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A Beginning | about

A B O U T G A T H E R I N G S . I N K

Purpose: To pursue meaning publicly and poetically

How: by sharing my creative and intellectual practices

Why: because good writing comes from good thinking.


The verb gather has no less than four meanings:

1. to collect from scattered places

2. to summon for a purpose

3. to hold together

4. to understand

To gather is the prerequisite of all making. As makers, we do not create out of nothing, but out of the abundant something that is our life in the world. The imperative of the poets is simply to pay attention. Writing begins with fragments: bits of memories, overhead conversation, scientific phenomena, responses to books and films, observations, evocative objects that hold story, etc. All of it is the medium. The task of the writer is to craft something out of the collected fragments' cries for convergence.

Writing is perhaps one-fourth pursuit of language and three-fourths pursuit of meaning. The practice of the craft of words must be done alongside the craft of thought. In other words, good writing comes from good reading, reflection, and response. My creative and intellectual practice as a writer is an interdisciplinary dialogue between fields of study that call to my curiosity in the way they fashion questions and relate to the known and the unknown.

Understanding comes from holding together what has been collected and summoned for a purpose in the present moment. In the practice of gathering, not only do conversation partners get collected, summoned, held together, and perhaps understood, but the writer and artist behind the verb in turn is collected, summoned, held together, and understood in the process of making. The philosopher Mark Johnson defines meaning simply as the way things connect. Aesthetics for him is a study of “the human capacity to make and experience meaning” (Mark Johnson, The Meaning of the Body, x). The more connections, the more meaning and beauty we find at those intersections of ideas.

The universe is shot through with meaning. We find it in our diverse languages of inquiry: philosophy, psychology, theology, the sciences, poetry, literature, and all the arts. Gathering is the beginning response to that creative call to make. This blog seeks to share and model my creative philosophy as a poet and a teacher, inviting you to use story, art, observation and interdisciplinary dialogue in your own practices.


I've divided the blog into 5 categories that represent the intersections where I think, gather, and make art. Each carries a primary question that shapes the themes of the blog:


How does interdisciplinary dialogue feed good writing and meaning making?

  • philosophy

  • aesthetics

  • psychology

  • theologies

  • feminist theory


What words can fuel the literary fires?

  • exploring how to read and write poetry

  • writing prompts

  • why write? ( ars poetica )


How might cinematic and literary languages teach us about how we make meaning?

  • book reviews and analysis

  • film reviews and analysis


What can we learn from the dialogue between images and words?

  • exploring visual artists’ compelling work

  • finding forms for expression


How might language shape our relationship to our home on earth?

  • curiosity cabinet of metaphors found in natural world

  • writing about place

  • field notes from my travels and pilgrimages

  • ecotheology

"We do not create out of nothing, but out of the abundant something that is our life in the world. The Imperative of the poets is simply to pay attention." Brittany Deininger


Recent Posts



Take a look inside my current notebooks to gather inspiration for your own creative rituals, studio spaces, and keeping places. 

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