“Beside us sit all the loves we’ve lost, by our own devices or those of others. It’s why we sit a space or two apart from one another, the open cushions spelling our SOS to whomever might watch from above. I have arrived here without a single idea what love is.”
“Part of the trouble with real is there’s no authenticity without contact with shit. Think of farming or gardening: No fruit without compost. In many creative endeavors we recognize the authentic practitioners by the marks the work leaves on their bodies. So what’s the stigmata of writing?”
Exploring the intersections of the public and the real in this month’s Ruminate post.
Ruminate is like your grandmother: willing to face embarrassment to display love.
In an issue on pilgrimage, Ruminate shared my piece on visiting the ecumenical monastery Taizé— one of the most formative experiences of my spiritual life. That piece became key in the narrative of Triptych largely because it’s everything my usual spiritual experience is not: tender, emotional, childlike.
While I appreciate Ruminate’s willingness to look unblinkingly at struggle, they are also willing to print the most scandalous words. Words like Jesus, please, and love.
You can read the original Taize piece here.
Release month is here! Join us as we honor the power of story, searching, and creativity. And spread the word– particularly for the release party, Saturday, April 23, 7-9 pm at Art House North. (More details below.)
Save the dates:
Art Between: Magic and Failure in Creative Collaboration
Tuesday, April 5th at 10:20-11:00 am
Bethel University Library, Fireside Lounge
April, Kelsey, and the cover designers, Emily Swanberg and Heidi Kao, present on the magic of collaboration and the place of failure in the creative process followed by a time for Q&A. Refreshments provided.
Festival of Faith and Writing
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Look for us around the Festival of Faith & Writing— certainly wherever Makoto Fujimura, George Saunders, Scott Cairns, Zadie Smith, and Nadia Bolz-Weber happen to be.
We’re collaborating with Ruminate for an off-site event (details to be announced), and Triptych will be available for purchase at the Wipf & Stock table and elsewhere. We’re excited to be part of this gathering of the faith-ful and literary (and to maybe see some tulips).
Thursday, April 21, 10:20-11:00 am
Bethel University Library, Fireside Lounge
April will read from Triptych and take questions. Students and non-students welcome. Refreshments provided.
Saturday, April 23rd, 7-9 pm
Art House North, 793 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102
Music, food and drinks, art-making, and a reading at 7:30. Books will be available for purchase (of course), and all are invited to contemplate, commune and create. Come raise a glass to the written word, the fight for beauty in the world, and the formative power of tenacious questions. Join us– bring a friend; meet some kindred spirits.
Updates and reminders for all events on Twitter (@TriptychMemoir).
“If you know no other prayer this year, know this one: Sunlight in a place you never meant to live. Contents of the safe deposit box stacked on the castoff table, red files in plastic bags, knowing the names of none of your neighbors, the mailbox empty each day—nothing forwarded—because you don’t know how long you’ll stay: the prayer of Where does one go next, anyway?
Walking along the way of suffering with Jesus, Nina Simone, D.H. Lawrence, Karl Barth, C.S. Lewis, Joy Davidman, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the dark day before Easter.
Exchanging intimacies with Degas and considering contemplation in the latest Ruminate post.
Sip or resist? Find out in the latest Ruminate post.
“I am reminded again of all I need, again, to be reminded. The many things I have been told, have heard, have sewn together, have known, and without quite forgetting need to be told, hear, stitch and know again.”
Re-seeing Christmas in the latest Ruminate post.
“Dwell with the images,” he said. He whispered that prophets are poets (and vice versa)– that images have transformative power because elusive language, unlike telling language, refuses to be reduced to a formula.
Getting riled up about the demands of telling in this month’s Ruminate post.
In English, “simple” means both elegant and stupid. This is problematic. It leads us to believe a simple life can be both beautiful and amateur. But we can’t be grounded, modest, fundamental, humble, unconditional, and unthinking. We no longer live in a world where innocent comes unconditional. I doubt we ever have.
The complicated, contemplated life in this month’s Ruminate post.