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the RUMINATE blog

All About Birds

All About Birds

The yellow-throated warbler prefers tall trees. It lives in the canopies of the highest stands of pine trees in swampy areas for the most part. It is a songbird, a warbler, called so because of the trilling melodies it produces. When it rained hard on our property in Tennessee, the spring fed creek bed would fill, the land around it becoming soupy, the slopes turning slippery. Before a storm the birds would go silent. I would sit and watch from my porch as the clouds rolled in from the north and the west.  But after the storm, the first sound that pierced the air no matter what time of day or night was the birdsong.  Read More »

Adventures in Extreme Gardening

Adventures in Extreme Gardening

About a half hour into putting some tender green basil plants into the brand new, waist-high, raised-bed planter on my patio, I felt pretty good. I am notorious for my ability to kill plants despite my best efforts.  This will be my year, I thought to myself. I sifted the cool soil through my fingers, digging out a deep hole in which to place the quivering plants. “Don’t worry,” I said to them, “it’ll be okay.” Though I was not fully convinced of this, I felt some renewed confidence nevertheless. And as I stood at that wood and metal planter, I thought about my new book project, something I’ve been trying to put on paper for a long time – a sort of theology of the body with a metaphorical gardening theme. Read More »

AIR Series: Scott Laumann

AIR Series: Scott Laumann

Update: Those in Northern Colorado are welcome to stop by the Ruminate Barn at 1041 N. Taft Hill Rd., Fort Collins this Saturday, July 12th between noon and 4 pm for a studio tour and the chance to purchase Scott’s artwork and prints at a discounted price. Others are encouraged to view Scott’s work on his website and Etsy Store.

Thank you to all who joined us on June 28th to celebrate Ruminate’s first installment in the ongoing AIR (artist-in-residence) series, wherein we offer our renovated barn to a select number of artists, providing them space and time to create. Read More »

Walking through Tradition in Rijksmuseum

Walking through Tradition in Rijksmuseum

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 While wandering through Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, slowly counting my steps on the tile, I wish it were quiet. Shifting uncomfortably from one hip to another, slowly making my path through the crowd, I rail in my mind against the noise and the people and their flashes. People hurriedly bustle from picture to picture with audio sets and digital cameras; someone yells for their lost child. They hover around Rembrandt’s “Night Watch,” not because of some emotional connection but because a travel book said it was a “masterpiece.” Read More »

Four Lemon Slices

Four Lemon Slices

What words or harder gift
does the light require of me
carving from the dark
this difficult tree?

What place or farther peace
do I almost see
emerging from the night
and heart of me?

Hard Night,” Christian Wiman

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I moved from Texas to Seattle in December, and I only wanted to eat citrus. I wanted bright, sharp lemons to cut through the drizzle of winter. I found a painting by Lee Price called Read More »

REVIEW: Almanac No. 1 by Giants & Pilgrims

REVIEW: Almanac No. 1 by Giants & Pilgrims

There are echoes all around us. Some we hear and some we can’t . They are spoken in conversation and silent prayer. Sometimes, it seems they hit a wall and fall to the ground. Sometimes they get legs. We stand where we’re grounded for a time or a season, anchored. The echoes passing above and by and possibly through us. Most of these echoes are not ours, but somehow we’re privy to the creation of words sent out into the universe by others. Like catching sight of some astral thing propelling through the sky, looking around to see if anyone else saw it. We hear it with our silent ears. Read More »