nonsermon #4: my unbelief

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor Although these nonsermons are decidedly against preaching, I am still drawn to a particular Gospel narrative that speaks to me even now. The story of Matthew 9 states that when a man asks Jesus to rid his son of a bad spirit, Jesus tells him that all things are possible for those…

Micro Prose: Fieldnotes (IV) by Anuradha Bhowmik

Fieldnotes (IV) 1) According to the DSM-5, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition in which a child or teen displays an ongoing pattern of defiant or argumentative behavior and vindictiveness toward people in authority. The cause of ODD is unknown, but the condition is likely a result of environmental and genetic factors. There are…

nonsermon #3: my meanings

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor For most of my life, Christianity defined my experiences of meaning-making in this world. I was raised in the church, came to my own beliefs in high school and college, and shaped my understanding of the world around mine and others’ interpretations of the Bible. When I began to understand that my worldview was…

The Creative Life is an Amplified Life: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

by Geoff Watkinson In the opening pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, she asks the following question about creative living: “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” If someone had asked me that question a few years ago, I would have felt incredibly uncomfortable, not believed I…

Micro Prose: Lafayette, Indiana by Sarah Green

Lafayette, Indiana In Lafayette, Indiana, in 2003, sometimes the air smelled like steamed milk for no reason. The restaurant with the best enchiladas was tacked to a used-car sales lot. I swear a bead curtain marked the line between them. But maybe nothing marked it. In winter, on the same block as a tattoo parlor…

Micro Prose: Eve’s Diary by Simona Blat

Eve’s Diary after Mark Twain Last night I walk so far across the tide that I think I see stars floating. When it gets cold I sleep with the tigers since they smell sweet from eating strawberries. It is not safe to trust me with a moon that belongs to something else. There are too…

nonsermon #2: my selves

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor If you’ll forgive me, I’m going to use this space to talk about myself, because I am both the subject I know the best and also—it sometimes seems—not at all. As these nonsermons are inspired by e.e. cummings’ nonlectures, I am drawn to his reasoning for spending so much time on the…

Micro Prose: Deep End by Nick Bertelson

Deep End At the local pool waiting in line to use the diving board, a young boy named Randell turned to me and probed his pinkie into his ear, producing a picayune ball of wax that he claimed to be his eardrum. “Go ahead,” he said, “scream into my ear. I can’t hear a thing.”…

Micro Prose: Fear by Jennifer Gravley

Fear Mindy was afraid her sister put spiders in her ear as she slept. She was afraid the spiders crawled inside the canal that led inside her. She was afraid one of the spiders was pregnant—baby spiders oozing from her ear like eight-legged lava. Mindy was afraid her father’s dead grandmother watched her as she…

nonsermon #1: my religion

by Ben Lewellyn-Taylor In 1952, e.e. cummings was invited to Harvard for a series of what he referred to as nonlectures. From the outset, cummings clarified that he had no interest in the traditional lecture form: “Lecturing is presumably a form of teaching; and presumably a teacher is somebody who knows. I never did, and…