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Entries in loquacious (13)


Loquacious: "Lorelei" by Jennifer Koski

Loquacious is an essay series that explores and revels in language. Read other installments here.

This essay, by Jennifer Koski, is part meditation, part memoir, and pure delight. Jen herself is delightful, with an infectious energy, a joie de vivire, and a penchant for unfettered laughter. I hope you enjoy this lovely, lilting, and lively essay as much as I do.


By Jennifer Koski

The words I love change. Year to year, month to month, week to week.

There was the summer of "ineffable." The fall, my junior year in high school, of "languid." The brief span of "histrionic." The decade of "cacophony."

Today, this week, this month, it's Lorelei.

Beautiful Lorelei with its narrow lines and round vowels. Its soft femininity. Its emotional core.

My grandfather says it to me on a sunny day I don't remember. But there it is on the DVD my husband slides into his Mac, saying, "Look what I found when I cleaned my office."

I'm holding the camera, shaky and uneven, in my grandparents' lake cabin. My toddler's arms cinch my knees as he shouts, "Mommy! I a big boy!" My sister laughs somewhere off camera. Her husband crosses the back of the frame, opens the refrigerator. My grandma feeds her great-grandson a bottle. 

But I have eyes for only one man. His silver hair combed back and to the side, his striped, collared shirt picked out by his wife, his robin's-egg blue jeans ending at stark white tennis shoes. He reclines in a familiar, blue leather chair, looks up at me in curiosity, a stack of completed crossword puzzles, a box of Milk Duds, a dictionary, on the table next to him.

"Say something witty," I demand.

"Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten," he says, not missing a beat.
"Daß ich so traurig bin;
Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

"Die Luft ist kühl, und es dunkelt, 

Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt 

In Abendsonnenschein…"

The room around him silences. My camera moves in time. It's five years before his death, a time when he frequently grumbled about how it was ridiculous to still be alive at 89, 90, 91. About how his mind didn't work for shit anymore. About how he couldn't remember a goddamn thing.

He finishes the poem ("…Und das hat mit ihrem Singen  / Die Lorelei getan"), his gaze holding the lens. My son, in Batman undies, dashes into the kitchen in a slapping, flat-footed run. My nephew yells for his mom from a bedroom.

"I think I caught 'gesundheit,'" I say. "What does it mean?"

My grandfather laughs. "It's 'The Lorelei'," he says. His hands fold in front of his chest. He studies them. Lines his fingertips up, one by one, starting with his thumbs.

The camera steadies.

"It's a legend about a boatman on the Rhine. He hears the song of a beautiful woman—the Lorelei—sitting high up on the mountain. Her song is so beautiful that he watches her instead of the rocks, which will cause him to crash and die."

I settle on his face, his sparse, white, five o'clock shadow. I want to impress him by knowing the legend already. I want to recite it to him, like I did with a dozen poems of my youth—the ones from the leather-bound Treasury of Best Loved Poems he gave me when I was nine.

"Do you want a piece of cake, Van?" my grandma asks.

"No," he says, dismissing her question with a raised hand, a flick of his wrist. "I'm OK."

I turn the camera to my grandma. Follow her to the kitchen.

* * *

My husband gives me the DVD. I write "Grandpa" on it in red Sharpie, adding a heart below his name. I put it on the shelf next to my bed.

The next day, I look up "The Lorelei"—in English first, then its original German, written by Heinrich Heine. I memorize, "She sings a song as well; Whose melody binds an enthralling, And overpowering spell."

I try it in German: "Und singt ein Lied dabei; Das hat eine wundersame, Gewaltige Melodei."

I think maybe I'll teach it to my sons—now 11 and 14. Maybe I'll even pay them to memorize select verses, like my grandfather did me: 50 cents for "Jenny Kissed Me." $5 for "No Man is an Island."

Maybe Heine's Lorelei is their Donne.

A week later, when I claw through the recycling bin for the crossword puzzle, I've already forgotten. I push aside Monday's newspaper (too easy) and Sunday's (too hard). I settle on Wednesday's. The puzzle is on B7, the same section as my weekly column, "Jen's World." For this edition, I'd written about watching the DVD with my husband. About seeing my grandpa. About poetry and other unexpected gifts.

I fold the page into quarters. Crawl under a blanket with my blue pen.

1 Across: School dance.

14 Across: Writer Anais.

34 Across: Rock producer Eno.

I'm buzzing through them—until I get to a clue I've never seen before. One that fills me with love and gratitude and belief and the final turn in a new favorite word.

37 Across: Lorelei's river.

** ** **
Jennifer Koski is a weekly columnist for the Rochester, Minn-based Post-Bulletin, and the associate editor of Rochester Magazine. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she holds an MFA in creative writing. She is the founder of the Write @ writing workshops, because she knows that everyone has a story (or twelve) to tell. She can be reached at jenniferkoski[at]gmail[dot]com.


Loquacious: "Contingency" by Jennifer Bowen Hicks

Loquacious: full of excessive talk : wordy (www.m-w.com)

Loquacious is a "wordy" series that revels in language. Read more essays in the series here.

I love the mind and words of today's guest writer, Jennifer Bowen Hicks. Jen and I met in grad school, but it wasn't until my final on-campus residency that I spent much time with her. As I got to know her through her writing and our conversations, I came to respect her superb ability to think deeply and surprisingly about any number of topics. Jen has a lovely depth of spirit filigreed with a wry sense of humor. During a lecture she gave at VCFA, I found myself laughing aloud in a quiet room as she dead-panned some hilarious lines. (I briefly worried that I was being inappropriate until she thanked me, in an aside, for laughing at the joke.) As you'll see in her essay below, her mind makes fascinating connections and leaps, and her exquisite use of language seamlessly weaves together the various strands.


By Jennifer Bowen Hicks

It's not the loveliest of words. It's not enamored, an Eastern Iowa hillside, open palm of a word with hints of amour. It's not malevolent, a word that's prettier than it ought to be. Contingency with its starched "t" smacks of paper stacks that have been nine-to-fived by a silk tie guy who knows Facts and enforces them with a red pen. Contingency both forebodes and plans; it's helpless and hubris. It's ________ in the event of____________, unless of course, _________.

If it's true for teenagers, it's also so for words: birds of a feather flock together, and contingency hangs with the likes of budget and contract and public affairs. Think: cost-benefit analysis, emergency medical plan, custody arrangements. I hate these things.

More to the point, I dislike uncertainty. Maybe it's because I was born into contingency, weighing 4 pounds and whimpering with my sad set of lungs. From the first breath my life was contingent on the next good breath (as all lives are, I suppose). Because tomorrow seemed tentative, my Catholic grandmother arranged for bedside baptism as a contingency against hell. I tell this story mostly for drama, because I turned out to be not half-dead, just a smaller than average screamer who needed her diapers cut in half until she could grow into them. But that pause! Before my mother and grandmother knew I would survive, they must have suffered joy mixed with trepidation. Hello, wail in the pitch of a brand new you, and imagine in that same greeting as far as anyone knew: Goodbye.

Maybe it's part of the bargain for every living-dying creature on this planet, but I feel I've spent my life saying Hello-Goodbye. My biggest complaint against new people and places is that they’re one too many, another one to lose. My parents divorced at an early age, and I never saw my father again; I never attended the same school for more than two years; my husband and I have hopped around the country so much we can box up a house and say farewell with our grumbling eyes closed. Now when I find a new friend, a knee-jerk dread enters simultaneously beside my delight. Will we move again? Will they? When my sons make me laugh with their dance moves or a funny joke, I feel equal parts joy and sorrow. What will their leaving look like someday? How final will it feel? Hello-Goodbye. My heart, in other words, makes contingency plans for losing what I love, even as I love it.

Poet Christian Wiman says contingency means "subject to chance.”"To me it means, "subject to change." A quicksilver state of unknowing. The electric second of quiet just before a dog bites. Wiman, who is dying of cancer, says, "Christ is contingency." Though I'm not Christian, I'm startled by the grace and courage of this assertion. The charged stillness, just before the shattering—in that waiting? —a holiness?

"What you must realize," Wiman says, "what you must even come to praise, is the fact that there is no right way that is going to become apparent to you once and for all." Wiman's contingency, inextricable from love and faith, is that there is no contingency.

Instead of reluctance, for a split second with a book in my hand, I allow awe. When Wiman's contingency tugs at my heartsleeve, I feel a flash of reverence. Wiman's contingency—just a word after all, a vessel—is imbued with a new spirit, his own. Such is the miracle of language. Post-Wiman, contingency, catches the corner of my eye as a container of light-refracted glass, less dog-bite pause, more grateful gasp. Wiman, facing his own death has been reborn before he’s even died, into a word. Contingency holds a piece of this poet who now labors in me, sanding softly the contours of my deepest aversion.

Dirk Wittenborn says, "We are the sum of all people we have ever met; you change the tribe and the tribe changes you." This surely also must mean, “We are the sum of all words we have ever read; you change the words and the words change you." Wiman redefined one word—less shirt-and-tie, more light and paradox—and that word might just alter me. Hello-Goodbye: exactly and wow. Whether Christ is contingency I can't say, but I do believe while we're planning in semi-darkness for the sun to rise or cease—on a relationship or a market share or a day or a life—we can access permanence through our words. Our contingency against contingency is language itself, that humble tomb that holds so many births and resurrections.

** ** **
Jennifer Bowen Hicks teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Her work can be found in journals such as The Iowa Review, North American Review, Defunct, and others. She's received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board for her prison work and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination, a Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize, and a Loft Mentor Series Award in Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she rears two children, too many hens, and occasional prose.


Loquacious: "Yinzer" by Stephanie Brea

Loquacious: full of excessive talk : wordy (www.m-w.com)

Loquacious is a "wordy" series that revels in language. Read more essays in the series here.

Once upon a time, I lived in a place where I knew no writers, no artists, no creative types. Then one day last April I received an email from a stranger who said she'd been reading my blog off and on for years. She had stumbled upon it again (via Liz, one of my best friends, who lives far away in Seattle) and noticed that I'd written for a Pittsburgh publication. This stranger, who lives about an hour outside the city assumed that I lived and worked in the city (instead of an hour outside of it in this quiet little town). But then she noticed a photo this old blog post. "And I squeaked a little at my desk," she wrote. "I know that artist. Heck, I know that mural. Cue serendipitous music here. I spent many a Saturday evening across the street from it hosting poetry readings. And then I realized you were not knee deep in the richness of city culture, penning your work from a brillobox barstool or supporting yourself with a plethora of city clients, you were right here in Westmoreland County."

This stranger turned out to be Stephanie Brea, a writer and poet living just 15 minutes from me. I'm grateful to Stephanie for reaching out to me with her delightful "stalker-ish" email (her words), for introducing me to local creative opportunities and other local writers (including another recent Loquacious guest), and for becoming an in-real-life friend and creative cohort. It's fitting that her guest essay focuses on a word that is a local peculiarity. Stephanie's essay, like her personality, is a great blend of humor and thoughtfulness. I think yinz will enjoy it.


By Stephanie Brea

If you aren't from Western Pennsylvania, or know someone who is, you probably have no idea what this means. A word used among those who "identify themselves with the city of Pittsburgh and its traditions," yinz stems from the second-person plural of you 'uns and means you or you all. Of course, it has none of the beautiful lilting of the y'alls associated with those south of the Mason-Dixon line. Yinz is all hard ys and zs fumbling around in your mouth, fighting to get out. To use it in a sentence: Yinz wanna come over and watch the Steelers and drink some beers?

Growing up, I always wanted to be somewhere else. I was in a hurry to leave my hometown, to leave Western PA. Like those hard ys and zs, I was trying to get out. I was going to end up someplace different, I was going to be someone different. Yinz was a word my grandmother used, along with other Western PA favorites such as slippy for slippery and worsh for wash. She also ate things like fried, chipped ham sandwiches and called bologna "jumbo," which she fried for sandwiches, as well. No, I was not a Yinzer.

My junior year of high school I was an exchange student in Finland. As I spoke to my classmates (in English, because who is conversant in Finnish?), they sometimes remarked on the way I said things. "It's not an accent, like you are southern, or from Brooklyn," they said. "You have no accent at all. Everything is flat and easy for us to understand, except for certain words." Those words were the ones that I tried so hard to avoid pronouncing incorrectly, those Yinzer words of my grandmother, my father, the guy selling Steelers t-shirts in the Strip District.

Being an exchange student made me reevaluate my relationship with home. I analyzed who I was and where I came from. I began to miss everything about my suburban Pittsburgh hometown. When I finally arrived at the Pittsburgh International Airport, after a trans-Atlantic flight and a 6-hour layover (spent clutching my purse to my chest and trying not to fall asleep and get robbed at JFK in New York City), I cried when we crossed the Fort Pitt Bridge and the city sparkled in front of me like a million rhinestones.

But after only a year back home, the wanderlust started. There had to be more for me, because I was no Yinzer. I was cultured, well travelled. I had seen the Mona Lisa (it is smaller than you think), learned to ski on the Swiss Alps. I had sauna-ed and seen the northern lights in Finland, took psilocybin mushrooms and ate apricots under the Eiffel Tower. I had been to Italy!

Like my father before me, I headed west, to Arizona. I was thousands of miles away from home, thousands of miles away from becoming a Yinzer—until my very first night there, when my father decided we should go out to dinner. The place was called Harold's Cave Creek Corral. As we drove up, a huge banner announced, "You're in Steelers Country." This tiny desert town had no traffic lights, but it had a Steelers bar. It seemed that Harold hailed from Monessen, one of the small steel towns littering the circumference of Pittsburgh. Harold was a true blue Yinzer and unapologetic about it: If he was starting a bar and restaurant in the middle of nowhere, it was gonna be a Steelers bar, and there was gonna be pierogies and he would import Iron City beer and make sure all Steelers games were televised. And my father, another Yinzer transplant, was damn well going to patronize his fine establishment.

After Arizona, I migrated north to Spokane, WA, which I consider the Pittsburgh of the Pacific Northwest. Spokane is no Seattle. Spokane is no Portland. It felt familiar, yet different enough to keep me interested, like a good first date or the idea of bacon and BBQ sauce on a burger. This didn’t stop me from insisting on someone buying me a Rolling Rock to toast my 21st birthday, even though it was considered an import, even though I wouldn’t allow Rolling Rock to touch my lips at home because it tasted like piss water. I'd driven by the brewery in the town adjacent to mine plenty of times. I'd seen the "springs" advertised on the bottle, which looked more like a large, dirty stream. But, once again, more than 2,000 miles from home, the Yinzer was infiltrating, burying itself deep beneath my skin, tattooing itself on my heart. I was homesick, and I needed that familiar green glass bottle to stand in for my friends and family.

Fast forward again a few years, and I am finishing college in New York City after another stint back home. When I come back to Pennsylvania for visits, I leave with two cases of Iron City beer, one for me and one for my high school friend Brian, who lives down the street from me in Astoria, Queens. Eight million people and five boroughs in NYC, but I had to rent near the ones I knew, as if I had never left home.

This is when I realized that it was time to come home for good, to accept the fact that years of travel had only strengthened my bond with Western PA. Like the strength of steel forged by Pittsburgh's industrial past, this bond couldn’t be broken. Maybe being a Yinzer was something to be proud of. After all, this was the region that produced Nellie Bly, Annie Dillard, Mister Rogers, Andrew Carnegie, Andy Warhol, the first banana split, and Heinz Ketchup. We pioneered French fries and coleslaw on sandwiches and the Big Mac.

Richard Price, the novelist and screenwriter, once said that where you're from is "the zip code of your heart," and I believe it. Southwestern PA, 15601: Yinzer for life.

** ** **

Stephanie Brea lives in a farmhouse outside of Pittsburgh, PA. By day, she is a kick-ass administrative director for a museum exhibit fabrication company that specializes in dinosaurs—meaning she can spell archaeopteryx without the need for spell check. But, she considers her "true" work the creative writing workshops and events she facilitates for local schools and non-profit organizations. Her work has been published in The Legendary, Nerve Cowboy, and the Pittsburgh City Paper.  She will always go with you for an Iron City and a Primanti's sandwich, but only if you're buying. Visit her online at Word Farm Workshops.


Loquacious: "The Diphthong 'Thang'" by Jodi Paloni

Loquacious: full of excessive talk : wordy (www.m-w.com)

Loquacious is a "wordy" series that revels in language. Read more essays in the series here.

During the editing of this guest essay, Jodi Paloni told me, "I took out the parts you suggested and guess what I found? Sex!" This does not surprise me at all.

Let me explain. Jodi and I met in grad school, and it seemed like every reading we attended together inevitably featured someone (usually a man) reading a piece that involved a sex scene (usually badly written) or descriptions of the female form (usually vulgarly expressed). It became a running joke between us, and now we can't help but think of the other when we hear certain bawdy slang terms. Jodi mock-threatened to write a guest post in this same vein, but I'm pleased to say that she's done something delightful and not at all in bad taste: written a useful essay on the craft of writing with a fun and sexy flair. Jodi's short stories often center on the tension that occurs when innocence flirts with something darker, a penchant you'll see in the fantastic examples she created for this essay. Here's looking at you, diphthong, you sexy thang!  

The Diphthong "Thang"

By Jodi Paloni

Lately I am taken with words that sport the illustrious diphthong. Sounds kinda sexy, right? Because they are. A diphthong is a vowel team that creates a monosyllabic gliding, slippery sound, or simply stated: two vowels, one sound. Consider words like roil and embroil, enjoy and destroy, blouse and scout, pouch and slouch. Consider frowning clown, or even simpler words such as boy and out. They make your lips purse and curl and pucker.

They cause the tongue to slow down.

Take a word listed above and find a non-diphthong replacement. Roil: churn. Enjoy: delight. Blouse: shirt. Then think about how you want your word to heighten the landscape of your sentence and to what effect. Consider the following:

When the borrowed doll slipped from her hand into the muddy river, her stomach roiled.

When the borrowed doll slipped from hand into the muddy river, her stomach churned.

The word that fits best depends on the passage. Do you want the character's experience to linger in the slithering sounds of the word roil, as if a moment longer could prolong the denial of her consequences? Or do you want the character to face her mistake with an abrupt realization, an abruptness that the word churned, with its harsh and final sounds, conjures up?

Here's another:

He imagined the feel of the fabric buttons sliding through the narrow slits of her blouse, as if practicing the art of undressing would help to calm him when his actual opportunity arose.

Exchange the word blouse for shirt. Blouse creates a slow-moving, sensuous action, which is what this sentence is about. (It also alliterates with other words that have that same slow, sensuous feel: blossom, blowing, blood.) Shirt, on the other hand, implies, to me, an everyday quick-and-dirty that may take little imagination at all.

Or, consider a combination of sound-play:

She stepped from the river having rescued the filthy doll, her shirt clinging to her torso like the vines on Aunt Edith's house, the vines that twirled the ladder giving her nightly access to my room.

The hard sounds of the underlined words, stepped, rescued, twirled, nightly, deliver action. The passion of the current moment (no pun intended) suggests a future possibility in the dark of night. Torso, house, and access are the soft words here. Shirt keeps the movement tense and up-close. Exchange shirt for blouse, and slow it down. By playing around with both soft and hard sounds, you can push and pull, speed up and slow down, seduce or ravage, all in one sentence.

All of this, of course, is subjective. The writer is the artist. Each word and every combination will inspire unique pleasure in the reader.

I will add that I also admire diphthongs because they stretch the rules of basic phonetics in which one letter makes one sound. Breaking rules can be sexy, too.

** ** **

Jodi Paloni's writing appears or is forthcoming in Whitefish Review, R.kv.r.y Quarterly, Carve Magazine, upstreet, Monkeybicycle, Spartan, Shadowbox Magazine, and The Lascaux Review. In 2012 she placed second in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. She lives and writes in southern Vermont and holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Jodi curates the forum 365 Short Stories in 2013 in which she reads and comments on one short story a day at Rigmarole.


Loquacious: "Praxis" by Rachelle Mee-Chapman

Loquacious: full of excessive talk : wordy (www.m-w.com)

Loquacious is a "wordy" series that revels in language. Read more essays in the series here.

Rachelle Mee-Chapman was one of my earliest Internet crushes. I became smitten with her and her blog, Magpie Girl, in my early days of blogging. Since then, I've had the pleasure of spending time with her online and in-person. I consider her a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and a soulsister. She is also one of the contributors to Lanterns: A Gathering of Stories, and I'm delighted to be a speaker at her Soulsisters Gathering this coming October. Her depth of kindness, spirit, and vivacity shines through in all of her work and writing. In this guest essay, she beautifully combines a meditation on the word "praxis" with an invitation to step into a life of action. (I first heard the idea of "orthopraxis" ("right action") from Rahcelle a few years ago, and it's been an important concept for me as I've navigated a shifting view of the world and my role in it. I live so much of my life in my head, so the reminder to move from thinking into action is always a good one for me.)


By Rachelle Mee-Chapman

[ práksiss ]

1.    performance or application of skill: the practical side and application of something such as a professional skill, as opposed to its theory
2.    established practice: established custom or habitual practice

Praxis. The application of a skill. The establishment of a practice. The creation of a custom. The polar opposite of theory.

I love saying it.

The pop of the "p" right from the start. 

The roll of the "r," softening its challenge.
The crisp charge of the "x" keeping things going. 

Then the closing hiss of the "s," suggesting a continuing process.

Everything about the word "praxis" makes me think of forward motion. Of doing. Of action.

I didn't know anything about praxis for the first three decades of my life. You see, for a long time I lived in my head. I studied philosophy, and then theology. I talked about ideologies and paradigms, systemic establishments and theoretical models. I devoted myself to figuring-things-out for one big reason—I didn't want to get "it" wrong.

You know. "It."  Life.

I didn't want to get life wrong.     

At the core of this approach was a desire for control. I wanted to know what the results would be before going in. I didn't want to fail, or look inexperienced; to make a mistake or to be laughed at. I wanted to think it through, and when I had it all figured out, then I wanted to begin.

Maybe this was because in the tradition in which I was raised, "failure" was synonymous with "sin." Doing something wrong wasn't just part of growing up, it was a moral failure that could—if you didn't say the right prayer—result in eternal damnation. Or maybe it was just because I was an anxious kid, then a nervous teenager, and finally a young adult who was mostly okay at faking confidence. Probably it was all-of-the-above plus a good deal more.

Because of these influences, my college years found me dedicated not to orthopraxis—the exploration of right-living—but rather to orthodoxy, the study of right-thinking. I was committed to finding and keeping a set of beliefs that would keep me in the "right" arena. I thought that if I spent my time in right-thinking, it would indisputably lead me to right-living.

Kind living.
Fair living.

A way of living that was nice to everyone, but completely empowered, and of course, full of justice.

What I didn't know about orthodoxy and real life is you can't get there from here.

Sure, right-thinking can help you decide in which direction to turn. It can teach you good assessment skills. You can become very good at picking things apart. But what all that thinking doesn't do is actually get you to living.

You see, most of living doesn't happen in your head. A lot of life requires movement, exploration, forward motion. Life requires you to skip and to trip; to climb up and to fall down; to ride your bike with no hands, and to scrape your knees.

Life requires you to do more than think. It requires you to act.  

My younger self wanted to get everything straight in my head so I could go out and start my life. What I didn't know was that in order to leave the ivory tower, to walk past the castle walls, you don't need orthodoxy. Orthodoxy won't get you out the door. No, what you need for the messy, tumultuous, upheaval of real life is not right thinking, it's right action—orthopraxis.

The try and the attempt.
The repetition and the habit.

The tradition and the custom.

The rhythm and the beat.

This is what orthopraxis gives you: 

the breathing room to attempt, 

to try, 

to actually get out there and live.

So this is what I'm thinking, right now, for you, my friend.

Maybe you don't need a perfect set of beliefs, or a watertight creed, or a systematic theology.

No, maybe what you need is a space to practice. A little bit of room so you can discover—by doing—the right and the wrong. So you can live in the grey. So you can make mistakes, and fail—and be glad you failed—and then do it all again anyway.

That is the gift of praxis.

Are you ready to practice your right-fit life?
Can you shift away from thinking and into doing?
Will you try, and fail, and try again because the proof is in the practice?

I think you are.

I know you can.

I hope you will.

(Amen? Amen.)

** ** **

Rachelle Mee-Chapman is a non-traditional minister to relig-ish types and folks who identify as SBNR (spiritual but not religious.) She's teaching new skills and practices in the big tent at this year's Soulsisters Gathering. You can also join her online soulcare community Flock, or learn more about her correspondence coaching plan at Magpie Girl: Care for Creative Souls.