Just now starting to catch up on all volumes of the Molehill. I’m really behind, I know. But thanks to that sweet Summer Reading Sale in the store, my brother @beloved and I picked up volumes 1-4. He called dibs on V1, so I started on V2 and devoured that in about 2 days, marking up the whole thing with big ol’ underlines and water stains from my tears. It was absolutely beautiful how so many individual stories fit perfectly sandwiched between poems and non-fiction, and somehow each one explained more clearly the one before it. It was like all of you authors wrote each piece with one another with the intention of fitting them together like a puzzle. Knowing that wasn’t how it happened just made it more evident how perfectly the Body of Christ works together when everyone is free to do with Jesus what they love to do. Thank you for all your work piecing these together @pete!
So I could rant and rave forever about each piece, but I’d really like to hear from all you readers what you thought when you read the Molehill Volumes. Also, since this forum is the coolest place on earth, and most Molehill authors and artists are on these forums too, I’d love to hear anything you all want to share about your experience in this process, both the creating and the enjoying of others’ creations.
In the Year of Jubilation (vol 1).
The Jubilations have so lodged in my heart that i have still not discovered a way to speak of them.
I LOVE the molehills (that I have read so far anyway). We have had Vol. 1 for a good while and have completely finished reading it. Can’t say that I have completely finished it, because there are such big thoughts in there that I could reread and ponder on them for a very very long time.
Since we loved the first one so much and there was that summer reading sale we got 2-4 recently. I am halfway through both the second and third at once now and I am enjoying them SO much. It is amazing how each one really fits together so well. I know part of that is because of Pete arranging the order and editing, but I think even more of it is God leading people to complimentary themes so that Pete has something that can be cohesive to work with.
@missmary I agree completely!! You expressed what I wanted to say! That the God does amazing, beautiful, unifying things in those who let Him lead, and thankful that @pete let the book come together the way God wanted it to be! =)
@mrs-hittle Oh, I will have to check that one out then! @beloved is currently reading that volume, but I think I remember him mentioning that one. Maybe he’ll have some input on it!
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Oh @mrs-hittle, In the Year of Jubilation… I have so much to say and yet there don’t exist words to say them… When I began reading it, I was intrigued about the stone, but could not say I completely understood all that it meant. When I finished it, I still could not say that I fully understood everything, but I loved it all the same… It was one of those deep unutterable things that words can only allude to… I don’t even have words…
These little snippets make me snort with laughter nearly every time. I’ll be ugly crying after finishing a good piece and these will bring me back a little sanity. Just enough.
Also, anyone know if Sarah Clarkson is on these forums? Her piece titled “Broken Gifts” meant a lot to me yesterday and I’ve been mulling over it ever since.
@kyra-hinton I was just about to mention those, as well as the comments mixed into author bios, the copyright page, etc. The meat of the molehills is the stories/poems/recipes, but man that seasoning makes it even more tasty!
I’m afraid it’s true, @kyra-hinton. My blood is more than 1/2 PG Tips.
@lanier Mine too.
---Hutchmaster Prime, wielder of great and terrible cheeses
@kyra-hinton, I got the first Molehill at my first Hutchmoot (which was a life-altering experience itself). I was still finishing N.D. Wilson’s Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl on my way home (another life-altering experience), so I didn’t crack it right away. I started it sometime in the next month and really dove deeply into it when I traveled home to my parents’ for Thanksgiving. On the plane ride back to Philly, I read @russramsey‘s essay, “The Last of a Generation.” And I wept. Right there on the airplane. Wept. I went through a baptism of some kind as I read that essay. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I came out new on the other side. The plane landed and I walked to the train and stood on the platform waiting my conveyance and I couldn’t shake it. I still was living in this beautiful new world–better somehow because I’d read that essay. I tweeted to Russ my gratitude for the piece, and there were still tears leaking down my cheeks. My fellow passengers looked at me askance, not sure this amount of emotion was legal on a train platform in Philadelphia. I got home to my apartment and sat my roommate down and read the essay aloud to her. And my voice broke with the joy and beauty of it, and she joined me in my baptism.
I’ve been so fortunate to get to know Russ better since I read that essay. Then he was just one of the presenters I’d heard at the conference. Now he’s my friend. And he’s written more–so much more–and I’ve read it all and I’ve had the joy of sitting under his teaching and preaching. But I’m not certain Russ will ever be able to out-do that first essay in my estimation, though he keeps pushing up against it! There is just something about “The Last of a Generation” that to this day holds me enthralled.
@lanier Hey, there are way worse, and less delicious, things. After all, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” as our dear C.S. Lewis remarked.
Also, I have cherished and held near every piece of yours that I have read. Thank you for those gifts!
@carrieg How incredibly sweet! I love that testimony. I will have to get my hands on that one asap!!
@kyra-hinton, Thank you! That is so kind. I’m happy to know you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know, @jilliancomrie! 🙂
And with tears and a sigh of release that came out in a laugh, I finished Molehill Volume 3 about 90 seconds ago. For the past few weeks I hadn’t picked it up, and I’ll no longer lie and say it was the hectic schedule alone that kept me away. The length of A.S. Peterson’s story “The Timely Arrival of Barnabas Bead” was the first thing that halted my quick procession through these books. It was no fault of the story’s, but knowing that once I started I wouldn’t be able to put it down, I felt the pressure of “not enough time” and promptly scurried away. I think the main thing that kept me away was an uncertainty of how to deal with the deeply meditative nature that comes with pondering hard things. The Rembrandt is still missing. @jamin‘s story lay unfinished, broken into pieces and scattered throughout, constantly pulling me back into it’s tumultuous waters. @sarahclarkson‘s testimony broke me (or, rather, showed me I was always broken) and remade me all in 13 pages. All that, and the many rhymes from poems that kept singing their songs into my ringing ears long after I put down their pages, left me with something I didn’t know how to handle. Raw art that I loved and longed for, but that I didn’t understand. All the unfinished nature of these perfect stories reflected off my “real life” and magnified it, leaving me unable to pick up the book unless I wanted to be tossed, turned, and promptly drowned in the gushing tide of unanswered questions. This all kept me away until today. Today I had no words to say and no heart space available to hear words addressed to me. I felt God give me permission to sit my toddler down with some toys and books while He and I curled up on the end of the bed with this book. I picked up at @pete‘s tale, and it was an absolute masterpiece. It bewildered me, had me furrowing my brow and tilting my head, but all the while was worming it’s way into my heart and lighting a bonfire there. By the end of the story, the rest of my being had gathered around the fire in quiet awe watching the sparks rise to the stars—and all the while listening for the music of a fiddle. Thank you. Unable to put the book down after that, I continued to trod through page after page of luminous art. It’s funny, I call it luminous, but what drew me in all the while was the brooding darkness and uncertainty woven throughout those last pages. @lanier‘s story was absolutely haunting (Ah! A pun.) but breathtakingly beautiful, and despite me being honestly terrified for most it, I was underlining and soaking up all the lines that reminded me of Home. @chrisyokel‘s poem “This Haunting” had my heart stilled in anticipation and praise, and “Common Things” absolutely broke me down into tears that cried out “Yes! Yes, yes, yes!” @jamin‘s story ended in the hopeful, unfinished pause that echoed what the whole book felt like to me. With bated breath I steeled myself for the last entry, a recipe by Lewis Graham. I don’t think I can convey all the emotions that bubbled up and giggled out of me when it was a recipe for a Dorito Chicken sandwich and Mountain Dew. I underlined his last line over and over as if it was holy… After all, I think it was. It told me that no matter how heavy, dark, burdened, lonely, or uncertain the path is, at the end of the day it’s okay to not be manicured and put-together, spending time preparing a meal masterpiece. Those days it may be a better thing to instead stand in the doorframe with the ones who weathered the day with you, eating for the “being” of it, knowing that all the dark spaces of a painting are painted just as purposefully as the light ones, and they are all, altogether beautiful. “After all, sometimes your path chooses you.” It was the perfect ending to a beautiful journey, and I have you all to thank for that. I know this book is 2 years old, and it is probably all “old hat” to you guys, but in case it means something, it all still matters. God has a way of getting these kind of things into the hands of just the right hungry souls in perfect time.
knowing that all the dark spaces of a painting are painted just as purposefully as the light ones, and they are all, altogether beautiful
That is a really profound thought. I also just read the 2,3, and 4th Molehills this summer and they were wonderful. I will need to re-read them soon, because I went so fast through them that the thoughts all jumble up together and I haven’t really digested them as much as I want to.
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@kyra-hinton, thank you for starting this thread! Glad to know I’m not the only one catching up and bingeing on Molehills. I bought Vols 1-2 as a Christmas present to me and have been devouring them the last few weeks (to the degree that I can between breaks to meditate and ponder and delight in and ruminate on what I’ve read). I’ve recently grown determined to be more well-read (including a trip to the local used bookstore for stacks of treasured classics and notable titles), but I’ve not yet cracked a one of them because the Molehill volumes have so captured my attention. I’m just waiting for next month’s spending money so I can snag Vol 3-4. 😀
@lanier, your poem “I Came by a Lane” so struck me that I sat in silence for a long while in the early morning just soaking it in. Your writings have often resonated with me, but that poem in particular stirred me deep enough to inspire me to pick up a pen and start writing again. Thank you for that. It’s why I’m here now. 🙂
"I really wasn't a reader, until I started reading." -Mick Donahue
We pulled all our Molehills off the shelf last week and I’ve been dipping in and out of them at random lately… mostly digging for creative inspiration in the work of my favorite people. 🙂 @kyra-hinton, I love the Dorito Chicken Sandwich recipe ending in Vol. 3 too. (even though I don’t think I could do the mayo and Mountain Dew part… haha)
@sarahclarkson‘s “Broken Gifts” struck me with fresh beauty and meaning the other day. So did @russramsey‘s essay… I think it’s called The Distance? (Possibly in Vol 2? I don’t have the book handy right now.) Anyway, the one about being sick, and having to watch others suffer from a distance. I’ll have to check when I get home and confirm, but dang — it was like a re-discovery. Which is really kind of awesome about these books. You can read them and have your favorites, then come back much later and find something you didn’t see before.
Also, confession: it probably took me a year to see the joke in “Never Sweeting Could I Play Thee False.” I’m kind of embarrassed by that.
@racheldonahue, I cannot think of a better destiny for my poem than to evoke a writerly response in someone else. I’m so honored to hear that. Blessings on your pen!
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