An essay on hope – with borrowed imagery from Denise Levertov – at Art House America Blog

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Several weeks ago I had an essay published at Art House America Blog; between the new book release and a couple of intense work projects, I've been remiss at sharing about it here.

In case you don't know about Art House America, it's an organization committed to "Cultivating Creative Community for the Common Good." With a physical presence in Dallas, Texas, and also St. Paul, Minnesota, Art House America also has a robust online presence at The website is powered by the editorial team of Andi Ashworth, Jenni Simmons, and Jennifer Strange.

At least weekly, they post an essay from a contributing writer in the categories of: Truth, Justice, Creation Care, Hospitality, Feast, Place, Vocation, Music, Bookish, Visual Art, Stage & Screen, Artful Kids, and Crafty. Last year I pointed to a couple essays on the Art House America Blog in a post of mine here about women essayists.

My essay, "Knotted Gossamer," is about hope, specifically hope exchanged between people, even and maybe particularly so, between strangers. It borrows the imagery of a gossamer hammock from a poem by Denise Levertov called "Psalm Fragments."

Here's the first paragraph of the essay. I hope you'll want to click through and read the rest as well as explore the website's rich archives.

"A poem by Denise Levertov speaks of the “grey gossamer hammock” that is the Lord’s and in it, the narrator curls and swings. A hammock of flimsy web that should rip apart, but doesn’t. A hammock anchored to thin twigs that should break, but don’t. You climb in and hope it holds. I like to wonder about the nature of all this unseen support that offers not only the safety of the curl but the strength of the swing. I imagine the catch of angels; God’s infinite palm; the unknowable, immeasurable, yet nevertheless concrete woof and warp of divine will and presence."

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[Photo: taken by my husband, Dave Nordenson, on a corner in Chelsea, NYC]