Helena Sorensen



A Path of Delight: Building the World of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Helena Sorensen

I’d forgotten how chaotic it feels in the midst of the research process. I look back at the path that brought me from an initial idea to a completed, printed copy of The Door on Half-Bald Hill and everything falls into sequence. The journey has a beautiful logic to it, as though I always knew where it would end and what it would become.

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Onward and the Quest for the Father

By Helena Sorensen

I wasn’t expecting to see so clear a picture of Jesus in Pixar’s latest movie, Onward, though I ought to know by now that unexpected places are his favorites. He’s always turning up with a wink and a grin when my mind is elsewhere and my defenses are down.

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I’d Like to Learn to Love It Anyway

By Helena Sorensen

The birdhouse fell in a storm. We found it the next morning lying on the ground, roof split, blue eggs cracked and broken. We could make out the bend of a tiny wing, the puckered skin where dark feathers prepared to grow. We had seen the mating pair of Eastern bluebirds as they chose this house and made their nest. Their blue feathers were like jewels flashing in the early morning light.

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Pronunciation Guide: The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Helena Sorensen

I’ve been asked to write a brief pronunciation guide for anyone who might need help with character and place names in The Door on Half-Bald Hill. Pronunciation guides are tricky! It’s always easier to hear a new word than to decode it by means of the kind of weird, inconsistent descriptors I’m about to give.

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Half-Bald Hill & New Endings

By Helena Sorensen

As a child, I heard a lot about the end of the world—the mark of the Beast, the demise of America, the million-man army that would spread destruction over the face of the earth. Things were going badly wrong, they said, and soon the sun would be darkened. And being an earnest child, I went about gathering fears and confirmations of doom and storing them away like cankerous fruit.

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What We Cannot See: A Lenten Reflection

By Helena Sorensen

Most of the light in the universe is invisible to the human eye. We see an estimated .0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that estimate is based on what we can measure with current information and technology. The eye takes in a tiny fraction of what is real and present. Or, stated differently, the scope of what we cannot see is vast.

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Giants in the Land

By Helena Sorensen

You would have laughed to see it—that mound of walruses piled on the Russian coast. Laughter was my first inclination. I wondered when a male walrus would begin an awkward mating dance or heave his bulk at a pesky seagull. I was waiting for the comic soundtrack, the thumping of a tuba, when I began to understand. This was a story of suffering.

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Recovering A Good Father

By Helena Sorensen

“Jesus didn’t come to change God’s mind about us. Jesus came to change our minds about God.”—Richard Rohr

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The God Who Asks

By Helena Sorensen

There’s a certain kind of loneliness that comes of never being asked the right questions. Many of us go years at a time subsisting on questions like How’s the job? and How are the kids? Even the slightly superior How are you? without a foundation of relational intimacy and plenty of time to dig in, can be glossed over as easily as a question about the weather.

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Beyond the Footlights

By Helena Sorensen

I had not meant to think on dancers
No, nor womanhood
I meant to write of summer,
Goodness, and the love of God.

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Feelings Like Water

By Helena Sorensen

Long ago, in the quiet of our mothers’ wombs, the snow began to fall. Blood and water and food came into our bodies and nourished us. Endorphins washed over us, along with surges of cortisol and adrenaline. An invisible womb of emotion surrounded us, too, an atmosphere of fear or bitterness or rage. We breathed that air, and the snow fell.

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The Bard of Pawnee, Indiana

By Helena Sorensen

I was standing in the parking lot of our little Valrico, Florida church when a man from the congregation came up to shake my hand. His expression was earnest, his voice impassioned, when he said, “I pray that one day millions of people will hear your voice.” It was an extravagant compliment, and kindly meant, but it was a dangerous thing for a teenager to hear.

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