I’m looking forward to a special issue of the Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing, centered on my sister Christine Ruth Wiebe. The issue will be published October 18, 2010.
My sister Christine’s significant creative contributions as a poet will be explored through publication of a selection of her work, and essays by Ellen Kroeker and Jeff Gundy, our mother Katie Funk Wiebe, and myself. To prepare to write my essay, I read through almost 30 years of her journals. I found dozens of poems and some drawings which had never before been published. I learned that she studied dance at one point, considering becoming a liturgical dancer. And I also learned that when she was in Chicago she was in a Centering Prayer group, which is a discipline I also practice.
The photo above came in an email yesterday from Ellen Kroeker, writing from New Zealand: “The Southern Ocean winds (the roaring forties which sweep across at that latitude) have been battering New Zealand for five days now. I have ignored the essays that need grading for too long. I light a candle, pull my freesias closer and make a pot of tea (under the tea cosy in the picture) and pull out the Christine teacup. Ah, not even alone, while the cold wind is rattling windows and doors. I feel more settled now, an old friendship warming a very chilly spring day. I wish my students had some of her song in their writing. I sigh, open another folder on the computer, and resolve to put some of Christine’s grace into my attitude and comments. When we think of her, she is alive in us, right?” Thank you, Ellen.