The Story of Ordinary Time

The Story of Ordinary Time

November 27, 2018

Ordinary time is normal time, boring time, unpunctuated-by-excitement time. Consequently, time without narrative. It has no set Scripture. Instead, the Christian is supposed to somehow contemplate all aspects of the mystery of Christ.

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The Quandry for Us All

The Quandry for Us All

November 20, 2018

I often wish I had more time to write. The minutes of my days are too short, and I cannot produce either the quantity or quality I desire, and there is an ultimate end to my time. It needs to be spent well, and that is the quandary for us all.

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greening our golden hour grief: how not to be afraid of the end of the world

greening our golden hour grief: how not to be afraid of the end of the world

November 15, 2018

When I’m feeling optimistic, I wonder what kind of future world we’ll live in, how children could sit around imagining the monsters of eras past and whisper climate change between cupped hands. When I’m feeling pessimistic, I don’t like to wonder about the future.

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The Piano Student

The Piano Student

November 14, 2018

Kira Archibald's short fiction "The Piano Student" appears in Issue No. 49: Mattering.

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For the Faint of Heart

For the Faint of Heart

November 13, 2018

The light that emanates from the heart is not likened to the breath of ripe plums or the fire of life. The heart’s job is steady, caged and bloody. To see the heart’s work, one must hold an elite membership, must be willing to cut and pull back the flesh.

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Wounded Into Words

Wounded Into Words

November 08, 2018

Sugercoating and over-sentimentalizing the world doesn’t help. But neither does wallowing in the world’s sheer darkness. So where does that leave us? How do we write the wound?

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you will dig me from the earth with your bare hands, in order to resurrect me

you will dig me from the earth with your bare hands, in order to resurrect me

November 08, 2018

Paula Harris's poem "you will dig me from the earth with your bare hands, in order to resurrect me" appears in Issue No. 49: Mattering.

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How to Love Your Ugly Feet

How to Love Your Ugly Feet

November 06, 2018

Against your white wood ceiling, your feet and ankles framed in the dark denim, there’s a little beauty. This is strange because your feet are the last thing on your body you’d acknowledge as beautiful....they tell you, We carry you. We will keep carrying you.

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The Art of Living Well

The Art of Living Well

November 01, 2018

Sculpture, found art pieces, pottery, and paintings on various mediums were nestled in every corner of the property from their family home, to a purpose-built workshop, to the vineyard itself. I saw in Annibale a great love for and patronage of the arts.

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Iceland Landscape

Iceland Landscape

October 31, 2018

Aaron McPeake's visual art "Iceland Landscape" appears in Issue No. 49: Mattering.

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Vampire on Dance Floor

Vampire on Dance Floor

October 31, 2018

Jess Turner's Poem "Vampire on Dance Floor" from Issue No. 48: Exposure

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Phantom Tears

Phantom Tears

October 30, 2018

My mother is alive. She’s floating toward me through the membranes of sleep. I don’t know if she is cognizant of this, if mom is in her own spiritual realm peering at me through jaded, tired eyes and desperately wanting to connect, or if it’s my own psychic energy trying to restore some sense of balance, who I am and where I’ve come from.  

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Wine and Miso

Wine and Miso

October 25, 2018

For a moment, both the cashier and I think this will be the end of the exchange, but the woman forges ahead: “My husband just died.” The cashier opens and closes his mouth a few times, like a goldfish, and then says, “I’m so sorry.”

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What We've Been Looking For

What We've Been Looking For

October 18, 2018

Yes, the tethers of our bodies are linked like so many dandelion stems in a springtime wreath. Our tendons and muscles and bones are pieced together with the softer parts we’re made of, a promise of completion if we remember to weigh in the soul and the heart....

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A Year of No Buying: A Third Quarter Report

A Year of No Buying: A Third Quarter Report

October 16, 2018

Today is my son Oliver’s high school orientation. As it happens, he will be attending my alma mater, a giant public high school that’s home to some of my favorite memories. This afternoon is therefore inducing in me a curious mixture of nostalgia and anticipation. 

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Autumn Rush

Autumn Rush

October 11, 2018

As September waltzes into October, nature extends an invitation for all to come outside and join in its pleasant song. And once you begin to notice its melody, fall takes its time to rise to a crescendo.

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foreign, or nyctophobia in twelve parts

foreign, or nyctophobia in twelve parts

October 09, 2018

I am so desperate to explain. I understand you!...It burns my mouth, the shameful logic my parents taught me. I’m Nigerian, not African-American. I am black, but not in that way.

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Love Note to Life: Keep Breathing, Believe it’s Enough

Love Note to Life: Keep Breathing, Believe it’s Enough

October 04, 2018

In just over 3 months, I will become 3 years younger than my father was when he died without warning. The closer I get to that number, I am sobered by how young he was. Even more than that, I am sobered by how much he accomplished during his life, and—comparatively speaking—how much I have not.

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How to Lose a Friend

How to Lose a Friend

October 02, 2018

People lose friends all the time. I wonder if they ever give any thought to how they should. Or did they just look back one day and realize that person was gone and feel a simple sorrow because they never said goodbye?

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Survival as Neighbor-Love

Survival as Neighbor-Love

September 27, 2018

For the last sixteen months I have been occupied with the task of survival. I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar II, and the odds against my continuing to live are steep. Fifty percent of people with my condition will attempt suicide at least once. Fifty percent. That statistic is utterly daunting...

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Editors Ruminate: Exposure

Editors Ruminate: Exposure

September 25, 2018

The poems in this issue are in and of themselves exposures. They bring to light the unsaid, the repressed, the ignored and model how poetry itself is an act of exposure. The “I” unadorned and vulnerable exposes itself to damage, critique, and harm.

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Uncertainty

Uncertainty

September 20, 2018

I hear in the forecasters' voices how they hate, respect, how they cannot help but admire such a powerful, mesmerizing creature. I admire her, too. I'm not a good evacuee.

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Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes

September 18, 2018

A collection tells the story of the collector. A collection is a shoring up against the things that have gone missing. So much goes missing.

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I am Being Written

I am Being Written

September 13, 2018

When I talk with my friends..they often ask with trepidation, “But, are you still writing?” I think they’re really asking, “Are you still you?" Usually, I explain that I don’t have much time for writing now. The monastery is a busy place.

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A Meager Offering for the Heartbroken

A Meager Offering for the Heartbroken

September 11, 2018

When tragedy befalls, when the unthinkable has not only been thought, but has taken place, some of us reach into our store of platitudes casting about for protective incantations. Others dig into our pockets and purses for talismans to keep disaster at bay.

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Tomatoes: Heritage or Hate?

Tomatoes: Heritage or Hate?

September 06, 2018

Like a good Quaker, he set out to practice what he refused to preach, electing to, as Quakers say, let his life speak. He told me that fostering social change was like tending a garden. Plant love and that’s what you’ll harvest.

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Birdsong

Birdsong

September 04, 2018

I wonder how many other layers of reality I’m ignoring. How thin is the little layer of my attention? What are the trees saying? What is the sky saying?....birds seem to be calling me out of the human-words echo chamber entirely.

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Sacred Spaces

Sacred Spaces

August 30, 2018

Uncertainty remains. My womb may or may not be empty. I think of all the women who’ve sat on the toilet over the years, imagining that sacred space inside of them. Hoping one way. Hoping another.

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STORM SHELTERS

STORM SHELTERS

August 29, 2018

Bethany Maile's creative nonfiction "Storm Shelters" appears in Issue No. 48: Exposure.

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Friends for the Journey

Friends for the Journey

August 28, 2018

Luci is part of the legacy that is L’Engle’s body of work. Listening to the women who loved the real-life L’Engle reminisce, reminded me that the work of the artist is not, and cannot be done in isolation. She was a brilliant writer, yes. But she was also a grief-stricken mother, a loving grandmother, a loyal friend.

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Musings from a First-Generation Writer

Musings from a First-Generation Writer

August 23, 2018

“She would have checked out the book like a regular patron,” the narrator explained, “if only she had the proper documentation to get a library card. She cried when she got home, then began to read the book that night.” I didn’t take any more books from the library.

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Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017

Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017

August 22, 2018

Chaun Ballard's poem "Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017" appears in Issue No. 48: Exposure.

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Dreaming in Swiss

Dreaming in Swiss

August 21, 2018

I’ve always found truth in dreams that I sometimes couldn’t find in real life. The life of a dream pulses on its own, as if all it needs to do in order to be is to project itself onto my being. Writing is akin to dreaming while awake. 

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How Ten Days of Silent Meditation Changed My Life

How Ten Days of Silent Meditation Changed My Life

August 16, 2018

Sadness passes, happiness is fleeting, and neither sustain your emotional health. Change is constant, and when I use breathing techniques it's easier to meditate on the idea that pain, sadness, ecstasy, and joy are only moments that also live and die.

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A Year of No Buying: A Second Quarter Report: In the Black

A Year of No Buying: A Second Quarter Report: In the Black

August 14, 2018

In our house, 2018 is A Year of No Buying....I can’t say a bad word about it. And for the most part, my family feels the same. Or I thought they did. But then my husband went and bought a car. A gorgeous black luxury car that is, as he would like me to point out, a hybrid.

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