Here is an excerpt from yesterday's email of The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: "Today is the birthday of poet Rainer Maria Rilke born in Prague (1875). He wrote a cycle of 10 long poems that he called The Duino Elegies, about the difference between angels and people, and the meaning of death, and his idea that human beings are put on earth in order to experience the beauty of ordinary things. "In the Ninth Elegy, Rilke wrote: "Maybe we're here only to say: house, / bridge, well, gate, jug, olive tree, window — / at most, pillar, tower ... but to say them, remember, / oh, to say them in a way that the things themselves / never dreamed of existing so intensely."
This morning I made a crockpot stew--beef, carrots, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper. By 5:30 our home was filled with an extraordinary aroma. The beauty of ordinary things. How often I overlook this beauty. What a moment of grace when I have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the full awareness to experience the beauty of ordinary things.
I love to play with words. To capture moments on the page. To explore the physical and spiritual geography of what I call "fly-over country." I write from imagination, observation and my own experience of wandering in fly-over country--the literal, physical spaces of my life on the Minnesota prairie and the inner territory of the soul.
I teach writing and serve as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. I enjoy cooking and traveling with my husband Jim, reading, practicing yoga, playing tennis, biking, hiking and gardening.