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The poems and meditations gathered here grow out of a long struggle with hope in the face of immense struggles; with sense of self, with painful losses, and with the despair of clinical depression. But as the words struggled forth through the tension between memory and despair to find their place on a page, they have nurtured and been nurtured by an enduring thread of hope. Several of these have been submitted for prior publication and have found their way into the pages of The Christian Century, Journal of Pastoral Care, and anthologies such as People Hold Balloons Softly. A couple of these, such as "Emeritus," were submitted without finding the right place until now. Quite a few of these have been used as parts of sermons and other writings by friends. Many of these were first written as gifts honoring special occasions and celebrations.