Issue 33add title

the RUMINATE blog

How to Greet Rejection With Love

How to Greet Rejection With Love

When I was in high school, I got one and only detention—for plagiarism. Sister Marie watched me from her rolling stool as I erased and wiped the board. The back of my neck felt hot. My uniform sweater scratched through my shirt to my back. “Well?” she bellowed. “Are you ready to admit it?”

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Rule #1: Never Swim Alone

Rule #1: Never Swim Alone

When we moved from the big city of Chicago out to the rural wilds of middle Tennessee we needed new rules. I sat up one night on my computer listening to the sounds of the night, owls hooting, wind through trees, the occasional howling of a pack of dogs in the woods. I liked to think it was a pack of dogs roaming out there in the night but more likely it was coyotes.

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Review of Six Sundays Toward a Seventh by Sydney Lea

Review of Six Sundays Toward a Seventh by Sydney Lea

Ever since I strayed from my non-denominational roots, yearning for a Christian identity that didn’t begin with negation, I’ve looked to Lent as a time for growth and reflection. In Lent I can lose myself in tradition and ritual. I can enter an accountability that liberates rather than restricts, that shakes me from my dailyness. Sydney Lea’s collection of spiritual poems Six Sundays Toward a Seventh (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012), which is comprised of poems written over the course of four decades, provides a meditative space for such reflection and growth. Through its pages one can enact the ritual and sanctity of Lent, and more broadly speaking, of life (for the reading of this collection shouldn’t be restricted to Lent). Divided into four sections—“Doubt, Despond, Defiance,” “Midway,” “Wonder,” and “Six Sundays Toward a Seventh”—the poems in this collection encompass and enact the leaning articulated in the title. This is a collection of towardness, expectation, and revelation.

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How to Find Balance: Creating and Being

How to Find Balance: Creating and Being

There we were. Married for three years, my wife and I found ourselves expecting a child while still figuring things out professionally.

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Open Up Your Throat: On Writing Fragments that Will Not Become Story

Open Up Your Throat: On Writing Fragments that Will Not Become Story

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. –Annie Dillard

Not all of our writing makes it into something finished. Sometimes we’ll look back, matured, and be glad that those things never saw the light of day. Sometimes it was simply the wrong moment; you couldn’t yet do it justice, but later, after some other unknowable experience or insight, it will all be illuminated. The full story will click into place.

But it’s that one word—story—where I get caught. Because I’m not sure if that’s really what I’m trying to make.

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4 Surprising Books About American Religion

4 Surprising Books About American Religion

I know, I know: I’m late on the list-making scene. I should’ve been making lists all through December—The Best Scones of 2014, The Best Mops of 2014, The Best Gas Stations of 2014—and then dropping them like that giant shimmering ball come January. Alas, it is February, but here I come anyway.

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