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I make the sign for birch in the gray soil of thought.
A tree springs up, its trunk white and straight, its leaves small and rounded.
“The birch is the tree of beginnings, of purification, of fire. Let the birch stand in honor of the Bard, who summons the inner flame. The Bard will be poet, musician, and prophet. He will learn the history of our people, all our laws and our lore. The Bard will be Keeper of the Word.”—Helena Sorensen, The Door on Half-Bald Hill
“And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again”
— Rich Mullins, “The Color Green”
A few years ago, I arrived at a church choir gathering with friends of all ages. An elementary-aged girl had been dropped off by her parents and I noticed her sitting by herself with a shy smile. I smiled back and waved, taking a seat and settling in.Read More ›
Twelve years ago this month, Waterbrook Press released On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book 1 of Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. I counted it a privilege to be allowed to write the Rabbit Room’s release day review of the book. At the time, the Rabbit Room was barely six months old. There was no Hutchmoot, no Rabbit Room Press, no Local Show, no Chinwag, no North Wind Manor. There was just the blog, with a small but very loyal readership.Read More ›
When I first read Jesus and the Very Big Surprise by Randall Goodgame, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, I didn’t expect to actually be surprised. But I was.Read More ›
Every now and then, a book comes along that rings all your bells, shivers all your timbers, winds your clock, melts your face, shakes your foundations, and smacks you upside the head to remind you that stories are altogether a form of magic—and if that’s true, if stories are magic, Helena Sorensen might as well be Gandalf.
The Door on Half-Bald Hill is just that kind of book. It’s mythic. It’s personal. It’s tender. It’s terrifying. It’s fantastical. It’s historical. It’s pagan. It’s prophetic. It’s meticulously grounded, and yet gloriously transcendent.
What is this book, you ask. Rightly so.Read More ›
Eric Peters has a talent for calling to lost and discarded things—as anyone who loves his music can attest. Turns out that gift extends beyond his skill as a songwriter. His photo collection in the recent re-publication of Far Side of the Sea: A Photographic Memory reflects twenty-five years’ worth of wandering and watching for fragments of civilization that the rest of the world has forgotten. Here, he gathers them like cast-off scraps and builds them into something new.Read More ›
There’s nothing like viewing the world through the lens of another language to show you how limited your own can be. We can’t ever fully merge two lexical frameworks into one, and our translations often fall short of the original concept. Some vocabularies don’t concisely reach into others.Read More ›
I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as a touchy-feely person. If you give me a 5 Love Languages test, physical affection just barely sneaks into the number three spot. I know I carry internalized messages for how to touch other people, from determining side hugs versus regular hugs to how many seats to leave between myself and strangers on public transportation. Marriage has done a lot to shrink my personal bubble, but if I’m honest, I haven’t always considered how meaningful touch can be when we avoid brushing against each other in a crowded world.Read More ›
If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you love C. S. Lewis and are familiar with at least some of his work, if not his life. Perhaps you are also an artist of some kind, and you long for that Inkling-like fellowship with other artists that Lewis and Tolkien seemed to have enjoyed and that many of us find at Hutchmoot. But what we don’t often consider is that one of Lewis’s primary relationships was not with another artist but with his very practically-minded brother.Read More ›
In the waning light of most autumn afternoons, you can find my daughter walking a slackline in our backyard. The really uncreative among us call slacklines tightropes, I think—it serves the same basic purpose. The line is drawn tight between two trees and is suspended about two feet above the ground.Read More ›