TABLE OF CONTENTS
Karen Kelsay: Creating a Pastoral Scene
Patricia Butler: The Uninvited Goat, Birdsong
John Philip Johnson: The Ascension
Sarah LeNoir: When You Were Being Made New
Ashlee M. Davidson: Apology to a Beggar Woman on the Steps of Notre Dame
Leland James: Hard Candy Lace
Sarah Estes Graham: Cave Air, Golden-Haired Mary
Eric Potter: Evensong
Jenny Gillespie: Proud Warrior
Richard Sederstrom: Moss
Rosanne Osborne: Complicity, The Passion
Barbara Crooker: June
Matthew Ira Swaye, Falfurious
Tony Woodlief, The Glass Child
Tyrus Clutter: Altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Bon, Altarpiece of St. Thomas Eliot, Altarpiece and Reliquary of St. Joseph, Altarpiece and Reliquary of St. Georges
Natalie Salminen Rude: Pattern of Chance, Grace for the Fallen
EXCERPTS from Issue 12
Editor’s Note: Issue 12
I am the door, says Christ. And I am stilled, completely taken by this image of God as an entrance. It’s because our second child, a baby girl, was born last month and she has me thinking, thinking about arrivals, births, and entrances, and about the beauty surrounding them.
This is her story: I was attending a local writers conference and after a very busy day—writing workshops, surviving an hour of public speaking (I led a session on literary magazines), and a poetry reading from Denver’s poet laureate Chris Ransick—I drove home through the beginnings of a very wet spring storm and went into labor. She was born the next morning: our beautiful IlaJane Van Dyke. 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 7 inches of new snow.
I can’t help but ponder that stimulatingly literary day and question whether the hum and buzz of all those writing-minded souls was the impetus for her arrival. Maybe she heard Chris Ransick reading those lines about the river’s water and “mornings when magpies squawk the world awake” and just decided she couldn’t wait any longer—that ours was a world worth meeting. It makes sense. For nine months she has heard me mumbling aloud over three issues of RUMINATE—speaking the poems, my favorite lines from an essay, and testing out the wording for the cover: Windblown wild carrots or wild carrots, windblown?
And most of me thinks she has not just heard, but also felt me working on RUMINATE—definitely the belly-heaving sobs as I read Tony Woodlief’s “The Glass Child” but also the internal hmms and ahhs, the deep exhale after pouring over Tyrus Clutter’s altarpieces.
How could she not have felt these? After all, we were connected in inexplicable ways. As Debra Rienstra points out in her book Great with Child, my body grew a new organ for heaven’s sake! So why wouldn’t she, in return, grow a fondness for words, a tenderness for beauty?
Yes. I think she would, and has. She has it written all over her little face—scattered across her cheeks and over her parted lips, words like wild carrots and magpies.
When I was pregnant with my son, RUMINATE wasn’t yet conceived, and as you can imagine I had more spare time. I remember spending many evenings faithfully playing the piano for the baby—especially Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. I played this piece again and again because I thought it had such a strong voice that the baby couldn’t help but listen, couldn’t help but be moved.
For him, labor began at the movie theater in the middle of the Johnny Cash movie Walk the Line. When the contractions began it felt like the entire theater was shaking, that each person in the audience was tapping their foot with every downbeat. It was like he couldn’t help but join in. Perhaps music was already pulling on his little heart, preparing him for his entrance. And then he heard Johnny Cash and it was all over—he was awakened.
Even more than speculation about my children’s taste in music or literature, all of this has made me wonder if art isn’t one of the strongest stimulants in our world—if it isn’t inducing life all around us. Forget all the old wives’ tales: the raspberry tea, spicy curry, or my favorite one—jumping up and down (as if this really would bring a child into the world!). Instead, what one needs for the birth of a child—or for that matter, the birth of a poem or a painting—is a good line about the river’s water or a great rendition of “Ring of Fire.”
What I really love is that we all seem to have this capacity for beauty to beget birth. In a sense, we are all “expecting,” just waiting for a moment of beauty to induce new life, new words, new saints—even new door openings. Perhaps this issue of RUMINATE will provide that moment.
Welcome and enjoy,
Brianna Van Dyke
The thick syrup of birdsong pours over our heads,
and the afternoon drowses in the heat. Only the butterflies
are industrious, skipping from the foxgloves to roses
the color of old bricks. Even in her wheelchair,
my mother is still surprised when she sees one pink waterlily
rising out of the mud in the koi pond. When I push her past
it on the way back, she gets surprised all over again. I pick
her a dandelion; it smells of nothing but summer. Later,
when it goes to seed, we will make a wish before our breath
sends its parachutes spinning across the lawn. I think about
her last mammogram, the clusters of nebulae, and the black
hole where cancer’s random toss planted its seed. Out in the grass,
the dandelions spread their thin spatulate leaves, dig their tough
roots deeper, ready for any weather.
Barbara Crooker has published poems in magazines such as Christianity and Literature, the Christian Science Monitor, the Christian Century, Tiferet, Sojourners, Windhover, Literature and Belief, America, Rock and Sling, Radix, Relief, the Anglican Theologic Review, and the Cresset. She has also published two collections, Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book Award and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize, and Line Dance, published in 2008 by Word Press. In 2003, she received the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award (Stanley Kunitz, judge). She lives and writes in rural northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and twenty-year-old son, who has autism. Two daughters are grown, and she has one adorable grandson.
The Glass Child
This is the blood, David tells himself. He twists open the bottle and pours its dark content into a blue plastic cup. The label declares that this is Balanced NutritionTM, but David whispers: “Sanguis Christi.” He feels a shiver of sacrilege. On the days when his strength has worn thin as thread, it’s the wisps of liturgical Latin, of all things, that give comfort. This is why he whispers Sanguis Christi as he fills his daughter’s cup.
They are sitting on the big bed in David and Kate’s room. Amy, who is three years old, is nestled between David’s thighs, her back to his stomach, her head against his chest. She whimpers on occasion, but mostly she is distracted by something near the ceiling. It may be a peculiarity of light and shadow, or an illusion inspired by the rot in her brain, or something else altogether. David doesn’t notice, because he is praying that the Balanced NutritionTM or Sanguis Christi will heal the tumor mashing his daughter’s brainstem to pulp.
The pediatric oncologist has explained that the tumor is a brainstem glioma. It has the shape of a snake’s egg. It’s diffuse, the oncologist told them. Non-operable. It’s like someone threw sand into Jello. That is how he got them to understand.
Chemotherapy only made the dark egg bleed. Now Amy’s teeth are permanently clamped together, and her left arm is curled into her chest. On some days even air stings her skin. The oncologist has calmly explained that it is time to let her go. What he means is that David and Kate should stop feeding Amy. It was Kate who told him to go to hell.
David tears a paper towel from the roll on his nightstand. He holds it over Amy’s head as he folds it once, then again, then once more. He pushes the paper mass against her bottom lip and lifts the gouged rim of the blue plastic cup to her mouth. He wedges it between her upper and lower teeth and tilts. He quickly removes the cup and pushes up her bottom lip with the paper towel. The bottle claims a chocolate flavor, but to David it tastes of prunes and chalk. He chose it over strawberry because chocolate is Amy’s favorite. Look Daddy, my eyes are chocolate, she used to say, her face turned up to him, smiling as if she had created them herself. Most of the creamy chocolate-prune-chalk soaks into the wadded paper towel, but a trickle flows past Amy’s teeth and down her throat. “Sanguis Christi,” David whispers.
At first he struggled to get it right—tilt too high and Amy chokes, pour too slowly and it drenches her shirt. After five weeks he scarcely spills a drop. This is why some priests are so casual with the blood of Christ, he thinks, because they’ve poured it out so often. He carefully pours four sips into Amy’s mouth. He lets her rest between each. He reverses the paper towel so that the dry side is against her lip. Four more times, then he unfolds and refolds it in the opposite direction. David can give twenty-four sips with a good paper towel. Then he will drop the soggy remains in the small trash can beside his bed and tear off a fresh sheet. It will take him five hours to feed her this way, so long as the pain remains at bay. “Da propitius pacem in diebus nostris,” he whispers. Graciously grant peace in our days.
Amy doesn’t wail this morning, which David would once count as a blessing. They are halfway through the bottle when Kate shuffles into the room. Red lines from a couch pillow are imprinted on her cheek. She runs fingers through her tangled brown hair and catches it into a tail with a rubber band. “I can do it,” she offers.
David shakes his head and stares at the cup, because coaxing meager sips of life down Amy’s throat makes him seethe. His wife smoothes the thinning hair on her daughter’s head. “Hi sweetness.” Amy whimpers. Kate leans forward until her cheek is separated from Amy’s by the thinnest barrier, as if her daughter is encased in glass.
“You talk to Calloway again?” David asks.
“Because he won’t change his mind.”
“Then I’ll call him.”
Kate stands and gives a humorless chuckle. “You certainly won’t change his mind.”
She caresses the air above Amy’s skin, which is how the mothers of glass children must love them. “You didn’t know any Baptists growing up, did you?”
“I don’t remember.”
“They think baptizing children is an abomination.”
“Yeah, but I married a back-slid Catholic, too.”
“They can make an exception.”
“Not to do that.”
David rips away another paper towel. “She’s dying.”
Kate’s hand freezes over her daughter’s skin. She hates for David to say it when Amy can hear. “Reverend Calloway says she’s in a state of grace.” Her voice is thin and tired.
David clenches his jaw. “You tell him to come see her now. Tell him to come see this state of grace.”
Kate leans forward until her face rests almost on Amy’s head. She has grown skilled at touching without touching, just as David has learned to dispense Balanced NutritionTM without spilling a drop. She closes her eyes and draws in Amy’s scent. She opens them to confront him; they are pale blue and sparkling and wet. “I said call a priest if baptizing her’s that important.”
David looks out the window, where a mulberry tree is spread wide and thick, heavy with berries. The darkest and softest have covered the driveway with purplish-black splatters. Is the tree bleeding, Daddy? Amy asked him this once, standing in the driveway amidst the berry massacre. It was such a strange question, on that sun-filled day, but by then he’d learned to wait for the sight she sometimes loaned him. And when this sight came a second later, it had indeed looked as if the tree wept blood.
Kate sighs. “I’m going to take a shower.”
David hates her for disappearing into the bathroom, hates her for the squeak of the faucet and the rush of water and the metallic, tearing-paper sound of the curtain being pulled back and then drawn forward again. He doesn’t know what he wants her to do instead. Sometimes he is angry at Kate simply because she exists, just as he hates strangers for walking by their house, or the dog next door for barking, or Amy for having a diffuse brainstem glioma.
He doesn’t know why he is angry at Kate any more than he knows why he wants Amy to be baptized. The need just metastasized, first a stray notion, then a recurring thought, and now this urgency. We should call a priest in Winston, he tells himself. Kate is right; any of them would be glad to do it. Knowing this makes David’s heart sink for some reason he can’t fathom. Perhaps the ease with which it will be done is what makes it feel pointless. Casual rituals can’t heal a broken glass child. He wants her baptized through extraordinary effort. He wants her baptized in the church of the parent who still believes.
Amy groans, and David realizes that he is pouring too much liquid into her mouth. A brown stream spills over her chin and soaks into her white t-shirt. The shirt is intended for boys aged two to four, according to its package, but Amy’s body is swollen from the drugs. Her face has ballooned, rendering her little-girl features barely discernable, save for the delicate curve of her nose. David knows the reason so few people visit is because she has become repugnant.
There is violence simply in keeping her alive. There is also his anger, spilled out on her flesh without warning, in a yank to keep her sitting upright, perhaps, or a cup shoved too forcefully between her lips. He remembers carrying Amy to the bathroom when they could still wash her in the tub. His exaggerated carefulness made him clumsy, and he scraped her spine against the corner of the doorjamb, causing her to howl. He breathed a curse at her for hurting. He stood deathly still in the doorway and held her as she cried, waiting for Kate to make it okay. As he stood there he ground his teeth so hard that the tip of one snapped, and he despised the door for its existence, and himself for his clumsiness, and Amy for hurting, and Kate for quietly soothing her daughter.
When her cries subsided he continued into the bathroom and bent low over the tubful of warm water, but Amy wouldn’t let go. Kate whispered to her that she liked baths, that baths were her favorite, but Amy only whimpered and dug her fingers into David’s neck. “There’s no point,” he told Kate, spitting his hopelessness at her. As he stood to carry Amy back to the bed Kate grabbed his arm, and with her other hand she peeled open her blouse, sending buttons tapping and skidding across the linoleum. “Hold on,” she commanded, and then she yanked down her jeans, stepped into the tub, and carefully eased Amy out of his arms.
Her face had the same expression, David realized in that moment, that it had taken during their wedding, when she stepped into the hem of her dress and sent a loud ripping noise through the sanctuary. Everyone had halted, even the organist, until Kate shook her head with that willful set to her jaw, snatched up the torn folds of her dress, and marched up the remaining steps. When David ponders whether Kate will leave him after their daughter is gone, he envisions her relentless, clenched jaw and her squinted blue eyes.
They washed Amy like that, stretched out on Kate’s body, Kate whispering and singing to her while David soaped and rinsed her skin. She’s inherited Kate’s stubbornness, he tells himself; that’s what keeps her drawing breath.
Kate is crying in the shower; David can hear it through the sizzle of water. Her weeping is soft and suppressed, like an old woman coughing in church. Amy can hear it, too, and she moans in reply. “It’s alright,” he whispers. He prays to an absent god that she won’t cry, because the wailing can hurt so much that it feeds itself. Sometimes Amy cries for hours, but today her eyes are drawn to the ceiling.
David considers calling Reverend Calloway. The thought of it drains him; he imagines Calloway is just as imposing over the phone as in person, with that large frame and thick jaw and his southern preacher’s way of looming over you, his eyes watching your mouth to gauge when you will be done talking, his wide lips set to deliver the next burst of words mixing themselves together in his bulbous head, undistracted by whatever you may be trying to say.
Calloway visited that first night at the hospital in Winston. He strode into the room, stood over them, prayed with hands stretched up to heaven, and then throatily declared, his face glowing with holiness, that Amy would be healed. He announced it like a fact, like a weighty gift that he had trucked in and deposited on the floor with a thud.
Kate had nodded and wept softly, like she is doing in the shower. Amy had been pretending to make up David’s face with her mother’s worn brushes and empty lipstick tubes, but she watched Calloway suspiciously while he squinted shut his eyes and bellowed out his righteous prayer. David wanted to believe, for the first time in years, in a god that was something closer than gone, but when he looked down at Amy he saw her countenance darken, like blood poured into water. This was how David knew, even as the last of Calloway’s prayer echoed off the sterile hospital walls, that she was going to die.
In the following weeks Amy was prominent in Reverend Calloway’s sermons. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much—this is what he would cry out to his congregation. How much more so the prayers of a righteous church? Kate’s eyes would take the look of splintered amethysts as she recounted his sermons to David. She believed that God was near.
She still does, even now. David wonders why she has never condemned him for not believing there would be a miracle. He begrudges her the sound of a shower curtain, and yet she doesn’t blame the absent miracle on his unbelief, though he suspects some in her church have whispered as much. Reverend Calloway, meanwhile, gradually eased Amy out of his sermon rotation. Her usefulness was diminished by her stubborn refusal to accede to his prayers.
Reverend Calloway doesn’t visit, but Michael Timmons does. Michael is a seminary student and a deacon in the Yadkin Baptist Church, assigned to assist Reverend Calloway with minor duties like mowing the church grounds and taking meals to widows and visiting dying girls whose very existence belies the state of grace. He is short and slender, with a permanently flushed face and thinning hair, though he is only twenty-three. He always looks terribly embarrassed to be on their doorstep, yet he appears at least once a week, red-faced and hopeful.
Sometimes Michael will sit with David or Kate at the kitchen table and quietly offer snatches of promise from places in the Bible that he has marked with pieces of torn paper. Other times he will stand by the bed and make small, quiet talk while David feeds Amy. When he does this he gives David something new and tangible to hate, and so David wills all of his anger onto Michael, like anger is a physical thing that he can scoop up with his hands and hurl across the room. Michael stands awkwardly and explains what he read in the morning paper, or what he hears the weather might do, and David quietly hates him. Occasionally, but always after Michael has gone, it occurs to David that nobody else has the courage to come into the bedroom, only this skinny, embarrassed kid who still thinks that what is believed must be acted on.
“You were in seminary yourself for a time, isn’t that right? Catholic seminary?” This is what Michael asked David one afternoon as they sat across from one another at the kitchen table. David nodded and sipped his coffee, slowly, in order to avoid saying more.
“Decided it wasn’t for you?” In conversation, as in all things, Michael persisted in hope.
“Seminary was fine. It was God I couldn’t get along with.”
Michael stirred his tea furiously.
“But,” David continued, finding malicious pleasure in Michael’s discomfort, “I suppose he gets the last laugh, doesn’t he?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Michael said softly, as if trying to disagree without dissenting. “I don’t think he works that way.”
“Then how does he work, Michael?” There was a rap of porcelain striking wood as David set down his cup on the bare tabletop. “Tell me how God works.”
Michael shook his head and made a whirlpool in his teacup and looked very much like a young seminarian ambushed by a pop quiz. Then a bashful smile spread across his face. “Mysteriously,” he said.
David nodded, the fight draining from his chest as quickly as it had entered. The boy across his kitchen table just wanted to help, even David could see as much, and so he nodded, and muttered the platitude like a catechism: “He works in mysterious ways.”
Michael stood, relieved. “I’ll go up and see your little girl now, if that’s alright.”
David watched Michael disappear from the kitchen, listened to him climb the stairs to the bedroom, his mysterious god in tow. He took an apple from a bowl on the counter and sliced it into thin white slivers, but they had no flavor. Sometimes, after a day or two without food, apples had the sweetest taste, a flavor so cool and sugary that David could almost believe there was a Garden before the Fall. But on other days they had no taste at all, as if they—or David—were apparitions.
The sound of the shower curtain being pulled back again makes David remember shopping, back when Amy could still sit in a stroller. They had been in the children’s section of a department store, searching for clothes to fit her swollen body. While he and Kate sifted through piles of shirts, David noticed Amy stretch out her hand to clutch the hem of a gauzy purple dress hanging nearby. She stroked it between her thumb and fingers, and gave it a slight tug, the way an old woman might test a piece of fabric. She held it that way for a moment, her slender arm shaking from the effort, then she let it slip away. As her mother held a bulky shirt to her torso, Amy’s eyes lingered on that dress, and they were an old woman’s eyes. And there were Kate’s eyes, too, like the eyes of the undertaker who came to the house to gauge Amy’s size—because a child’s coffin must be ordered in advance—weary, given the work of fitting a child for death, but also guarded, because to see all of it at once is to feel your mind shot through with sand, which is how David feels when he thinks about all these sets of eyes: Amy’s, longing for that dress of purple gauze, and Kate’s, loving her child unto death, and the undertaker’s, contemplating a job that he will need a whole bottle of bourbon to wash down.
David is still thinking on all those sets of eyes as he slouches in the den, a phone book balanced on his lap. Kate is upstairs with Amy, who is crying. David is trying not to listen to the crying. He is thinking about the way humans discern patterns where none exist, so that absent becomes mysterious. Now there is this question of the priest. He looks at the phone book, and he is suddenly filled with dread. The priest will surely come. He will come with the baptism of water, and he will sprinkle it on Amy’s wounded head in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. He will speak his mystical Latin, and she will have that face like blood poured into water, and then David will never be able to forgive the god of glass children.
Amy’s wailing started around noon today. Now the sun is hovering over the trees, and people throughout town are thinking about going home, about what’s for dinner, about junior-high basketball games and television shows, about reading a mystery or going to see a movie, about making love in their beds or in the back seats of their cars or on a blanket spread out in the park.
Amy is still crying. She sounds almost like a normal child from here, except that each mournful wail stretches farther than the last, until a long cry spreads thin into silence, which is the worst part, because it means she has passed out from the lack of oxygen, her head slumped onto her swollen chest. This is when they wait to see if she will breathe again, because when the crying has set in they increase the morphine. When she stops breathing they pray she will remain that way, and they pray she won’t, and they feel dirty for both prayers.
David runs stiff fingers through his hair and clamps them over his ears. He should go up, but this phone book is a massive weight.
He remembers, behind his stanched ears, the three baptisms: of water, desire, and blood. If the first isn’t available, then the others can suffice. Go to your grave crying out for the water of life, and it will be as if you had received it. Bleed and die in faith, and it will be as if your blood flows from a baptismal font. It occurs to David that his desire springs from some bitter aquifer of faith in the absent god, while Amy is slowly shedding blood into herself. What need is there for mumbled-over tap water, in the face of these relentless baptisms?
He is computing with cryptic figures now, which is where he always excelled. If X, then Y; renounce the devil and receive faith; light the candle and be indwelt with love—but, despite knowledge of these spiritual equations, he never managed to etch them into his flesh. He could explain the sacraments, he could conduct the rituals, but he couldn’t feel anything in their midst. Strange, that so much knowledge could be undone for lack of feeling.
And now, to be haunted by this terrible need, this irrational desire for Amy to be baptized in the name of a deaf god—it makes no sense. Upstairs she is dying, and David fears that if he calls the priest, he will scream. The priest will answer, Hello? and David will start screaming and he will never stop, because the only way to plumb the depth of this desperation is to scream forever and ever, and no matter how much Sanguis Christithey might pour down his throat, it will never be enough to stop the screaming.
Something in the house has changed, and David releases his ears to listen. It has been quiet for minutes. He stands. The phone book has become lighter than a child’s Bible, so light that he doesn’t even hear it fall to the floor. He climbs the stairs, seeing the grain in the wood, the way light from the receding sun spills through the front windows of the living room to warm the staircase. He had forgotten these things, or perhaps he has never seen them until now. Outside, a boy with golden curls pedals his bicycle along the cracked sidewalk. He is smiling, because he doesn’t yet know anything, or perhaps because he knows everything.
David stands now in the bedroom doorway. In the bed, Kate is slowly washing her child. Kate is on her knees, on her side of the bed, because even though they are rarely in it at the same time any more, David and Kate have their separate sides. Amy is like a seam in the middle, or perhaps a fragile stitch, or a silent chasm, an absence though she is still here, just as soon she will be a presence though she is gone. “Saudade.” This is the word the broken-down ex-priest used to whisper, the one who slept in the alley behind the mission during David’s year in Portugal, his first exposure to grace withdrawn. Saudade—the presence of absence. How does one cross that space, that wound where the child was, but is no more? How does one navigate the saudade?
Amy watches her mother, who crouches over her with a soft sponge and a dishpan of warm soapy water. Kate wipes down Amy’s leg, gently pads it with a soft towel, and closes her eyes. Her lips move silently, a prayer whispered into herself, as if God is hiding somewhere beneath her skin. She opens her eyes, picks up the sponge and squeezes, letting the water gently tumble back into the dishpan.
She washes Amy’s other leg, and the glass encasing her daughter is gone, because her hands and the sponge make small waves in Amy’s skin, yet it seems not to hurt at all. Amy has lifted her arm and, instead of watching her mother, who is praying again, she points at the shadowed ceiling. Even now, in the presence of this baptism that he has never noticed before, all David can discern is that he doesn’t see.
He carefully eases his cracked and brittle body onto the bed, and rests his face next to Amy’s. He wonders if Kate will wash him as well. He thinks that something in the softness of her washing, or in the water, or in the way she prays without words, could be sufficient. He whispers to Amy, “What do you see?” Amy turns her head slightly, whimpering with the effort, and gazes at him with her chocolate eyes. There is a quiver along her lip. “Do you see something?” he asks. A giggle escapes her throat. She cannot say, so David lies on his back, and looks up to where she is pointing, and waits to see.
Tony Woodlief is a writer and management consultant whose writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, London Times, National Review, and WORLD Magazine, where he is a regular contributor. His short fiction has appeared in Image, and this is his second story for RUMINATE. His spiritual memoir, Somewhere More Holy, will be published by Zondervan in spring 2010. His thoughts on faith, children, and the correct way to distribute pickles on a cheeseburger can be found at his website. He lives in Kansas with his wife and four sons.
Altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Bon
Tyrus Clutter is a painter and printmaker originally from the Midwest. His work has appeared in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout North America and Europe and can be found in several hundred private collections as well as in the Print Collection of the New York Public Library, the collections of the Museum of Biblical Art, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, Spring Arbor University, Calvin College, and Union University. Images of Tyrus’ work have appeared in journals and magazines including The South Carolina Review, Chiron, The Christian Century, and Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture. From 2003-2008 Tyrus served as the director of the international art non-profit CIVA. He continues to produce art, exhibit, teach, and speak on topics of art, art history, and aesthetics around the country.