Music to Reorder the World: A Song of Thanksgiving

Music to Reorder the World: A Song of Thanksgiving

by Guest Blogger November 21, 2017

For Beethoven, the wisdom of his final years is gained only after intense suffering...In this luminous movement, the mystical stasis of the chorale, sharply contrasted by the fast section, eventually gives way to an intense climax. While this reminds us of his struggle, the ethereal ending of the movement tells us that Beethoven is already looking past the pain.

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Prodigal by E. VyVy Trinh

Prodigal by E. VyVy Trinh

by Ruminate Magazine November 20, 2017 1 Comment

We almost never missed a Sunday mass. Still, by the time I was in high school, Jesus couldn’t compete for my attention, which had been stolen by Harry Potter, a pretty girl at school with frazzled black curls, and general fascination with my own wild interiority. 

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Talking About Love

Talking About Love

by Sophfronia Scott November 16, 2017 1 Comment

When the worst has happened, when your life seems irretrievably shattered and nothing makes sense, then here’s what you can do: CHOOSE. You can choose love. You can choose to see love at work in your life. You can choose to act out of that love. You can choose to have love sustain you.

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Elizabeth Asks by Maggie Blake Bailey

Elizabeth Asks by Maggie Blake Bailey

by Ruminate Magazine November 16, 2017 4 Comments

Maggie Blake Bailey's exquisite poem "Elizabeth Asks" was selected by finalist judge Shane McCrae for first place in Ruminate's 2017 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and appears, along with all of the finalist poems, in Issue No. 45: Unfinished.

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Why Use Meditation and Mindfulness When You're Writing Important Academic Work?

Why Use Meditation and Mindfulness When You're Writing Important Academic Work?

by Guest Blogger November 14, 2017

As you wrestle with your Major Work, do you crave less anxiety, more confidence, better work flow, even real answers to all those knotty quandaries? In my academic coaching practice, I’ve found that many dissertation/thesis candidates “use” the spiritual to help them through the purgatory of academic writing. And I encourage them, primarily in two ways, meditation and mindfulness.

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Road Trip

Road Trip

by Guest Blogger November 09, 2017 4 Comments

We still scour passing trucks for license plates, aiming to spot all 50 states and some of the provinces before arriving in the mountains. We still read aloud from terrible joke books to pass the time. But I can’t help the feeling that the riddles and Twenty Questions are barely able to compete with Clash of Clans. Boredom is much harder to justify, “just look out the window,” a tougher sell.

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Coming Together: On Neighbors, Fences, and Moments

Coming Together: On Neighbors, Fences, and Moments

by Judith Dupree November 07, 2017 3 Comments

Who, existentially, is my neighbor, and what does it imply, or not, in my larger life beyond my front porch? Do I owe something more than I have given to this unfathomable, unreasonable world? Do I gain something more than I have wanted, or ever missed?

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Given

Given

by Guest Blogger November 02, 2017 1 Comment

...truth be told, this field offers nothing worth my time, has no economic value, is not going to end anyone’s suffering, is not going to bring down a tyrant, and I would be better off focusing on the efficiency of my day, the tasks, that which I can control in this little world of mine...

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Don’t Skip Ahead: The Reward of a Satisfying Ending

Don’t Skip Ahead: The Reward of a Satisfying Ending

by Gyasi Byng October 31, 2017 2 Comments

They were self-contained, well-wrapped packages gifted to a reader like myself. They didn’t let me see the mess of their writing: the ideas that never made it out of their notes, the omitted paragraphs, the anxiety-inducing feedback, the days spent writing alone, the cups and cups of coffee, the third and fourth revisions, the missed dinners with friends, and the feelings of failure.

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A Gathering of Larks

A Gathering of Larks

by Guest Blogger October 26, 2017

Contemplative and amusing, Abigail Carroll’s A Gathering of Larks is an invitation to listen and to take delight in what one hears. It is an invitation to birdsong, to jokes and performances, to rustling leaves, and to one’s own voice asking questions into the world. But most of all, it is an invitation to friendship of a new kind, one unlimited by temporal proximity.

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On Finding the Birds

On Finding the Birds

by Jeremy B Jones October 24, 2017 3 Comments

Beyond my grandma’s living room, I talked to the birds, often to birds unseen. Some calls were easier to imitate than others. The bobwhite sang back most consistently, once I finally managed a passable whistle and could parrot its low opening note that quickly slides upward. In hayfields and from meadowed hills, I called out—the low bob, the high white—and it called back.

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At Risk

At Risk

by Guest Blogger October 19, 2017 1 Comment

I start over, trying different tricks, until I can prop each bloom in a semi-erect position. How ridiculous. I know it will be useless. I am perfectly conscious of setting up a sad masquerade. What is this pathetic comedy for? My own sake, I guess. These sunflowers are in agony, maybe already dead, but I have to pretend I’m doing the impossible to rescue them. I’m doing it, no matter the cost.

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Writing from the World's Weight

Writing from the World's Weight

by Aaron Brown October 17, 2017 2 Comments

That day we explored this passage in Brothers Karamazov, I saw in my professor a humbling acknowledgment—that there are things which belief fails to fully reconcile. That something like suffering and the weight we feel because of it seem, at times, incompatible with the love and reconciliation we so desperately seek in our horizontal and vertical lives.

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Urban Storm

Urban Storm

by Guest Blogger October 10, 2017

The radar confirms what I sense. An amorphous green mass, outlined with yellow and red, tilts from the well of Texas to the roof of Michigan. I wait for it—the sky like a pressure cooker, eager and dangerous with its current of heat and force.

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Editors Ruminate: On the Poetry of Issue 44, Small

Editors Ruminate: On the Poetry of Issue 44, Small

by Kristin George Bagdanov October 03, 2017 2 Comments

Smallness can be the glitch in the system, the wrench in the machine. It can also be a line of poetry that reconfigures how we see the world. An image that unlocks something new. The poems in this issue explore the many implications and iterations of small...

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Traveling with Trauma: How I Never Saw the Night Sky

Traveling with Trauma: How I Never Saw the Night Sky

by Guest Blogger September 26, 2017 1 Comment

The founder of the orphanage, the Home of Hope, asked the girls what they wanted me to teach them, and one of them said, “To speak in English and to laugh in English.” To laugh in English. If that meant lightheartedness, humility of language, and levity, I couldn’t even remember for myself, let alone teach anyone how. 

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Discovering Wilderness in the City

Discovering Wilderness in the City

by Angela Doll Carlson September 19, 2017

I make it a point on this walk to find nature, identify and tag it silently, like an urban anthropologist. It feels like progress. It feels, perhaps, like a down payment on the benefits I’d get from a day in the woods, a week in the mountains, or a night beside the ocean. It’s not the woods, but maybe it’s close enough, I think.

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On Failure

On Failure

by Guest Blogger September 12, 2017 17 Comments

I’m pretty sure there are some of us whose lives don’t work that way ─ people for whom failure seems less a painful moment on a journey and more the destination itself, or sometimes, for me, like the place I’ve been living all my life, wandering in loose circles with my eyes squeezed shut so I can imagine I’m somewhere, anywhere else.

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Suffering: Whispers in the Noise

Suffering: Whispers in the Noise

by Renee Long September 07, 2017 1 Comment

I’m praying for the hurting, yes. I’m praying for the recovery and grace and light to flood where water and fire and pain and evil have raged. But I’m also praying to use my body and my voice better, for my feet to carry me where I can help.

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“What’s Lasting”: Soul-Shaping Poems

“What’s Lasting”: Soul-Shaping Poems

by Guest Blogger September 05, 2017

Mark Burrows has curated a collection of poems that calls us back not only to stillness and to deep looking, but also to the place where we will be opened to a new abundance. In many ways, this endeavor lets us reconnect to our spiritual nature and, importantly, quenches our profound longing for what’s lasting. 

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Review of Light When It Comes By Chris Anderson

Review of Light When It Comes By Chris Anderson

by Guest Blogger August 29, 2017 1 Comment

That very quality of tenderness—and honesty, and sincerity, and authenticity—is what marks Light When It Comes. The book is arranged in ten short chapters which themselves are broken into what can only be described as pericopes—the kind of fragments of narrative and utterance that make up the scriptures themselves.

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Sinatra in His Kitchen

Sinatra in His Kitchen

by Guest Blogger August 24, 2017

What’s Sinatra doing? Looking glum and holding a sandwich. This photograph struck me as inexplicably sad. However Sinatra may have felt at that moment, whatever he was thinking as he held his sandwich, we will never know.

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A Playlist for the Death of Dreams: Lament as Necessary First Steps

A Playlist for the Death of Dreams: Lament as Necessary First Steps

by Stefani Rossi August 17, 2017 1 Comment

How can we welcome this place called Here—this unyielding stranger that bears no resemblance to the future we had dreamed? What I know to be true is that profound beginnings often have their start in places that appear void, formless, parched, and foreign.

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Review of One Ordinary Sunday:  A Meditation on the Mystery of the Mass, by Paula Huston

Review of One Ordinary Sunday: A Meditation on the Mystery of the Mass, by Paula Huston

by Guest Blogger August 14, 2017

The book is no mere introduction to Catholic worship for outsiders; it is a piece of spiritual autobiography that invites us into the vulnerable moments of reflection, resistance, reawakening, and simple rejoicing that occur on “an ordinary Sunday” in the course of the Mass. 

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