Is your life out of control? Do you want to simplify?
Take Eileen Kinch as your teacher.
I met Eileen at the Mennonite(s) Writing VI conference last spring, 2012.
She struck me as wise beyond her years and willing to stand for something contrary and beautiful in this hectic world.
Of course, those of you who know my story know that it’s easy for me to see Eileen as an alter ego, a girl who maintained a commitment to plain-ness even in secular environments. I think of poet-farmer Wendell Berry when I read Eileen’s verse. I remember the long silences in our conversation when I had the privilege of hosting him years ago.
Those same silences occur in Eileen’s work. They wash over the reader. We become aware of how loud the world is outside us and of all the buzz in our brains. We slow down. We breathe deeply. We read these words:
After worship, we spread our tables thick
with loaves and fishes, soups and salads.
We pause to give thanks, the hush so deep
we sometimes feel it take on flesh,
standing among us.
–from “Conservative Quakers” (p.4)
Or this one:
The rows are straight, yet curving with
the contours of the land —
a part in a woman’s hair —
a quiet, well-ordered life.
–from “Fields” (p. 22)
If you too seek a quiet, well-ordered life, you could do well to go to this website and do what I did: order the book!
My New Beginning today? I’m going to do a guest blog post for Jane Friedman’s blog. I’m going to give myself some white space around the writing. Eileen’s voice is still in my head.
And you? Don’t forget to log your New Beginning. One of these days I’m going to pluck off a group of these and share the inspiration, the honor, of seeing so many others who seek a simpler, better life for themselves and others.