small things with great love

by Brianna Van Dyke October 30, 2015

Dear friends, It's the last day of our Art Matters campaign, and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you all. First, an excerpt from my editor's note in Issue 34:
"During a recent retreat at the nearby Benedictine Abbey of St. Walburga, I was reflecting and journaling on all the “hats” I wear and how I sometimes feel scattered and fragmented as a result. I also thought about the latest national conversation around women balancing work and family and the supposed myth of “having it all.” I imagined diagramming my body to reflect this feeling of disjointedness: a marriage curled into the small of my back, a daughter on my left shoulder, a son on my right, a little magazine called Ruminate tucked under my chin, a platter of to-do lists balanced atop my head, and a chain of urgency wrapped around my feet. I soon found myself imagining a cloth of despair draped across my chest, a cloth too heavy for breath, for lungs, for air.       Thankfully, I was journeying with a good book that reminded me of Jesus’s words, the words he uttered throughout the Gospels: “Your faith has made you whole.” This simple statement stilled me; no more diagramming my body. So I prayed it over and over, rolling it around my tongue and against my cheek- asking for faith, for wholeness—for myself, my family, my community."
I wrote this editor's note almost 9 months ago. I think this note helped lead me to the realization that Ruminate needed to become more balanced and sustainable, that I need more balance. I think it led us to our current Art Matters campaign to save Ruminate by hiring 3 full-time staff members so that we could say yes to balance, so that we could become sustainable. This wasn't an easy decision. As an introvert who struggles to ask for help, this public promotion and fundraising stuff is really hard for me. I was scared to do this Art Matters campaign. I was scared of failing or finding out that nobody cared. But I knew I needed to try. The amazing thing is that over the past 10 days I've been reminded in bucketfuls--HUGE BUCKETFULS!--that people do care. Every day I've read notes from the Ruminate community that feel like hugs of affirmation. My "empty" bucket is so very full. I'm holding onto these truths: we're not alone, kinship is what matters, and that when we do "small things with great love" (as Mother Theresa said) we are gently nudging one another toward wholeness. Which is a really big deal. Whatever happens, I'm so grateful for Ruminate and this brave and beautiful community that it's shown me. Thank you for walking alongside us. Together, over the past 10 years, we've walked an amazing journey. There are still a few hours left in this short struggle toward new life. If you feel a nudge to back the Art Matters campaign, this is your moment! Donate here! Gratefully, Brianna

Brianna Van Dyke
Brianna Van Dyke


Brianna Van Dyke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruminate. She loves Annie Dillard, the ocean, encouraging others, and barbeques along the Poudre River. Brianna lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their two children on a working CSA farm. She also enjoys leading retreats in the Ruminate Barn and taking retreats, too.

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