mind of a philosopher, the sensitivity of a mystic, and the sentimentality of your great aunt Esther, it’s possible that I’m not entirely sane. Like most “nice girls” who grew up in the 70s, everything I know about sex, I learned from Judy Blume.
I’m a writer and editor by trade. My husband Jeff and I publish a newsweekly in Beaufort, SC, “America’s Happiest Seaside Town,”. Until his death last year, I also had a sweet gig as editorial assistant to the great American author Pat Conroy. We have one daughter, Amelia, who recently started driving. Consider yourself warned.
I’ve been writing my column ‘Rants & Raves’ for over 17 years. I write about family life, the natural world, faith, culture, politics . . . just about everything, really. For all that writing, I have very little figured out… which is why I keep writing, I suppose. In the words of the great Flannery O’Connor, “I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” If you’re looking for answers to life’s big questions, you probably won’t find them here. If you’re looking for someone to ask them with – or just to be confused and bemused with – welcome, friend.