Out of the Wildflowers

Out of the Wildflowers

May 28, 2020

And the wildflowers. The wildflowers pushing against all odds, against this endlessly small room, this seed encasing the pivotal word: might. They come. They are mighty.

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A List of Songbirds

A List of Songbirds

May 23, 2020

Melanie S. Smith's essay "A List of Songbirds" appears in Issue No. 55: Under Pressure

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Woman

Woman

May 21, 2020

I told her she was the perfect mom. This was when she tried to pull the tubes from her arms the gloves from her hands. One of the nurses said, “Oh, she’s a fighter.” 

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Given Light and a Mother Who Was Always Dying in Secret

Given Light and a Mother Who Was Always Dying in Secret

May 14, 2020

No one remembers her mother right or observes the rites to keep her whole. The woman becomes fragments, patches for quilts, and the daughter loses the needle, what North should have drawn from her hand and pinned where she could always find it.

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Issue 55: Under Pressure Readers' Notes

Issue 55: Under Pressure Readers' Notes

May 13, 2020

We are thrilled to share some hand-picked readers' notes from Issue 55: Under Pressure. Be sure to check out our Summer Issue which releases mid June.

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This is the Day

This is the Day

May 07, 2020

All we’ve ever had is this day with its daylily moments—bright, crisp, delectable. Shriveled by the next morning. As my hair grays and my bones grow fragile, life feels more and more like those time-lapse nature films we watched in grade school. As the pandemic arrived, someone sped up the projector. Sunrise, sunset. Moments quick as a hummingbird’s heart.

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Postpartum Balding in the Time of the Pandemic

Postpartum Balding in the Time of the Pandemic

May 05, 2020

Every day I read about the spread of corona, concentric circles that keep edging closer and closer to my world. And the economic ruin it's triggered. Climate change. The election. Meanwhile, a bald patch forms at my temple. I cut my hair into a bob and wear it down every day to cover it. 

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Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Katie Manning

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Katie Manning

May 01, 2020

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Social Distance, Then and Now

Social Distance, Then and Now

April 30, 2020

In those months, months of northern winter when my husband took the car to work and I existed alone with a baby in the American suburbs, the sheer brutality of our way of life rained down on me and showed me that I had not, before, understood.

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The Day You Were Dying

The Day You Were Dying

April 28, 2020

I ate lunch looking out at the struggling town and remembered the day your son and I showed up unannounced on your doorstep and shared our news, and how you invited the nearest relatives to celebrate our engagement with burritos and Pepsi in your formal dining room, our paper-wrapped meal eaten over a crocheted lace tablecloth.

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Feathered Hope

Feathered Hope

April 23, 2020

Are bird songs only a matter of mating propositions and territorial disputes? Or might the Carolina wren tell bawdy jokes? Does the tufted titmouse have political aspirations? Is the mourning dove actually a comedian?

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Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Leslie Pearson

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Leslie Pearson

April 22, 2020

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Atonement

Atonement

April 21, 2020

Finding myself in a seven-year-old world of hurt, I hastily replaced the garbage can’s lid, kicked off my skates, clutched them to my chest, and sprinted through the Pauls’ and Toners’ grassy front yards to the quiet haven of my own room.

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Yellow

Yellow

April 18, 2020

Melissa Reeser Poulin's poem "Yellow" was the winner of our 2016 Janet B. McCabe poetry prize and is featured in Issue 40: Nowhere Near.

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My Year as Beloved

My Year as Beloved

April 16, 2020

I lost another friendship due to the devastating effects of alcoholism, the second friendship I lost to the disease last year. Intellectually, I understand her reasons for abandoning the friendship— she was stuck between choosing her alcoholic lover or a friend. I know deeply what it is like to confuse love with pain, choosing iron shackles of loyalty over goodness and growth for one’s soul.

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Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Allyson Armistead

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Allyson Armistead

April 15, 2020

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Allyson Armistead.

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Pink Balloon

Pink Balloon

April 14, 2020

To my mind, I am looking at a snapshot of myself and my dad at the same age. I remember then thinking how my father, a carpenter by trade, could fix anything, and maybe a decade or so later, how he seemed to break everything. When caring for animals, it’s straightforward: be gentle with them, be firm when necessary but never hurt them.

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Ordinary

Ordinary

April 09, 2020

I, too, crave the ordinary. I desire the familiar comforts of a beautiful home, a healthy family, steady income, and fulfilling work. It’s so easy to shut out noise around me – the evils that haunt me – the challenges that face my world, my country, my neighborhood.

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Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Anne McGrath

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Anne McGrath

April 08, 2020

Ruminate Happenings Spotlight on Anne McGrath.

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Awaiting Further Instruction: A Letter to Virginia Woolf

Awaiting Further Instruction: A Letter to Virginia Woolf

April 07, 2020

Dear Virginia, I’m writing with some wonderful news.  I’ve done it!  I have secured a room of my own: a third floor home office in which resides a perfectly adequate writing desk, yellow flowered armchair ideal for reading, and windows overlooking my backyard.  As per your wise suggestion, it is even possible to lock the door.

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Hazy Skies

Hazy Skies

April 02, 2020

Where I am living now, the seasons have no pivot... Springs are mercurial, senselessly violent in their cold and snow. I experience winter here like a death, wait endlessly for a green that will outgrow my grief.    

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On Transitions

On Transitions

March 31, 2020

To end, I will not offer any more of my own words on this transition—the small one (me leaving Ruminate) or the big one (the pandemic). Instead, I turn to the words of the regular contributors of The Waking. Collectively, their voices tell a story—one of grief, hope, and resurrection.

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Contemplative Consequences from a Decade of Singing

Contemplative Consequences from a Decade of Singing

March 24, 2020

Don't dwell on if the notes you sang were fine-tuned or not, as you can't take the notes back. A lot of plans in life fall flat, but the best that one can do is learn from it and aim to do better the next time.

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How to Be Divorced

How to Be Divorced

March 19, 2020

Your sister who has gone through her own divorce not long ago and still was able to show up and walk alongside the whole time. You look at her struggle, her transformation, her healing. You study it, not wanting to miss anything.

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Letters To You

Letters To You

March 12, 2020

Dear Grandma, One day, I came home from school, and you were just gone. Mom said it was because you missed Grandpa and you missed Korea. I knew better. You left because you were fed up with me, fed up with trying to teach Korean to a granddaughter who kept refusing it.

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The Annunciation

The Annunciation

March 10, 2020

To DeFeo, her Annunciation wasn’t specific to Mary or Christian interpretation. It was a promise to her, in particular, a “realization of all that is good in this existence…and of certain powers creatively.” 

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How to Find Water (For Thieves)

How to Find Water (For Thieves)

March 03, 2020

Krishna is a thief. A good thief. He steals wonderful things—milk and kisses, butter too. Love, actually. That’s why he’s dark—and radiant; he tries to hide his goodness in the night.  

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Priest's Kid

Priest's Kid

February 25, 2020

A poem for lent.

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Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment

Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment

February 20, 2020

I love my thinking mind. I have awesome thoughts; they keep me responsible, help me earn a living, form my sense of identity, entertain me. I’m scared to put them down, even for a short ten minutes.

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MaDear + Gran

MaDear + Gran"Daddy"

February 19, 2020

Letitia Huckaby's visual art appears in Issue No. 54: The Everyday.

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All Saints

All Saints

February 18, 2020

Perhaps, I might be excused for wondering, who in the hell loses their vision at 29? Answer: the same people who die at 34, who leave behind widows, who fight in wars they do not believe in, who waste away in prisons for beliefs deemed inappropriate.

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Psalm for My Earthly Soul

Psalm for My Earthly Soul

February 13, 2020

I will lift you up on eagles wings / And you shall rest with the fawn by the stream, / bathed in the light of the sun, / still and knowing that I am God, / my kingdom shall come / and you shall have your daily bread

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Destiny of Cumin

Destiny of Cumin

February 12, 2020

Jasmine V. Bailey's nonfiction piece "Destiny of Cumin" appears in Issue No. 54: The Everyday.

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The Portrait

The Portrait

February 11, 2020

This portrait was, by contrast, honest. It contained texture and dimension. Beauty informed by design and ineffable grit. Its splendid composition carried a story of what it felt like to live in a female body—and the contradiction and cultural weight that came along with it.

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Extinction Theory

Extinction Theory

February 06, 2020

Alyse Bensel's poem "Extinction Theory" appears in Issue No. 54: The Everyday.

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