A Need for Order | 7.1 Author Lindsey DeLoach Jones


7.1 Author Lindsey DeLoach Jones talks rituals and the need for order.

I like my drinks very, very cold.

A plastic tumbler, 6 ice cubes, and a can of Diet Coke chilled at least twenty-four hours in a 35-degree refrigerator. Limit one per day.

Occasionally, I joke about being obsessive compulsive or a control freak or both, but I’m neither of these things really.

Maybe it’s the pressure to confront the veiled chaos of the blank page or the daily, private rumpus of my soul. Maybe it’s the anger I hear already in the voice of my one-year-old daughter, anger I didn’t put there and can’t control. Something compels me to keep a very few things in a very particular order.


Wanting Freedom | 7.1 Poet Joel Fry


7.1 Poet Joel Fry talks about being free.

I hardly ever remember writing first drafts, unless they are connected to a specific event, and most of my work is not.  My poem “Such a Bright Future” describes my varied thought life, in which I attempt to get at the meat of my existence, but ultimately I realize Jesus Christ is my refuge, and like Paul, I feel that I am being poured out in a sense, and that God is pleased with me.

My life entails defining my existence in a way that makes sense to me.  I can do what I want, but that soon leads to addiction.  I am even addicted to Facebook.  So true freedom (or at least the highest form of freedom) seems to be the liberation from selfish desires, not so much the ability to do whatever I want.  I like what the Lord says: “If you drink of this water you will never thirst again.”  This is also like the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.”  Everyone is free to be included with God in Christ.  That is the ultimate, and very simple, revelation.


The Liturgy of Listening | 7.1 Poet Kerri Snell


7.1 Poet Kerri Snell tells about the importance of listening for writing poetry.

A poem that “works” for an audience is at once both personal and universal. It is still a mystery to me how some of my poems transcend ambiguity and self-consciousness and become living works. I write to understand, and yet my poetry usually provides me with more questions than answers about God, about Nature, about relationships.

Why do I write poetry? I think it is because reading and writing poetry comforts me in a mothering sort of way. I can bed down with my own lack of knowledge and feel that through creation of a poem, I can accept, as I believe God accepts, my glaring limitations. Poetry is for me an experience of Grace.


Rituals | 7.1 Author Timothy Reilly


7.1 author Timothy Reilly talks about daily rituals ranging from oatmeal to writing.

For the past several years I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast, six days of the week.  I suppose it’s a ritual: I eat the oatmeal at about the same time each day; I prepare it the same way; it comforts me.

At my age (62), a risk comes with admitting to an oatmeal regiment.  I could be accused of stodginess: one of those “old guys” who gives up wearing belts in favor of suspenders, filling his wallet with store coupons.