Issue 33Christmas Header 2Nonfiction prize

the RUMINATE blog

Solstice to Solstice

Solstice to Solstice

It’s dark when I wake now, and it’s dark too in the afternoon when the kids get off the bus and make their way home. “When will it stop being so dark?” my son asks. I shake my head. “Maybe after the winter solstice,” I say.

That’s the great dark and light equalizer event, isn’t it? It’s what always comes to mind when I find myself panicking about the ebbing afternoon sun or about the days inching into winter, the calendar limping toward the end of the year.

In the Christian tradition, we spend this time around the winter solstice waiting. This season of winter waiting is Advent, from the Latin, “adventus;” it means “coming.” God is coming to be with us, among us, one of us.
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Simple Gifts: On Christmas and the Marketplace

Simple Gifts: On Christmas and the Marketplace

I am at the local outlet center, here in rural California, sitting at a small table near the “dancing waters.” The weather is mild for December, my latte pungent, and the surrounding décor intricate and artful. It is easy to settle into a holiday mood, soaking in an atmosphere sculpted with great care―an ornate authenticity that weaves a semblance of local habitat into the pervading “invitation to accumulation.” Read More »

The Cartography of Words

The Cartography of Words

Much of the news right now could make you want to cringe inside. It’s enough to make you wish humans hibernated. I watched Obama’s speech on Ferguson. I’ve also seen photographs of two boys buried alive by a slow plow. Another story I read was about a child near Atlanta who was taken from his mother and forced to live behind a fake wall. What’s worse than that? The child’s mother never reported it to the police.

In spite of all these headlines, I choose to believe that there is a future that will transcend all our collective ignorance and pettiness and that we are, as writers, to be an active force in bringing that reality to fruition. I’m not talking about the ambition of idealists. I’m talking about navigating people through the darkness until we find streams of light to follow.

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Thanks, Prayer

Thanks, Prayer

To you who in my imagination (which is currently as close as I get to faith), don’t require belief as a prerequisite to unlock your attune, or to express gratitude from deep within the shadow of unbelief:

Thank you that the de-icer was swift and effective in his work, Read More »

Faith and Art: Seemingly Disparate Roads Find Communion

Faith and Art: Seemingly Disparate Roads Find Communion

Recently, while speaking to a group of close friends in advance of our latest move, I mentioned how much I appreciated them taking an interest in my artistic process over the previous year: asking questions, attending my hosted events, helping with their time. I thanked them for not viewing my work as a commodity, something to be utilized solely for church purposes, yet also recognizing my art making as more than a vocation. I told them that being an artist had become a deeply spiritual journey for me.

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Reclaiming Breadth on the Pacific Coast [Video]

Reclaiming Breadth on the Pacific Coast [Video]

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. –Rumi

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