a love story: on infliction

Read My Love Songs for the backstory.


We have a beautiful life. Grandma makes my tuna sandwiches and asks me over for lunch. Seth gets paid to play guitar at church. I can beat your preacher at Bible Trivia. We’re the ones you call to do the right thing, the ones to help you through your hard time.

Seth makes near perfect grades and friends he will love forever. Seth learns to sing falsetto with Nora Jones, intertwining the intellectual with the visceral in the study of Law.

And he is sad the whole time.

We are beautiful expectations, perpetuating the very sickness that drove us to the Love Shack. We look good. Surely it will catch on. Surely this thing is going to click right when we do our next big thing.

I have a constant fever, unexplainable pain and swelling, and the need for countless tests. It is the kind of sick no one can name. We imagine all negatives as false. Everything feels suspicious. 

We have secret sins, and our spirits wallow. We are self-inflicted.

And if we love, we love, but we are perfect enemies, the church with an immunity disorder – he in an office chair and I in the bed at dusk.


About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Dear Seth: A Marriage Letter on Your Sobriety and What it Looks Like to Come Clean
October 27, 2015
When The Church Doesn’t Fit Or Fix You: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Christie Purifoy
October 12, 2015
The Hurt and the Healing: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Bonnie King
September 30, 2015
Will They Stay if You Change?
September 28, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club Video: Chapters 1 and 2
September 14, 2015
A Mud Stories Podcast on Sex, Shame, Unforgiveness, and the Church
August 06, 2015
Church couldn’t help me with it anymore.
August 03, 2015


Reply March 3, 2009

the funny thing here is that i know how this ends. i've been in your home. i've caught contagious laughter and poetics from both of you. i've walked away from dedgum near every haines' conversation and letter with music in my head and words pooling around my feet. i've rolled on the ground away from your boys with grass stains and sweat puddles. God takes physical form in your home. i know because i bumped into Him several times, and He ne'er once said, "excuse Me." still, knowing all of this, i am in suspense while reading these stories.

you keep at it, dream weaver. i'm damn near chomping at the bits to get the next piece.


Reply March 3, 2009

I wish I had the benefit of Hamster--of knowing how this ends (or continues, since the main characters are still alive and well). I just don't know how you manage to pack so much depth into a few sentences. Every week I say to keep writing, to tell us more. This week is no exception!

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..(Taking Care of) Business As Usual

the domestic fringe
Reply March 3, 2009

You keep your posts so short and say SO much. You're amazing! I just want more.


the domestic fringe’s last blog post..Like a Lion

Shannon M.
Reply March 3, 2009

I once went through a long period of stress and bad-ness and, for my effort, developed Graves' disease. I thought it was a fitting name.

Shannon M.’s last blog post..Rogers Target opens tomorrow!

Reply March 3, 2009

Oh Amber. I think I know how this part goes, but your words carry it so poetically through cyberspace....

Cindy’s last blog post..Our Court Date a Cometh.

Reply March 4, 2009

Y'all. I know this is so heavy, but I couldn't leave it out. It gets better. Promise.

Reply March 4, 2009

don't you ever apologize for the heavy! life gets heavy, but the burden is light! Jesus' red letters and all! why am i using so many exclamation points!


Reply March 4, 2009

Thanks, friend.@: hamster

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply March 5, 2009

I'm new here, Amber, and I spent most of my free time yesterday (read: 34 minutes) reading archived posts. You have a gift, my dear. Your writing is fluid poetry.

As for this story -- boy, do I understand self-inflicted wounds in a marriage. I eagerly await the next installments.

Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..January Thaw

Reply October 10, 2009

I agree with other comments, your writing is like poetry. You have a gift that most don't possess, and only great writers do- and that is to say so much more with so much less. It's so beautiful.

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