Issue 33add title

the RUMINATE blog

The Uncomfortable Magic of Lent: Beauty for Ashes

The Uncomfortable Magic of Lent: Beauty for Ashes

February 18th ushered in the Lenten season of 2015, and across the globe Christians joined in solemn liturgy by confessing, “We are dust, and to dust we shall return.”

A full month of the season inhabits a spell of time that, at least in my corner of the world, dances upon the threshold between parched, dark winter and the dawning of spring. These two palpable realities live in tension with one another, as do the realities that we are creatures who embody eternal glory and that we are mortal.

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Defining Place and Space

Defining Place and Space

“Americans have a sense of space, not of place.”

These words by Chinese geographer Yi-Fu Tuan have been bouncing around in my head for the past two months. I am in the process of preparing an art installation based upon this idea, and I’m sorting through a million unresolved ideas. As I consider Tuan’s statement, I reflect on my own life:  Am I one of these Americans? Have I been searching for a “sense of place?” Does it even exist? What do space and place mean, and which has more value?

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A Review of Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

A Review of Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

As long as there are tiny rural towns to pass on long and nearly empty stretches of country highway, the ones that you sometimes wonder about for days after stopping there for gas, and as long as writers like Thomas Maltman are around to tell the stories of these places and the people in them, then regionalism will never die. In his latest novel, Little Wolves, Thomas Maltman appoints himself the scribe, as Steinbeck did with the central California coast, Twain did with Missouri and its river folk, Cather with the Nebraska plains, and Faulkner with the deep South, of an often overlooked corner of America’s massively diverse landscape: Minnesota. Read More »

Storytelling is Like Baking Cupcakes with Toddlers

Storytelling is Like Baking Cupcakes with Toddlers

Last night, my sons helped border cupcake pan pits with heart-print liners. They dragged old wooden chairs to the counter where they lawlessly poured, mixed, tasted, and baked. After the cakes were cooled, the brothers decked them out—dumping on piles of chocolate icing and pouring on copious amounts of heart shaped sprinkles.

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Review of Sand, Smoke, Current, by Robert Vander Lugt

Review of Sand, Smoke, Current, by Robert Vander Lugt

Reviewed by Michael Shoemake

I take things much too seriously, sometimes. (Like most writers, I’m the introspective type.) Read More »

Album Review: My Brightest Diamond, “This is My Hand”

Album Review: My Brightest Diamond, “This is My Hand”

In an interview with the website Wondering Sound, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden says of her album This is My Hand:

I was looking at Shamanism and looking at the unseen world and the whole, ‘musician as John the Baptist character’ who goes out into the world and seeks some kind of revelation and comes back to the tribe and says, ‘This is what I’ve learned, this is what I’ve experienced in the wilderness.’

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