Bending the Arch: An Interview with Rose M Berger

roseOnce a young woman asked Rose Berger, out of the blue, to baptize her. I watched as right then and there, Rose summoned sacramental power and beauty pouring water and speaking holy poetry. So, when Rose publishes a book of poetry, I pay attention and call upon all of you to heed her cry.          -Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Bending the Arch, By Rose Marie Berger

RD: It is a heavily annotated poem, can you talk about the relationship between the poetry and the history and information in the back?

RMB: It’s a good question. I just finished reading Micheal O’Siadhail’s The Five Quintets, a 350-page poem examining the Modern era with no endnotes or explanations. It’s a stunning, ground-breaking work. But it requires a lot of work by the reader. Bending the Arch requires a lot from the reader also, but I wanted to lower the bar a little. Make it a little easier and more accessible. There are themes in Bending the Arch that I want readers to explore more on their own. My hope is that the endnotes will encourage readers to dig into the suppressed historical narratives in their own families and regions. Continue reading

Out of the Depths I Call

By Nancy Bowker

Kathy Eliot and I were fellow contemplatives at St. Luke’s Cathedral for 20 years. We got together a few months before her death. We agreed I would sing for her while she was alive, rather than waiting for her funeral.

In the dimming light of this vastly silent sacred space she leafed through sheaves of 50 year old hand written Psalms. She was a woman of humble, quiet and private faithfulness.

But one can sense the empowering Spirit behind every word. She would then hand the beloved penciled psalm to me. I sang the whole song in one take, but later edited an interspersed call and response.

This track was later played at her funeral, and given to her friends.

Winter as Play and Delight

20181109_110011In January, over twenty women gathered for a Word and World weekend of rest and writing using winter as their guide and teacher. This is the last reflection offered which also gives some writing prompts. May it be company in these longer winter days.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

As we begin this final morning together, I am holding all that we have carried and shared with one another. I am so grateful.

These words come to mind from Arundhati Roy who is an Indian author and activist.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Continue reading

Winter’s Coziness

candleIn January, over twenty women gathered for a Word and World weekend of rest and writing using winter as their guide and teacher. This is the second reflection offered which also gives some writing prompts. May it be company in these longer winter days.

By Joyce Hollyday

Guided Imagery

Imagine yourself in a harsh winter landscape. Take note of what is present—and what is absent.

You trudge through deep snow in drifts piled high by a strong and biting wind. Your feet begin to ache. Your fingers go numb. The journey feels endless. Continue reading

Winter’s Harshness

ice-formationsIn January, over twenty women gathered for a Word and World weekend of rest and writing using winter as their guide and teacher. This is the first reflection offered which also gives some writing prompts. May it be company in these longer winter days.

By Kate Foran

 

Ceremony

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said]
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off
illness and death.
You don’t have anything
if you don’t have the stories.
Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories
let the stories be confused or forgotten.
They would like that
They would be happy
Because we would be defenseless then.
He rubbed his belly.
I keep them here
[he said]
Here, put your hand on it
See, it is moving.
There is life here
for the people.
And in the belly of this story
the rituals and the ceremony
are still growing.

Continue reading