The bottom line, man

AS A POET WHO IS ALSO a pastor, or as a pastor who is also a poet, my vocations can seem complementary. I am involved with someone else’s words, in one way or another, all week.

But, just as often, I feel at the mercy of competing powers, a tension lively, if lonely, in its alternating pressures and torques. At those times, it helps to remember the productive conundrum of Emily Dickinson, especially her words from a late letter: “I work to drive the awe away, yet awe impels the work.”

Nate Klug  |  From “A Protestant Poet’s Theology of Sound

Empathy isn’t just remembering to say That must really be hard, it’s figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can be seen at all. Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see…

Leslie Jamison  |  From “The Empathy Exams
                                                         How weekends are around here.

                                                         How weekends are around here.

When people ask me what I do for work, I answer “I’m a librarian.” For most, that’s enough. A few will make a half-hearted joke about Dewey Decimal Classification. The rest move on to talking about the weather or excusing themselves for another drink.

What I want to tell them is that it took me 30 years to understand how and why I’m wired for puzzles, that I’m not myself if I don’t spend a significant amount of time alone and thinking, that everything library-related I do is—in one way or another—my way of saying, “Look at this: I want you to have this. This means something.”

I wrote an essay about being a librarian-poet. It’s up now at The Volta, along with great writing from librarian-poets Sommer Browning, Trevor Calvert, Lisa A. Forrest, Janice N. Harrington, Jocelyn Saidenberg, Jessica Smith, Dolsy Smith, Stephanie Strickland & Ian Hatcher.
 

I hope you’ll give it a read, hope you enjoy it.

YOU GUYS: It’s my family!
Left to right: Bailey the beagle, Mom, Dad, and Christine.
I love this picture so very much.
fromtheplains:

A few weeks ago, my parents, a beagle, and I had the pleasure of hosting five cyclists on various cross-country routes: one headed to Chicago, two to NYC, and two venturing to Maine.  Luke and David, two of the fellows pedaling east, are taking portraits of each of their hosts along the way.  Check out their website Vagabonds on Bikes for more info about the duo’s trip and lovely photography.
A side note: Host a weary cyclist - they’re great company!

YOU GUYS: It’s my family!

Left to right: Bailey the beagle, Mom, Dad, and Christine.

I love this picture so very much.

fromtheplains:

A few weeks ago, my parents, a beagle, and I had the pleasure of hosting five cyclists on various cross-country routes: one headed to Chicago, two to NYC, and two venturing to Maine.  Luke and David, two of the fellows pedaling east, are taking portraits of each of their hosts along the way.  Check out their website Vagabonds on Bikes for more info about the duo’s trip and lovely photography.

A side note: Host a weary cyclist - they’re great company!

What to do with a day off of work when you live in Southern Wyoming: drive from Laramie, WY to Walden, CO, from Walden to Rocky Mountain National Park, and then make your way to Boulder, CO for French food before driving back to Laramie. 
Though a long day, it was a beautiful one. And Whit Griffin was with me (he drove, too!), which made it doubly awesome. At several junctures along our drive to the top of RMNP—some 12,000+ feet in the air—we talked about how it seemed as though we were on another planet. I mean, look at the height of the snow on top of the Rockies.  
Small pictures from top right to bottom left: land near Woods Landing-Jelm, WY; a windmill in Rand, CO; near the Grand Lake entrance to RMNP; the road to the Alpine Visitor Center at RMNP; and just a few of the peaks within the park. 
And that’s yours truly at the Continental Divide (sandals not pictured).

What to do with a day off of work when you live in Southern Wyoming: drive from Laramie, WY to Walden, CO, from Walden to Rocky Mountain National Park, and then make your way to Boulder, CO for French food before driving back to Laramie.
 

Though a long day, it was a beautiful one. And Whit Griffin was with me (he drove, too!), which made it doubly awesome. At several junctures along our drive to the top of RMNP—some 12,000+ feet in the air—we talked about how it seemed as though we were on another planet. I mean, look at the height of the snow on top of the Rockies. 
 

Small pictures from top right to bottom left: land near Woods Landing-Jelm, WY; a windmill in Rand, CO; near the Grand Lake entrance to RMNP; the road to the Alpine Visitor Center at RMNP; and just a few of the peaks within the park.
 

And that’s yours truly at the Continental Divide (sandals not pictured).