Dear Copyeditor,

Dear Copyeditor,

I am writing you
this poem
the way a gazelle
must grow ever sleeker
and quicker
to escape
the indelicate jaws
of the lion.

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The Sights of Santa Fe

The Sights of Santa Fe

Even just a few days in Santa Fe can leave me speechless…

Partly because I’m parched — my rain-soaked soul, so used to wandering the misty shores of Puget Sound, rebels against the high elevation and incredibly dry climate… But mostly because, in the midst of the desert, the astounding color and diversity of human culture overwhelms me with amazement and gratitude.

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Tending to Your Joy: Pagan Lessons from Pixar’s Inside Out

Tending to Your Joy: Pagan Lessons from Pixar’s Inside Out

Inside Out is a modern-day story of the shamanic journey into the Otherworld, a journey of both self-recovery and self-discovery. Does sadness have a purpose? Is it just a “negative” emotion that helps joy shine more brightly? That’s the question that this movie challenges us to explore, and the answer is more complex than you might expect!

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Art, Entertainment and the Technology of the Sacred

Art, Entertainment and the Technology of the Sacred

In light of recent events and discussions, I wanted to share this essay as a robust defense of the sacred value of art, poetry and satire within both our theological explorations and our political discourse. It is my view that ambivalence itself can be sacred, for it opens us to authentic experiences of others which may be unexpected or challenging, and so we can appreciate this ambivalence and the art forms that express it as powerful and meaningful aspects of our relationship with the numinous, and with each other.

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Daring to Dream: An Imbolc Family Adventure

Daring to Dream: An Imbolc Family Adventure

It all started this past winter solstice when Jeff’s youngest daughter told us that she was going to be a dentist.

Actually, what she said was that she guessed she’d have to be a dentist, because everybody knows you can’t make a living as an artist.

Our heads kind of exploded at that point, so what happened next was a bit of a blur. I vaguely remember sitting her down at the kitchen table and asking her why this sudden about-face — she’d been talking about wanting to be an artist for the last several years which, for a nine-year-old, is almost a lifetime. I remember treading carefully, lest I inadvertently suggest that being a dentist wasn’t perfectly okay, too, if that’s what she really wanted. The world needs good dentists, after all. But what the world doesn’t need is a grumpy, jaded dentist who’s secretly always wanted to be an artist instead. That doesn’t end well for anyone.

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Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods

Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods

When my friend Carl McColman says that language is tricky, and that God is bigger than the limits of the human mind, we might imagine our words are just so many rigged-up rubber bands, paper clips and packing tape with which we are, MacGyver-style, trying to capture a wild and mighty wind.

Yet our words are our own breath given form by our body and its movements, and where else have we drawn that breath but from the winds themselves? Our speaking is a shaping of the wind within us, released back into the wild to work its way into someone else’s body, moving with the ebb and flow of sound waves, pressing in against their eardrums, stirring the tiny hairs of their skin.

To talk about language this way is to break out of the metaphor of objects and containers, and to see words as experiences in themselves.

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