Rocked Back on Our Heels in Awe by Beth Bartlett

I wanted to know . . . why the most ordinary scrap of meadow

can rock us back on our heels in awe.[i]

– Robin Wall Kimmerer

Along the roadside, broad swaths of Queen Anne’s lace and chicory grace the landscape as far as I can see.  They take my breath away with their exquisite beauty. The delicate white petals of the Queen Anne’s lace paired with extraordinary blue of the chicory evoke not only awe, but tenderness, gratitude, and memories of my mother pointing out these favorite flowers every year as they came into their full flowering in the heart of summer in northern Michigan. How she loved the blue and white, made even more beautiful by their contrast with each other.

In a recent FAR post, Sara quoted Janet quoting Teresa of Avila: “If we learn to love the earth, we will find labyrinths, gardens, fountains and precious jewels! A whole new world will open itself to us. We will discover what it means to be truly alive.” My mother opened that world to us, teaching us to love and appreciate each wildflower as it came into its season. She taught us to love them as friends who came to live among us at different times of year, each with its special gifts. 

Continue reading “Rocked Back on Our Heels in Awe by Beth Bartlett”

Class: What I Did with My One Wild Life by Marie Cartier

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

            -Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”

What did I do, the famous poet asks? Well, I survived, first of all, because that’s first.

Then, I got to ask the question and give an answer.

Then, I wanted to do so much– be a famous poet, too. But, really, so, few get to be that.

And after all, I needed money, so I was a waitress–breakfast, dinner, cocktails, diner, a short order cook, fry cook, prep cook, a janitor, a secretary, a saleswoman…and all that time I was a student. I did theater and one woman shows, and poetry slams and plays and I went to school and got degrees like other people get winter coats—just in case.

Continue reading “Class: What I Did with My One Wild Life by Marie Cartier”

This is Why I Don’t Pray by Erin Lane

Like most Americans, I hold the overblown belief that a book about my life would be worth reading.  And, like most Americans, I have had the gumption to title it before I’ve even lifted a finger. It’s called “Should I Be Praying Now?”

Erin LaneAs if you’re surprised, it has an obnoxious subtitle that helps marketers at Barnes & Noble know whether to put it on the Christian living shelf with the likes of Beth Moore or drop it behind the David Sedaris memoir with the naked barbie on the cover. It will read, “Moments of indecision during mealtime, bedtime, teeth-brushing, love-making, test-taking, baptisms, funerals, and the opening few minutes of small group.” It’ll be like Anne Lamott’s “doesn’t that make you feel better about  your own spiritual life” kind of writing but more pedestrian. Continue reading “This is Why I Don’t Pray by Erin Lane”

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