Don’t Kill the Rough Draft

“Don’t kill the rough draft” was the heading of an assignment in poetry workshop today. Everyone around the table was baffled at first but as our instructor began to explain, knowing smiles grew. She said most poets have trouble with the creative process being blocked at one of two points--either being intimidated by the blank page or limiting their exploration of an idea. Self-critical editing in the early stages of writing can stop the flow of images, rhythms and depth excursions that are the purpose of all rough drafts. I think her observation is right on target in more arenas than creative writing. How many times have you tried to express a vision or a desire, either to yourself or t

Howard Thurman 1899 - 1981

Howard Thurman 1899 – 1981 It may seem strange to read a blog in the Celtic Way series and find Howard Thurman as our subject. How does that work? What! You never saw Howard playing the bagpipes in the St. Patrick’s Day parade? No…you did not. However, after reading some of his stuff and watching a couple of videos about him I got to thinking about how much we have in common with so many people who would never consider themselves “Celtic”. What DOES it mean to follow Jesus as Celtic Christians today?” This is a question I hope we wrestle with over and over again. When we do it will expand the horizons of our identity, our “family”, and our mission in this life. Our calling at Celtic Way is t


Recently, I noticed a license plate in the parking lot of Target. IM LVD Got it? What do you think they’re trying to communicate? I’m a bit embarrassed to admit to you that my first instinct was “I’m Livid.” It took a few minutes for me to get to “I’m Loved.” And, after realizing my potential mistake, my first thought was “sheesh, maybe I need to go back to church.” There is much to be livid about in the world around us. Poverty, violence, the increasing divide between political ideologies, and leaders who make decisions based on their own self-interests. “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention,” many activists are fond of repeating. And I agree, for so many reasons. I really do. B

Thin Places

I’m reminded a lot lately that life, in this time and place, with our loved ones is limited. When someone we love passes I feel their Spirit stays with us in the memories we replay, again and again, in our minds. We feel their presence in ordinary moments of our days and the love we shared lasts forever within our hearts. When they are snatched away in the blink of an eye, it just doesn’t seem fair! I’m compelled to stop and take notice because in a just a short time I’ve witnessed a wife lose her husband within a few days of taking ill, a mother lose her 22-year-old daughter overnight without warning, a friend lose their partner to a sudden heart attack, a family lose their patriarch to the

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