Kalos Art PrizeShort Story Prizeadd title

the RUMINATE blog

The Simple Life

The Simple Life

The simple life. We long for it. Pursue it. Theologize it. Downward mobility, simplicity, reconnecting to the earth—whether the waves are driven by social justice, nostalgia, or ecology— a major current of culture runs toward the simple life.

Because this is America (land of the me and home of the crave), our cultural currents appear on the radars of markets. What’s selling now? Anything green—which means cardboard packaging with one-color soy ink. Thrift stores (re-use centers!). Movies where superheroes of former generations inhabit didactic binary worlds. Co-ops; but not belonging to them—just shopping there. Books set in eras of beasts and duty that predate not only technology but antibiotics and indoor plumbing. Farming. Quilting. New monasticism. Beekeeping. Paleo(lithic) nutrition. Homeschooling. Bicycles. Refusing vaccines. Vaginal, drug-free birth. Read More »

AIR Series: Scott Laumann

AIR Series: Scott Laumann

Update: Those in Northern Colorado are welcome to stop by the Ruminate Barn at 1041 N. Taft Hill Rd., Fort Collins this Saturday, July 12th between noon and 4 pm for a studio tour and the chance to purchase Scott’s artwork and prints at a discounted price. Others are encouraged to view Scott’s work on his website and Etsy Store.

Thank you to all who joined us on June 28th to celebrate Ruminate’s first installment in the ongoing AIR (artist-in-residence) series, wherein we offer our renovated barn to a select number of artists, providing them space and time to create. Read More »

Bases Loaded

Bases Loaded

My three-year-old son and I have spent a lot of time in the front yard this summer, him up by the steps doing his baseball windup in profile, a swift swaying of his arms front to back, front to back, before his pitch, which on a good throw bounces thrice along the sidewalk before hitting my glove.

When I bounce it back, he tends to dive for it right before he shifts to slow motion, looking pensive, going inward, rising first to his knees and then to his full height (36 inches). He starts peering into the bushes while I stand quietly by the street pounding my fist into the leather glove I wore when I sucked at little league, the one I uncovered in basement storage and now constricts my hand into a kind of finger cylinder. Read More »

Four Lemon Slices

Four Lemon Slices

What words or harder gift
does the light require of me
carving from the dark
this difficult tree?

What place or farther peace
do I almost see
emerging from the night
and heart of me?

Hard Night,” Christian Wiman

1.
I moved from Texas to Seattle in December, and I only wanted to eat citrus. I wanted bright, sharp lemons to cut through the drizzle of winter. I found a painting by Lee Price called Read More »

All About Birds

All About Birds

The yellow-throated warbler prefers tall trees. It lives in the canopies of the highest stands of pine trees in swampy areas for the most part. It is a songbird, a warbler, called so because of the trilling melodies it produces. When it rained hard on our property in Tennessee, the spring fed creek bed would fill, the land around it becoming soupy, the slopes turning slippery. Before a storm the birds would go silent. I would sit and watch from my porch as the clouds rolled in from the north and the west.  But after the storm, the first sound that pierced the air no matter what time of day or night was the birdsong.  Read More »

Adventures in Extreme Gardening

Adventures in Extreme Gardening

About a half hour into putting some tender green basil plants into the brand new, waist-high, raised-bed planter on my patio, I felt pretty good. I am notorious for my ability to kill plants despite my best efforts.  This will be my year, I thought to myself. I sifted the cool soil through my fingers, digging out a deep hole in which to place the quivering plants. “Don’t worry,” I said to them, “it’ll be okay.” Though I was not fully convinced of this, I felt some renewed confidence nevertheless. And as I stood at that wood and metal planter, I thought about my new book project, something I’ve been trying to put on paper for a long time – a sort of theology of the body with a metaphorical gardening theme. Read More »