To Stop and Consider What it Means

To Stop and Consider What it Means

by Guest Blogger May 08, 2018 1 Comment

Someone once told me that when you bite your nails, it means something. It means something bad. That every time you stick your fingers in your mouth, you’re not just enjoying the chewiness of your flesh, the clean peel of the skin, the crisp cut of your nail that clicks down with your teeth. 

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Surprises (Or How I Found Faith Through Music)

Surprises (Or How I Found Faith Through Music)

by Guest Blogger May 03, 2018

A quarter of a century later, now almost the age my mother was when she first led a congregation in song, I found myself poring once more over the music of my childhood, preparing to lead my own congregation in prayer for the first time, during the High Holy days. 

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Interview with Carolyn Mount, Visual Art Editor

Interview with Carolyn Mount, Visual Art Editor

by Guest Blogger May 01, 2018 1 Comment

I need to create, to be creative. Even when work is rejected, even when my work doesn’t reach an audience, even when I don’t even know why I am doing what I am doing, I still have to do it. My best hope is that my work will speak to someone. 

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Stewardship and My Saab

Stewardship and My Saab

by Guest Blogger April 26, 2018 3 Comments

There is a unique feeling I derive from working on my Saab. It isn't necessarily pleasant, nor is it always frustrating, but when my abdomen is cramping from leaning over that engine and my knuckles are sore from tight, sharp places, I can feel my car’s growing pains as it matures in my hands.

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Language of the Heart

Language of the Heart

by Guest Blogger April 24, 2018 2 Comments

As I grew older, the web of my linguistic understanding about my name grew a little thicker and wider. I learned that 語心 (a name my mother had taken care to coin) had to do with understanding the hearts of others—compassion.

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Call & Response

Call & Response

by Guest Blogger April 19, 2018 2 Comments

We never trained him to behave in such a manner; we never rewarded his actions. Rather, Eli implicitly understood that the arrival of an infant in our house indicated some sort of fundamental change.

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Editors Ruminate: On the Poetry of Issue 46, A Way Through

Editors Ruminate: On the Poetry of Issue 46, A Way Through

by Kristin George Bagdanov April 17, 2018 3 Comments

The theme for this issue is strategically reserved. It does not reveal the way through or even promise that one exists. Nor does it advise how one should get through a day, a life, or even a poem.

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The Power of a Well-Timed Word

The Power of a Well-Timed Word

by Stefani Rossi April 12, 2018 4 Comments

I make no pretense that this is an easy endeavor. All expressions of love are risks. There is no promise of reciprocity. To genuinely give means offering words without trying to elicit or manipulate a response.

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A Year of No Buying: A First Quarter Report

A Year of No Buying: A First Quarter Report

by Susannah Pratt April 10, 2018 4 Comments

...I want to suggest that the privileged problem of material accumulation is nonetheless still a problem. As Patchett observes in her essay, there is a reason that all major world religions instruct their followers to detach from material things as they seek the divine. 

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Work as Prayer/Prayer as Work

Work as Prayer/Prayer as Work

by Ruminate Magazine April 05, 2018

Carolyn Mount writes: "They live under the kitchen sink or in the basement amongst the paint and shoe polish. Once worn with pride, or used to clean or cover our tender bodies, these rags reveal the strain of routine and labour..."

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The First of April

The First of April

by Guest Blogger April 04, 2018

This is the season of excess: of mud and vast fields, of chattering birds clinging to trees like black leaves. In a few weeks frogs will sing so loudly you will hear them two miles away. Weeds and flowers and grasses will bolt upward, charged by the lengthening light.

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Isaac

Isaac

by Ruminate Magazine April 03, 2018

The lord buckled my mother's knees, made his debutas a meiotic shrugbracketing silver, budding retina. The lord is always surprising women with babies that are meant to die.

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The Stone Nose

The Stone Nose

by Ruminate Magazine April 02, 2018 3 Comments

WHILE WALKING IN A THIN SCATTER of woods the other day, I found a stone nose in the dirt. I would stop to admire this most remarkable sentence, which surely never appeared in the world before, but there I was with a stone nose at my feet; also a phrase that cannot have graced the world all that much, even after millions of statues and billions of feet over the years.

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The Shape of Grief

The Shape of Grief

by Sophfronia Scott March 29, 2018 4 Comments

In the minutes after I learned of Katy’s death, the cold wrapped around my insides so I was shivering even in an overheated room. In the ensuing days I would have to take long showers and sit in hot baths. This sensation of grief is not unfamiliar.

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My Journey with the Bible

My Journey with the Bible

by Guest Blogger March 27, 2018 1 Comment

When I was 15, my brother started to study to become a priest. I knew this meant he had a Bible in his bedroom. So, one quiet afternoon, I waited until he had gone. I snuck into his room, carefully removed his Bible from his bookshelf, and cozied up to it on his bed.

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On Winning the Janet McCabe Poetry Prize

On Winning the Janet McCabe Poetry Prize

by Guest Blogger March 24, 2018 2 Comments

Here is the thing. We all like to win. Winning is awesome. That said, I have found, in adulthood, the high of “winning” doesn’t last very long. Part of it is that writing is a strange love, and once we achieve one goal, we immediately create a new one. 

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Community

Community

by Guest Blogger March 23, 2018 1 Comment

Sometimes, after I have touched my fingers to theirs, a person will offer me more. They offer me their smile, or their name, or their blessing. Old women offer me their cheeks to press against mine. Children offer me their scant phrases of English...

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Seeds of Tomorrow

Seeds of Tomorrow

by Judith Dupree March 15, 2018 6 Comments

The earth, the whole of it, is our garden. Our cross-thatched Eden, a checkerboard of beauty and clutter and devastation. The fertile fields we work and play upon—and litter with our stash of trash and ravish with our wars. Our squash and our squashing.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Meditation

What We Talk About When We Talk About Meditation

by Guest Blogger March 13, 2018 3 Comments

The practice of meditation is a practice of learning not to turn away from the painful, rather to turn toward it with compassion for the pain as well as for yourself. Meditation, like breathing, makes everything else possible. 

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I don’t like writing about writing, but this is overdue

I don’t like writing about writing, but this is overdue

by Guest Blogger March 08, 2018 6 Comments

I think belief is planted below the level of language, so that the words, when they are timely, are like water and sun, and finally the belief flourishes into something I can see and touch and name. Something like, It’s okay if this doesn’t work.

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Grammar Lesson

Grammar Lesson

by Guest Blogger March 06, 2018

The gaps between congregants gave glimpses of ushers with gold plates of crackers and juice. With a sudden rapt interest in church, I tracked their row-by-row progress. When our turn came, Mom passed the plates over my head, taking a double portion from each one.

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Ruminate Roundup: Poetry

Ruminate Roundup: Poetry

by Kristin George Bagdanov March 01, 2018

Ruminate's recent poetry contributors have been busy writing books, and we are featuring them in this post. Take a look at this Ruminate Roundup of the talented writers whose work you might enjoy!

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The Work the World Doesn't Want

The Work the World Doesn't Want

by Guest Blogger February 26, 2018 1 Comment

The work of the Kingdom rarely, if ever, lines up with the logics of supply and demand. Warren can insist that “meaning matters more than money” but the unspoken assumption of so much Christian vocational thinking is that the holy trinity of divine calling, personal desire, and vocational labor will ultimately include money at the center of it.

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The Place Where Everything is Broken

The Place Where Everything is Broken

by Guest Blogger February 22, 2018 3 Comments

It’s easier to leave the poem behind, label it “failed,” and write something completely different. I have come to realize the cowardice of sidestepping revision. The word revision means to “see again” and my vocation as a writer is wrapped up in this process. 

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Fluorescent by Jessica Yuan

Fluorescent by Jessica Yuan

by Ruminate Magazine February 21, 2018 1 Comment

Jessica Yuan's poem "Fluorescent" appears in Issue No. 46: A Way Through.  It took years to arrive and your eyes  became accustomed to light at all hours,

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Researchers Find the Birth of Civilization in a Nutshell

Researchers Find the Birth of Civilization in a Nutshell

by Guest Blogger February 20, 2018

In Orion, ionized clouds larger than cities and planets billow into space. Stars swarm and explode in a glorious million-year dance. The scientists and reporters say all of life’s ingredients are there. Before I knew of science, my eyes taught me the ways of the cosmos. I could look up at the night and feel at home. 

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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Guest Blogger February 15, 2018 3 Comments

At the moment, the assumption to question is that we humans have a right to be on earth and that it will indefinitely support us. When the very ground is taken from beneath our feet, where can we stand? What is left to us, when the familiar forms of our physical existence are taken away? Nothing, perhaps—yet I wonder.

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It Is This by Craig Reinbold

It Is This by Craig Reinbold

by Ruminate Magazine February 14, 2018 13 Comments

I would charge that tree at sixty miles per hour, the following curve rated for thirty-five. Headed home after school, in the after-practice gloam, in the dark after work—to turn, or not to turn? That was the question. It was an option. Something to consider. I suspect most of us don’t think of this as a decision, per se, but it is. Every day, we decide, even if for most of us the answer has become reflex.

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The Blessing and Burden of Knowledge

The Blessing and Burden of Knowledge

by Gyasi Byng February 13, 2018 1 Comment

Do I enjoy having this knowledge about myself? The knowledge that I have anxiety and another bout of depression could be waiting a few months down the road? No, I can’t say that I do....However, knowing that I will eventually have a good day and I will come out of my depression has steadied me.

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What Death Teaches Us About Living

What Death Teaches Us About Living

by Guest Blogger February 08, 2018

While preparing for the eventual loss of loved ones, we might spend time wondering if there are certain things we want to tell them. We might reflect on their roles in our lives, and how life will be after they depart. Being by someone’s deathbed might also lend itself to contemplation, and musings that we may not normally think about at any other time.

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Review of The Divine Magnet

Review of The Divine Magnet

by Guest Blogger February 06, 2018 2 Comments

Niemeyer foregrounds the ways the letters reflect the writer’s intense moral and spiritual concerns. “That these letters … read much like homilies is a key to their power and genius,” he claims, departing without apology from those who find them more manic than ministerial.

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On Masculinity

On Masculinity

by Aaron Brown February 01, 2018 1 Comment

That is what I’m after—a restorative, not restrictive, maleness. This has been my prayer over the last year—long before the headlines of masculine failure flashed across our screens—a simple and direct prayer: Lord, what is in me that is not of you, rid me of it.

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Reading for the Common Good

Reading for the Common Good

by Guest Blogger January 30, 2018

In Reading for the Common Good, Smith explores the role—the necessity— of reading for the betterment of our individual lives, our churches, our neighborhoods, and ultimately the world...In a world pushing us to go go go…Smith invites us to slow down—to slow down and read.

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The Numinous Quality of Portraiture

The Numinous Quality of Portraiture

by Guest Blogger January 25, 2018

There is something at the core of our shared human condition that infuses art. Art outlives people. And that is why it is particularly numinous when an artwork is created in the context of the end of life. It is the human attempt to throw off “oblivion’s blight.” 

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Staying Rooted in an Uprooted World

Staying Rooted in an Uprooted World

by Guest Blogger January 23, 2018

These days are full of acute, concentrated heaviness. We mourn and long, we hope and despair, constantly and all at once. That is, of course, the human condition, but it is exhausting, and it often leaves us feeling listless and unsettled. And so, we have to find rootedness.

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