Wednesday, July 16, 2008

it's all in the details

Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White

I talked with Park Rapids poet LouAnn Shepard Mumm this week about her new book of poetry "Breaking the Glass" published by Loonfeather Press in Bemidji. LouAnn said to me of her poetry, "I strive for what I call deceptive simplicity. On one level very simple and straightforward but ideally there are other levels a reader can go to if they choose to."

Here's her poem "Bird Sanctuary"

I don't know how
word gets out-
whether in song
or in movement
like the bees' waggle-dance,
showing the way to all the best nectar-
but somehow they know
I've learned form girlhood
to keep the feeders filled,
to open my doors
to the broken-winged
and lost.

I have no field guide
to tell by their markings
whether they are vultures,
or eagles,
or wrens,
but I take my own notes
and add more data
with each new check
on my lifetime

In our conversation LouAnn talked about the community of writers in the Park Rapids area including the Jack Pine Writer's Bloc and their publication "The Talking Stick". She also talked about some of the retreats she has gone to including St. Benedict's Retreats in Collegeville and

Arc Ecumenical Retreat in Stanchfield, Minnesota.

If you are interested in a retreat check here for retreat centers around the country. Post here if you've ever been a part of one and tell us what it was like!

1 comment:

Harbor Star said...

Hey Heidi-

Thanks for another wonderful program.

I'm so glad you asked about retreats! I would encourage anyone to attend one. There really are a special Grace. I've attended several and on each occasion I learn something new about myself, and about God. Perhaps the most striking thing about a retreat is just the simple beauty and stillness that surrounds you. Many retreat centers are located in remote, woodsy areas that are away from the city. There usually is ample time to walk the grounds and commune with God. I know I struggle to hear His word in the everyday clutter and noise of the world. It's here where I can truly listen.

In addition to St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville), here are a few centers in Minnesota I recommend:

The Society of Jesus hold men’s silent retreats on most weekends.

Jesuit Retreat House
8243 Demontreville Trail North
Lake Elmo, MN 55042-9546

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate also hold are variety of theme based retreats

Christ The King Retreat Center
621 1st Ave So.
Buffalo, MN 55313-1399

I hope and pray that I can attend several retreats at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Central Kentucky.

See you Saturday!