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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Spiraling into new life

Spiraling into new life

By Rev. Anna Blaedel Lately I have been seeing spirals everywhere. Shells bearing spirals on the beach. Stars spiraling into constellations, spiraling into galaxies in the night sky. Spiral patterns intricately woven into the spider webs glistening anew each morning in the garden. Leaves of collards and chard and kale and lettuce spiraling out from stalks rooted in dirt, reaching toward sky, offering nourishment. I am opening to the wisdom being offered, through spirals. This opening is a process of reclaiming, returning differently. For quite a while, without even quite realizing it, I have...

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Loyalties of attention and noticing differently

Loyalties of attention and noticing differently

(An important and relevant note, brought to our attention after publishing, is this call from the Audobon Society to remove bird feeders due to a currently spreading affliction on birds) The bird-feeder in the yard is my icon of late. It’s tall and mesh and holds a quite significant amount of sunflower seeds. How do such tiny birds go through all of that food so quickly? I keep asking, unsatisfied or at least, unsettled by the answer. A single seed by seed, they pluck them out with the tiniest beaks and carry them away. This is so much of their day. Gently arriving. Meeting the needs of...

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