more links than you can shake a sprained foot at


it is saturday. i had great plans for today. they involved roaming around basilicas and sitting still in the quiet; they involved coffee shops in the most crowded neighborhood in the land between chicago and los angeles; it involved escaping my charming and exhausting responsibilities as mother, wife, apprentice, new neighbor. but then i went and hurt my foot (humble brag alert: running 5 miles in below-freezing weather), to the degree in which i cannot stand on it. so now i am sitting on my bed, ice on the foot, alternating between common prayer, scripture reading, journaling, praying, checking fb, and catching up on online life. it ain’t no monastery but thanks to lovely friends i have enough toast and jam, coffee and cookies, personalized mugs and journals to last me (that’s right. i received even MORE special prezzies from fantastical internet–and real life–friends!).

so. while i can’t imagine anyone has the annoyance luxury like me of being a pampered invalid, perhaps you have a few moments to spare? because i have some things to tell you about.

first: a conversation worth delving into is the discussion on how to tell stories. for anyone involved in working/living/interacting with people from marginalized communities (insert whatever word you use), there has got to be some ground rules. how much do we share? what is exploitative, what is redemptive? i don’t believe the answer is to sit on our hands and be quiet, but historically we have not done a good job of empowering people to tell their own experiences. this TED talk (introduced to me by the blog of the lovely Rachel Pieh Jones) does a beautiful job of describing the danger of telling a single story. well worth your time to watch if you have ever wrestled through these questions.

second: i am sort of obsessed with the nanowrimo phenomenon. do people really do this? do “legitimate” writers do this? i don’t want to sound snobbish, but is it only the realm of those writing sci-fi? please tell me everything you know about it. i am inordinately invested, because out of nowhere last week i got hit with this fantastic idea for a novel (and trust me, i have NEVER wanted to write fiction before). is this month-long experiment in production a waste of time? i want to know.

third: folk music is the best for writing, no? i have been really into the barr brothers (still), and recently fell in love with sandra mckracken (her children’s music makes me teary, but is not available on spotify. but check out the album The Builder and the Architect). what are you listening to? that christmas song sufjan wrote about unicorns?

fourth: i am starting to fall down the rabbit hole of reading Sharon Astyk. described as a female Wendall Berry, Astyk writes about the realities of our excessive lifestyles. in her book, she has introduced me to phrases like “peak oil” and “post-depletion worlds”. at first terrifying, this ain’t your normal climate change/the end of the world is nigh book. instead, it talks about our homes as the gateways of escaping our excessive economy, which dangers us and more importantly (in my book) our poor neighbors. she writes that living well on less is not only possible, it is our only option. the implications of this are stunning, especially as i find myself in such an urban environment. how are my lifestyle choices today going to effect my neighbor tomorrow? so many of these conversations seem to end up with just a bunch of isolated do-gooders, the rest of us carrying on as normal. i am interested in solutions for the most vulnerable; this seems like kingdom stuff here.


there is nothing good on television. there is nothing good in the movies. everything has gone to rot. should i just stay in and read my Brueggemann sermons every night? a girl has got to put her hair down every once in awhile. this is where i need your help. what is actually worth watching?


i am finally, sluggishly, starting to feel political. and i don’t really like that feeling, since it can tend to harness such unnecessary and misdirected anger. i am much more drawn to the slow process of being involved in cultural and community change. but that stuff ain’t sexy, is it? one thing i have been reading over and over again is psalm 146, which i hear-by christen as the “election day psalm”. read it, won’t you? and let’s just all agree that the princes of our world are pretty lame, and thank goodness the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

whoo. that is a lot of information. and i asked you a couple of questions somewhere in there. so hit me up. i can’t go anywhere for the rest of the day.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

11 thoughts on “more links than you can shake a sprained foot at

  1. Sorry about the sprain, my friend. But glad you have some goodies to feat on while you are recovering!

    Danger of a single story – one of my favorite TED talks (up there with Brene Brown). When we had friends visit Uganda last summer, we had them meet many friends. They were with kids in the worst slum, with children living with AIDS, with young Ugandan business people landing intl. contracts in construction and marketing, with innovative pastors and disciples serving the poor off the grid and even shared dinner with the Speaker of the House in Ug. govt. Because when these friends think ‘Uganda’ we want them to have a more informed understanding of what that means, and it takes a collection of stories that are all true of the one place. We do the same when friends come to Burundi… because no place is a monolithic story. So true…

    I love to listen to Ottmar Liebert (flamenco guitar) and Vivladi / Motzart / Bach / Strauss when I write.

    Confession about WB sermons… I take the kids to the local mega-church for sunday school because they love it. I sit in the cafe and read WB sermons (because I can’t go into the auditorium without getting hives, honestly).

    TV – Sarah Bessey got me hooked on Downton Abbey. I still can be found watching West Wing (political, but also smart and witty).

    I early voted…I know I’m not electing a king or messiah. But I felt good about my choice, good to participate in democracy, such as it is. I care about the results of this election, I have genuine concerns if things go awry. But…no matter what, I know God is present and so I do not need to fear whatever the outcome. My eschatology trumps my politics.

    Happy Sat from my bed to yours!

  2. Christiana says:

    So sorry about your sprain. I think I’m going to have to write a whole blog post in response to your question, ‘what are you listening to?’ I can never give just one answer on that one. And I need to check out this unicorn thing. Only Sufjan Stevens could put ‘Christmas’ and ‘unicorn’ together and make it an interesting and totally normal song topic…it will probably be awesome.

  3. […] tried to respond to DL Mayfield’s question “What are you listening to?” and I ended up with a whole blog […]

  4. markcaudill says:

    So I’m not a writer at all but I’ve always wanted to write something so I’m using NaNoWriMo as a jumping off point. I was pretty optimistic the first day, knowing full well that I had no idea what I was doing, but still hoping that somehow I could get my 1,667 words per day. That’s not happening. I’m not quitting, but man it’s hard to find the time between work and family.

    If for nothing else though, writing has unleashed some inner voices that I had hoped were gone for good. You know those ones that tell you how much you suck? They’re back with a vengeance. So I guess that’s an interesting side effect.

    Anyway, if you look through the NaNoWriMo forums there are tons of people not doing SciFi. But yeah, it doesn’t seem like big name writers do it, at least not publicly. But the sense of community is strong and it’s kind of fun.

  5. All I know about NaNoWriMo is that my old department head went to a new school where the ENTIRE school is writing a novel. 1500 teenagers pumping out a novel in November. One kid had 7,000 words at the end of 2 days. It makes me think I should do it, if a bunch of 16 year olds can, certainly me too? You too probably.

  6. YEARS ago I wrote these posts about my favorite tv shows:

    We also just finished the first season of Homeland, and it’s pretty good. Of course you saw Moonrise Kingdom, right?

    A new Andrew Bird album came out this week.

    I’m definitely gonna look into that book and TED talk.

  7. amber@mercyrising says:

    Looking forward to checking your links especially the storytelling one. Have you heard of the rabbit room? Sandra McCracken and others like her are featured there. Also love Joshua Becker’s “Living with Less”. It is great for students and adults.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: