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Still Points: The Quiet Spaces of Wolfgang Laib

By Brenton Good Essay

Let us start from one admitted fact: if prayer, meditation, and contemplation were once taken for granted as central realities in human life everywhere, they are so no longer. They are regarded, even by believers, as somehow marginal and secondary: what counts is getting things done. ————-—Thomas Merton, from Contemplation in a World of Action…

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Pilgrims: Snapshots from an Idaho Family Album

By Robert A. Fink Essay

  New Plymouth   WHAT DROVE SUCH PILGRIMS across the sea of southern Idaho, dry plain, sage and antelope? Doesn’t any place hold God, smooth stones to pillow dreams of angels, one rock fitted upon another, raising the pilgrim’s testament: I have come as far as here? How did the displaced, one by one, know…

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The Yoke of Sympathy

By Mary Kenagy Essay

The Yoke of Sympathy: The Fiction Writer and Her Characters   Although the general tone of your [story] “Kirilka” is well maintained, it is spoiled by the character of the land captain. Keep away from depicting land captains. Nothing is easier than to describe unsympathetic officialdom, and although there are readers who will lap it…

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A Conversation with Scott Russell Sanders

By Carolyn Perry and Wayne Zade Interview

Scott Russell Sanders was born in the South and spent his childhood in Tennessee and Ohio. Originally devoted to the study of science, Sanders turned to writing while at Brown University, graduating with a degree in English in 1967. He went on to earn his PhD in English from Cambridge University in 1971. Sanders has…

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The Burden of Bliss

By Lindsey Crittenden Essay

The following excerpt is from The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray, published this spring by Harmony Books, a division of Random House. © 2007 by Lindsey Crittenden. THE SUN was relentless, unrepentant, glaring through the side window of my little Honda as it lurched through commuter-clotted Friday traffic. It was a…

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Foreknowledge

By Jeanne Murray Walker Poetry

I think he planned it, sort of, from the start; whether he knew they’d choose the fruit or not, he scattered hints around the garden, what to do in case they got themselves kicked out. A shirt of fur around the lamb. The stream converting water into syllables. Bamboo pipes. The caps of mushrooms round…

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Sister Storm

By Jeanne Murray Walker Poetry

Sister storm, hurling your javelins too near our window, don’t you care if in darkness, we splinter like a bright waterfall, if we catch fire from the sparks you send flying from the grindstone of night? You have cracked our sky with lightning; you have made glass pitchers of our bodies and poured our spirits…

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The Stars of Last Resort

By Jeanne Murray Walker Poetry

Imagine someday the splurge drains out of fall. Holding a melon you know a creek of light streams inside its rough burlap ball, but if you cut it open you know stars will fall extinguished in the dark. You know the quarrel of the squeaky porch swing, know the cold that stacks goldfish like knives…

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Erasure

By Robert Cording Poetry

It’s what I need to practice, the lines of my life too neatly drawn around the comfort of being here. It’s why I’m out here again, in the middle of the field just as the day pauses between what is and what was, darkness rising up between the hemlocks and spruces that have brought their…

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