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Celebrating the movement of grace in community.
I have exciting news! Exciting to me, at least. I'll get to that.
I’ve had the good luck in my short life to have been found in multiple communities of great people. Not only that, but so far they’ve kept me around. It’s not often I stop to reflect on the blessing of this: to be surrounded by people who care deeply for each other and truly want to be a part of each others’ lives. It’s an amazing thing, and not of this world.
I think of my extended family — both sides — who made it a habit over the years to inconvenience themselves to collect together, time after time. I think of friends whose families and connections have become my own. And I think also of my immediate family: my wife, whose loving acceptance of me is constantly making me better; my young boys, who recently noticed I’d been having a rough day and were thoughtful enough to encourage me. Community is a movement of grace: it often seems to happen to us, and we’re left with the choice of how we’ll respond.
I get to eat regularly with some of these communities, breaking literal bread about a physical table whenever fate and schedules smile on us. There are others I write with in which we’re often breaking proverbial bread from our own tables, gathering from many places into the tight real estate of a computer screen. These communal worlds of mine will collide from time to time as well, and for that I’m all the more grateful. It is a powerful thing to collect around a table.
I am better today than yesterday thanks to these people who’ve found me in their lives and decided that was a good thing. As I’ve slowly learned to be more vulnerable and allow others to speak into my life and work, I’ve grown in ways I could not have on my own. But I said I had news.
In acknowledgement and celebration of these communities, I want to take the opportunity to highlight the recent work of one in particular and announce the self-publication of Habitations: Volume I, an anthology produced by a group of poets I’ve been collaborating with for a few years at The Habit. These are insightful writers who deeply desire to pay attention to this world and this life, and to tell the truth with their words. I’m honored to have a few poems of my own included alongside these gifted friends of mine.
I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy — I think you’ll be blessed by it. I find it worth mentioning these are sold at cost. No one is getting any richer putting this volume into the world. Our intent is simply that in the reading of these poems you would find you could savor the slowness and thoughtfulness the words encourage, and that in the savoring you’d find new rhythms of peace in this crazy life we’re living.
Only a few short years back I’d have never considered sharing my writing with a soul. And here we are, thanks those who lifted me when I was low and gave me courage I could not muster alone. I’ve got many miles to go, but I’m growing. And that’s something.
Take a look around. I hope you can see ways you’ve been surrounded by communities all your own, big and small, and recognize them for the found and profound blessings they are.