Life holds mystery for us yet

Life holds mystery for us yet

By Rev. Anna Blaedel The Machine by Rainer Maria Rilke The Machine endangers all we have made. We allow it to rule instead of obey. To build the house, cut the stone sharp and fast: the carver’s hand takes too long to feel its way. The Machine never hesitates, or we might escape and its factories subside into silence. It thinks it’s alive and does everything better. With equal resolve it creates and destroys. But life holds mystery for us yet. In a hundred places we can still sense the source: a play of pure powers that--when you feel it--brings you to your knees. There are yet words that...

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Improvisation of Divine Creativity

Improvisation of Divine Creativity

By Donnecia Brown God of the meantime, draw us near in the currency of now. Gift us the sweetness of ease as we remember that nothing will be the same and yet all moments exist within you. Divinity of the becoming, grant us the staying power that we might remain in our bodies. Meet us at the gathering of childlike curiosities. May the sacred missions embedded within collective storytelling hold us in truth as the systems that intrude our memories of being are disarmed. My maternal grandmother stood on the front porch, smiling and waving. “I am creative,” she joyfully affirmed. “That pie just...

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Nothing is ok, but stars are still being born

Nothing is ok, but stars are still being born

On September 10, 1935, lesbian poet Mary Oliver was born. Exactly one year later, my friend Larry Sonner entered the world. On September 10, 2019, my precious nephew Oliver took his first breath. A poet I never met, now dead, whose tender wisdom breaks open my heart and connects me with life, who teaches that both poetry and the beauty of the world can save us. A tender man, whose deep friendship forever changed my life, who died last year from covid and whose gentle voice still finds me when I’m sitting quietly on my porch, listening to birdsong, sipping coffee. A fierce and fantastic...

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Trusting these patterns to echo

Trusting these patterns to echo

By Elle Dowd I spend a lot of time dwelling in my hopes for the world-as-it-could-be. My thoughts are full of poetic overtures and grand romantic gestures - not for the sake of a lover (in the traditional sense), but for all of humanity. I am hungry to create, to build, to connect. I think a lot of us are. I see the future in splendid, sweeping strokes. I’m a dreamer. Sometimes my thoughts zoom out so far that I get lost floating around in the universe of my own imagination. And the longing I feel to cultivate all of these visions into something useful and fruitful drives me to meet and love...

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We are never starting from scratch

We are never starting from scratch

A few nights ago I lay awake in the dark for hours, feeling the soft rhythm of my beloved’s deep sleep breathing and the sonorous, low rumbles of a slow moving thunderstorm. Thunder is the audible, sense-able contraction of pressure produced by lightning--the still present aftermath of extreme pressures, rapid explosions. Our atmosphere, expanding and contracting in shock waves, at a pace that can take our breath away. The air we breathe, bursting into noise, echoing in every direction. In Iowa, it has stormed every day this week. Everywhere, there are so many storms upon us, and brewing....

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Seeking a Savior for the End of the World

Seeking a Savior for the End of the World

By Olivia Kamil Smarr I love apocalyptic films and literature. I am intrigued by the different ways that “The End” is depicted, and how people react to it. It is in those moments that you see humanity’s true nature: the rage, the fear, and what happens when we finally realize that we are absolutely not in control. We see human emotion in its rawest form. Recently I watched a tragically moving film called Melancholia. In the movie, a “rogue planet” is on course to collide with Earth, and the characters cope in different ways. One character, Justine, lives with severe depression, but in the...

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