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Reflections in the Silver Cup

ELEVEN REASONS WHY I WROTE TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

On tour again, it seemed as if this post from April 2016 might be relevant to some readers. The reasons appear in no particular order.



1. I couldn’t help it. My favorite poet Rumi wrote, “There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there is nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.” I started trying to write a version of this story when I was nineteen. I kept on trying for nearly fifty years. My inescapable compulsion lends credence to Rumi’s statement.

2. Persistence is central to Read More 

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LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY

IT’S HARD BEING A HUMAN BEING



First published April 30, 2016 in The Gallup Independent as a "Religious Perspectives" column. Some minor changes have been made.

It was about 6 pm, and we had two more hours to go. I stood in the hallway with one of my students and another teacher. It was the mid-evening break at our afternoon and evening high school. The young man said, “Yeah, I worked all day scraping tar and gravel off a roof. When I get home, I want to read a story to my son, but I’m already so tired.” His face was weathered dark, with a light beige mask around his eyes where sunglasses had screened his skin. He went on, “I’m trying to help my family in Mexico and support my own little family. And I want to graduate.” Saul wasn’t complaining, just telling it like it was.

I put my hand on his shoulder and said only, “It’s hard being a human being.” I said it so often to my students. Sometimes I added, “And it’s even harder being a teenager.”

When my daughter was a junior in high school, we signed up to Read More 
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TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

REFLECTIONS ON MY
FESTIVAL OF FAITH AND WRITING



I just attended a conference where Zadie Smith, Tobias Wolff, George Saunders, and Nadia Bolz-Weber were the keynote speakers, and I didn’t go listen to any of them. That’s right. I would have loved to. As a writer of creative nonfiction, I especially wanted to hear Tobias Wolff. And I haven’t yet made it to Nadia’s church when I’ve been visiting Cheyenne in Denver. But I had other fish to fry at the Festival of Faith and Writing (FFW) at Calvin College, one of my alma maters.

The FFW is only held biennially, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. Over the years it has hosted such literary luminaries as Salmon Rushdie, Marilynne Robinson, Chaim Potok, Maya Angelou, Elie Wiesel, John Updike, Madeleine L’Engle, Annie Dillard, Katherine Paterson—the list goes on and includes many, many less known authors. So it’s no wonder that I have had my eye on presenting at the conference for even longer than two years.

This year a few friends and I made a concerted effort to get me on the schedule. At the time, To Drink from the Silver Cup hadn’t yet found a publisher, but I had published it as a serial in blog format on my website, and I offered a few different presentations I could make—one being about the pros and cons of blogging a book, something I thought other writers could be quite interested in. It was not to be. When I finally heard back Read More 
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TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

To Drink from the Silver Cup's New Cover

ELEVEN REASONS WHY I WROTE
TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP
(in no particular order)



1. I couldn’t help it. My favorite poet Rumi wrote, “There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there is nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.” I started trying to write a version of this story when I was nineteen. I kept on trying for nearly fifty years. My inescapable compulsion lends credence to Rumi’s statement.

2. Persistence is central to the story. Maybe a tale of persistence can inspire you to persist in something you are aiming for.

3. In To Drink from the Silver Cup I wanted readers to entertain possibilities—the possibility of returning to anything precious you may have walked away from. I hoped readers would think that things might not have to be the way they’ve always been.

4. I wrote To Drink from the Silver Cup for my tribe—LGBTQ people who found that suddenly there was no place for us in a faith community we’d always loved, or maybe only a second-class or covert place. I wanted us to know that there are abundant options, if we want them.

5. I wrote for non-LGBTQ church people. I want them to see how some of their decisions and actions cause tremendous pain and damage, not just to LGBTQ people but to other marginalized people. And to themselves.

6. I wrote for you if you’re questioning whether your faith is working for you. Through To Drink from the Silver Cup, I wanted to be someone who could walk with you, if you'd have me.

7. Maybe you have stayed secure within the religious fold of your childhood without really questioning anything that was offered you. I wrote To Drink from the Silver Cup to gently challenge you to ask yourself questions you might otherwise not have asked.

8. Writing To Drink from the Silver Cup helped me. It was instrumental in the completion of a segment of my spiritual journey. Without the writing, I don’t know if I would have stuck with The Experiment. “The Experiment” is Part III of To Drink from the Silver Cup.

9. I tried many times to find spiritual community before I started writing To Drink from the Silver Cup. But my attempts were haphazard and episodic. Keeping a log, and using the log to write the book made The Experiment deliberate, which contributed to a satisfying outcome.

10. To write about one’s life is to honor it. Every life is important. In writing To Drink from the Silver Cup, I acknowledged that my life has been of value, perhaps not only to me but also to a few others.

11. Every day of our lives, we make a difference because every action or inaction we take has a consequence. I want my difference to make the world a better place.

©Anna Redsand 2016 All Rights Reserved Read More 
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