Magical Memoir Moments

Super moon by Rebecca Breems

Hope and Perseverance in Post-Election America

It’s been harder than usual to focus on words this past week. As I searched for words, I also walked, reviewing and reflecting upon the sights and sounds in my world since the election. Sights   Sounds For several weeks, I have looked forward to seeing Krista Tippett and Courtney Martin again, two friends I…

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The still waters of Stumpf Lake.

Beside the Still Waters and The Liturgy of the Hours

The still waters of Psalm 23 remind me of what Wendell Berry calls “the peace of wild things” on this morning after the election. So does the stable practice of the Benedictine Liturgy of the Hours and my own tradition of radical dissent from the powers and principalities. Singing and walking help too.

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Now and Later candies. Wikipedia.

Rethinking Middle Age in Community and Envisioning Older Age as Ascent

Yesterday fall sunshine suffused our conference room at the Collegeville Institute. I was “on deck” as the first scholar to present my findings and receive feedback on my project: Jubilación: Vocation in the Third Act of Life. Having colleagues, a community of scholars who challenge and encourage you, is a gift at any stage in…

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This photo, taken at the Sir Edmund HILLARY Museum at Mt. Cook, New Zealand, last February, was the germ of the idea to write a letter to Hillary.

Waking Up to the News In Lake Wobegon and What I’m Learning About Op-Eds: the Backstory

Today is Hillary Clinton’s 69th birthday. I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to her ever since last February when I visited the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum in New Zealand. I tell the backstory of how I published an Op-Ed about her birthday in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

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I'm living in the cottage to the left of the larger building. Photo take from the bridge between the Arboretum and the campus of St. John's University.

Finding a Public Voice: At Homecoming

Seth Godin says that you can tell whether or not you have a tribe by discovering they miss you when you don’t show up. I didn’t post last Wednesday, and I didn’t send out a Magical Memoir Moment on Thursday. You probably thought I was just contemplating life beside the lake. Or watching the mist…

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The death and dying books shelf.

On Reviewing Books: We Are What We Read

Remember chewing your pencil when you had to write a book review for school? At some point in the process of writing a book review, I nearly always regret saying “yes” to the assignment. A good review requires at least two readings of the book, note-taking, special attention to themes and structure, and comparisons of…

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Sunrise.

The Rule of Life: What Saint Benedict Is Teaching Me

What makes a good day in your life? It’s a question we’ve examined on this blog more than once, starting with my mission statement: To prepare for the hour of my death. One good day at a time. And to help others do the same. Now that I’m enjoying all the benefits of living next…

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Garrison Keillor, wikipedia image

Living in Lake Wobegon

Central Minnesota is home to the Collegeville Institute and to St. John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. But it’s also Lake Wobegon Country, a place of nostalgia and country wisdom that unites my present with my past.

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Joan Rough Takes on a Big Challenge of the Jubilación Years : Forgiveness

My current theme of Jubilación, defined as joyful vocation in the elder years, does not exclude challenges. Far from it! Most people are well aware that aging inevitably has negative consequences and that the pains of youth and middle age continue into the elder years. Fortunately, even trauma and suffering can be met with resilience,…

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This lake is literally 30 feet from the window under which I am writing these words.

Beginner’s Mind: A Writing Residency, A New Setting, A New Day

A new environment at the Collegeville Institute, designed by architect Marcel Breuer, inspires me at the beginning of my fall semester residency.

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