Category Archives: Blog

Remembering “This Compost”

What an interesting coincidence that Rhubarb’s Earth and Gardens issue is coming out right after my husband and I decided to spend six months apprenticing on a farm on western Virginia that focuses on sustainable agricultural practices! Leaving our home in El Paso, we decided to take some time to reconnect to our rural roots […]

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Questions in the Desert

Who are you, my Lord, and who am I? The words famously uttered by St. Francis of Assisi filtered across my mind when I am hiking in the desert a short drive from my and my husband’s apartment in El Paso. Maybe I thought of them because I saw what I imagined the caves of Assisi looking like […]

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Who should Mennonites cheer for in soccer’s World Cup?

Netherlands! At least ethnic Russian Mennonites should, those whose ancestors came to Canada primarily in the 1870’s, 1920’s, or 1950’s and still form a good portion of the Canadian Mennonite population.

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Relinquishing Control

Don leads a non-profit program called CFAR here in San Antonio, Texas. He facilitates dozens of consultation meetings oriented especially for community workers, which he calls “reflection circles.” During these meetings a spectrum of topics can be covered, with emphasis being placed on mental and emotional growth as well as individual healing through the medium […]

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Living with Intent

“Intentional community”. These two words, taken separately, are tossed around a lot in our society. “Intent” is something we hear about from the judicial system: Was there intent to harm? We put a lot of stock in the intentions of other human beings—a surprising amount, come to think of it, considering how enigmatic and intangible […]

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Serving Amidst Ageism

Living in intentional community is not an opportunity that many people my age have had. Despite my age having the potential of labelling me as naive and inexperienced, my encounters with different forms of community living have developed my sense of self and have strengthened my ties with those having come from other generations than […]

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Young People These Days

Older generations have always been forthcoming in their observations and criticisms of younger generations–it seems to be an unavoidable side effect of growing up. Children don’t bother to categorize adults into generations, yet by the time one has entered middle age it suddenly becomes very important to differentiate between Generation X, Y, Z, and the […]

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Feeling Safe in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

It’s a sunny afternoon and I’m strolling down Winnipeg’s Waterfront Drive with radio personality Margaux Watt. “How does your family feel about you living here in the Exchange District?’ she asks. “My young adult sons think it’s cool we have a condo in the Exchange,” I tell her, “but until she passed away my mother […]

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UN/SETTLED

For the first thirteen years of my life, I called Winnipeg, Manitoba home. Obviously I don’t remember the first few years of city life, but I do know that for my newlywed parents—who had grown up around the small community of Altona, Manitoba—Winnipeg held the promise of a stable future. However, breaking the urban soil, […]

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No Longer Farming

In spring of 2013, Grain was granted a nice sum of money by the Creative Industries Transition Fund* to execute a direct mail campaign and increase subscription numbers. We hired a smashing young woman named Nicolette Duncan, straight out of the commerce program at the University of Saskatchewan, to help us run the campaign—she did […]

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My Secret Shame

Every how-to book on writing eventually gets around to advising the same thing; always carry a notebook. Take notes. Write down ideas. Jot down snippets of conversation you overhear. Commit to paper all you remember of your dreams right after you wake up. Make the pages and pen a part of your person. If you […]

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Someone’s Always Killing Poetry

“Who gives a shit about Arc? It’s where poetry goes to die,” said Dr. Alex Porco at Writing North 4. I occasionally go to writing workshops and presentations by established writers. In part, this is to keep informed about what’s happening in my local writing community, and in part it’s because this is my field […]

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