I've been a bit MIA around these parts lately. Part of that is due to our month long fast and the other things my fingers found to keep busy. Part of that is just that it's winter and winter, for me, has always been a hibernation time. I think God created the seasons for a reason and he means for us to live into them instead of living into the seasons we make for ourselves. I think part of the reason our world is so tired and hurried and anxious is because we are constantly trying to force unnatural rhythms onto life. We take vacations in the summer and fill our autumns and winters with activities galore, never minding that God designed summer for growth, autumn for harvest, winter for rest, and spring for planting. If we were to truly live into those seasons just as they are, I think we would be less prone to throw around words like "contentment" or "season of life" or "exhausted" as lazily as we do. God meant for winter to slow us down, to slow our production, to sometimes cease our growth, and to let dead things die if they must. And none of that is bad. It's just our perspective that needs to change.
Also, though, I've been sick the past week and it's easy to talk about hibernating when you can't breathe out of your nose or your mouth and when your head feels like it's under twenty feet of water. So there's that. But also, seasons.
I read a lot throughout January and although most of my reading wasn't online, I did read a few pieces I wanted to share with you. They might interest you too:
I cut this one out of our Sunday Times and taped it to our fridge I loved it so much. The Poet of Light by Christian Wiman on Richard Wilbur.
If you've seen Look & See: a portrait of Wendell Berry, then you probably had the same complaint I did: we hardly saw anything of Berry himself! But something I loved about the documentary was the delightful presence of his wife. Here's an article on her that made me want to be a wife like she is.
This was a quiet podcast for a quiet evening, both of which I quite enjoyed. Krista Tippett interviewed John O'Donohue for OnBeing.
Speakings of podcasts, Nate and I worked through this series from Beau Hughes (The Village Church, Denton) on shame. I cannot recommend it more highly.
I hope you took a few minutes to read Rachel Denhollander's words at the conclusion of the Larry Nassar trial. This is a great follow-up interview at Christianity Today with her.
I subscribe to Poetry Foundation's Poem of the Day feed and you might want to as well. Listening to poetry is such a good discipline. Reading it is fine and good too, of course, but poetry is lyrical and best experienced heard.
Also, I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who support Sayable on Patreon and who have downloaded the e-books. I have gotten so many messages from you saying you're being encouraged by the work there. That means so much to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am only 30 away from 200 supporters on Patreon, at which point I'll be starting to coach a small writing group. Details about it will come after that point, but I will say there will be an application process and it will be opened first to Patreon supporters. I will only be able to invite 20 people into the group (which will last between 12-16 weeks, still undecided on that), so if you are at all interested you'll need to begin preparing a 300 word non-fiction writing sample (on anything). There will be a cost for participation in the group, but it won't be astronomical, just to cover my time coaching. I read through my tentative plan to Nate last week and started getting pretty excited about this endeavor. Everything we'll be doing has been part of my process of becoming a better writer, thinker, and receiver of criticism. I hope it helps each of you as well. Again, more details on that after we reach 200. Grateful for each of you.