Tag: meditation


breaking through: the sacredness of words

27th March

The preparation is done, the centering of mind and heart by prayer, Bible study, or walking through nature and listening.

I sit down at my brown wooden desk in a dark room. The desk lamp lights only the paper. Everything else is back in the shadows. When I begin to write, my hand moves into the light.

The work of our hands is part of creation, because God’s work continues to be done in the world through human hands. Writers put words together and create sentences and stories, bringing the unspoken into the light and giving it form.

In the shadows I wait, listening until I see an image, hear an echo, or feel a presence. Then I wait for words to come that will root this into my time and place.

As words come, I write them down. When they stop, I set … Read More »



writing my way in

13th March

Recently I was asked to visit a senior English class at the school where I teach World Religions.  I was excited to be entering into conversation with students not just as their familiar teacher but as  a ‘real poet.’  But as I was telling students about the writing life, when I was singing the usual song about how hard it is to write, and how I have to drag myself to do it sometimes, a student I knew quite well looked at me half in annoyance and half in genuine curiosity.  He asked, “Then why do you do it?”

My brain sputtered.  No one had asked me that, that directly, in a long time.  I could have gotten dramatic and said because I have no other choice!  It must come from my soul or surely I will perish! Instead I said … Read More »



where i find myself: seasons

17th February

My previous post launched my ongoing series about faith, writing, and what I keep calling (perhaps not very poetically, ironically enough) “the language of place”—specifically, my place, my native state, my home. California.

Well, I realized I might not have quite as good of a hold on my own idea as one would hope when, after I finished “explaining” my topic to someone recently, he said, “So it’s about slang?”

Nah, dude. Not exactly.

But OK then, what is it about? The truth is, not completely knowing is part of why I write. The act of writing is an act of exploration, as is (in my experience) the act of having faith. Not to mention the act of living day to day on the shaky ground and in the smog-laced atmosphere of the Golden State.

 

***

 

Commenting on my last post, in which I … Read More »



tracking the walking poets

18th November

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance—
and changes us, even if we do not reach it…

—Rilke, “A Walk”

 

 I cannot be the only child who was first exposed to “devotional poetry” through the ever-famous work “Footprints in the Sand”. I saw it mostly on the walls of friends or neighbors—in embroidered prints with sand and water and sky sewn in around the verses to set the scene of a dreamed of beach.

While I was never as enamored of it as everyone else seemed to be, I did accept its sentiment of spiritual comfort, then. The allegory of a walk made sense to a child raised on Bible stories and fairy tales of adventurous wanderings and who had walked barefoot by the water on many summer holidays. And there … Read More »



when we were on fire: a review

16th October

{ addie zierman, friend of ANTLER and memoirist, releases her book “when we were on fire” this week! here’s a brief review by micha boyett. if you like what you see here, go ahead and let the world know. then head over to addie’s synchroblog and tell your own story! order the book here… }

 

Addie Zierman’s memoir begins in front of her high school, in tenth grade. Her mom drops her off at the flagpole for “See You At the Pole,” a phenomenon experienced by many of us who grew up evangelical in the nineties. Once a year, Christian teenagers were challenged to meet at the flagpole before school, pray for their fellow classmates, and risk their high school status for the sake of Christ.

Addie approaches the empty flagpole, her violin case dangling in her hand, and stands before it … Read More »



the gospel according to #yolo

30th August

If you have been exposed to adolescents at all in the past year and half, then you are sure to be familiar with the popular twitter hashtag: #YOLO. For those who are unfamiliar with the acronym, it means “You Only Live Once” and has become the “Carpe Diem” anthem for the current generation.

#YOLO soared to popularity in late 2011 with the release of the rapper Drake’s song “The Motto” which boasts the lyrics, “You only live once / that’s the motto…YOLO.” Teens started using the hashtag on twitter and other social media sites not to encourage one another to “live life to the fullest” in an old-school Carpe Diem sense, but rather to justify impulsive decisions. For example, you might see this on your twitter feed: “Haha I got soooo wasted last night. Oh well #YOLO.” Or this: “Man I … Read More »



horror & the holy, part 2

23rd July

In my last article, we began discussing the engagement of Christian art with the horror genre. Horror, I argued, fundamentally functions by a theme of “transgression” which can be employed for faith-minded purposes – not only does horror attack that which is lovely, but it also affirms that there is something lovely to be attacked in the first place.

However, the purpose of Christian living is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever” – a horror story may affirm His law, but how can it affirm the Creator Himself?

This moves us towards the relationship between the holy and the obscene. Most horror stories clearly get their momentum from the latter, but horror can also serve to make us mindful of the sacred. In The Problem of Pain (1940), C. S. Lewis sets up a fascinating striation of just how humans experience the … Read More »



desiring the kingdom: the musical

26th June

{ in this playful meditation, heather goodman explores liturgy, love, parenting, and purpose—grappling to make sense of the rhythms of a life lived in faith. }

 

James K.A. Smith wrote his book, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship Worldview, and Cultural Formation, for fellow professors, students, and, upon further reflection, for pastors. I am none of the above in the traditional sense.

I read this book as a member of a church plant considering the shape of our worship and discipleship, but I found myself conversing with this book more as a mother and an artist.

Smith argues, in essence, that we need to move beyond knowledge to wisdom and that we do so primarily through worship. In short, this book considers how liturgy—meaning how we worship—forms “a certain kind of people whose hearts and passions and desires are aimed at the kingdom of God” … Read More »



A Reflection on Berry

16th May

I hadn’t read Boethius or Petrarch in 1967. If I had, I may not have been so taken, when one late spring afternoon, I read Wendell Berry’s two-sentence poem “To Think of the Life of a Man.” I read it standing alongside the shelf of literary journals in the Johns Hopkins bookstore. I had come to be there by a circuitous route. I had dropped out of college, been rejected by the draft, returned to college, married and with my wife risked all we had to attend the Hopkins Writing Seminars on the chance that I might become a poet and novelist. Each morning my wife went to her job and I went to my desk. Afternoons I went to the library or the bookstore where I read but rarely bought. In nearby Washington, the first protests against the Vietnam … Read More »



Harrod & Funck

Posted by nicholas in creativity, memior/cnf, rumination, theology. 1 Comment

9th May

The now disbanded songwriting duo Harrod & Funck played in a now defunct coffee shop called The One Way Café in Morgantown, West Virginia.

These days I would avoid an establishment called the One Way Café, preferring the Everyway Café or Leave My Theology Out of It And Just Make Me Some Damn Coffee Café.

I’d heard of Harrod & Funck from my friend Jessie, who’d heard about them from her sister, Michaelanne. Jessie also turned me on to Radiohead. She got me to read The Brothers K and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Jessie and I lived with two other girls in an old, carved-up house on Willey Street. Yellow-orange carpet covered the wall by the stairs, as though it had crossed the floor with such gusto that it just couldn’t stop.

It was 1997, the year that Joshua Harris published his crazy popular … Read More »




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