About Donna Johnson
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Grace: Memories of Easter Sunday Lessons
Published 04/16/2014 at 10:42 a.m.
How many times should we forgive? As many times as it takes.
Requiem: Reckoning with the Silence Left Behind by a Lost Friend
Published 04/02/2014 at 10:14 a.m. 1 Comment
The silence where music used to play loudly enough to rattle the windows is deafening.
Ghost: Avoiding the Cruel Voices as Best She Can
Published 03/12/2014 at 11:35 a.m.
When I run into Sophie coming through the thick fog, I am uncertain whether she is a real person or a figment of my own imagination. In any case, Sophie has a sort of ethereal quality about her, as though ...
Doobie Hunters in the Night: A Quest for Tobacco Uncovers Other Treasures
Published 02/26/2014 at 10:15 a.m.
We pour a couple of shots of whiskey, toast each other, and down them in one gulp. We are out of cigarettes and must hurry to find the best cigarette butts—what my husband and I call “doobies”—before the homeless people ...
A Day in the Life: Where Were You the Night John Lennon Died?
Published 02/12/2014 at 10:31 a.m. 1 Comment
On the night John Lennon died, I was weaving in and out of the small streets of Greenwich Village—buying earrings on Bleecker Street, browsing a novel by Walker Percy at the corner bookstore on West 4th, and admiring my new ...
Monster: Helping the Distressed Find a Moment of Calm
Published 01/23/2014 at 9:57 a.m.
He began weeping and banging his fists on his head. “I went into a store and tried to buy something and they said my card was no good,” he said, crying still harder.
Species From Another Planet: In Tribute to a Woman's Best Friend
Published 01/02/2014 at 10:45 a.m.
Surely everyone who lives in downtown Knoxville has seen me being dragged by a 45-pound dog with a liver-shaped marking on her side against a background of black and white speckles.
The Accordion: Dreams of Gypsy Glory Give Way to Reality
Published 12/26/2013 at 10 a.m.
I am not a person who thinks before I act.
Angels in Disguise: A Chance Meeting at a Bus Stop, and Turning a Corner
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:02 a.m.
Despite her worn appearance and the frayed condition of her old-fashioned dress, there was something extraordinary about her, an inner stillness and calm that few people in our time have, almost as though she were listening to a voice that ...
Finding a Lot To Be Grateful For, Against the Odds
Published 11/27/2013 at 1:41 p.m.
This year, on Nov. 12, I turned 62, and though young people defer to me on buses and planes and call me “ma’am” (which irritates me no end) as though I am a doddering old lady, I have never felt ...