Jessica Kantrowitz

IMG_4265I spent many years in seminary — earning a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary — and in part time ministry, and then burnt out rather quickly in full time ministry. Who knows what it all means? Wendell Berry says, “We live the given life and not the planned.” He meant this, I think, in a joyfully free way: We don’t have to plan, or worry! Life has been given to us!ย  Now I am doing freelance editing work, and nannying, two jobs that I am good at and that I love.

For seven years I lived in an intentional Christian community, where we strived to learn what it means to “live the church” seven days a week. Since then I’ve been enjoying the pleasures of solitude, or at least as much solitude as you can get in Boston on my budget. Sometimes I make plans for the next big move, or career, or community experiment, but, well, see Wendell Berry above.

From time to time I also write short stories and send them to editors, who cheerfully send me rejection letters. I then send them more stories. Sometimes I fear we’re trapped in a co-dependent relationship. Sometimes I blog true things that happen to me (peripatetics) and sometimes I blog stories (poetry and prose), but often you can’t tell the difference. I also write essays on topics ranging from the weather to Christian ministry to the weather (there is a lot of weather to write about in Boston).

Lately I have discovered that it’s okay to draw badly. It may even be necessary. The perfect white of my sketch pad and the perfect rainbow of my pencils, paints and oil pastels have been replaced with something that looks like a human lives here.ย  I decided to call this “art therapy” since I can’t really justify the expense of having myself committed.

I would still be lost without the ability to get lost in a good book. If it takes you more than one try to get through that last sentence, maybe this ought to give me some idea of why the rejection slips keep coming.

Come follow me on Facebook for more!

I can be reached at tenthousandplacesblog@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica

 

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16 comments on “Jessica Kantrowitz

  1. Larry Glover says:

    Such passions! Living intentionally, in community no less, communication, writing, poetry… sounds like a heat filled life. And thanks for your visit and kind comments.

    be well and stay wild!
    larry

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louis Morgan says:

    I hope you save all of your short stories. I’ve recently been reading many 40 and 50 year old articles written by my great-aunt (many for which she received rejection letters). She has Alzheimer’s now and I intercepted her writings before she threw them away. Her writing inspires me, and I’m so thankful she kept them over the years. And I trust you will soon be published other than your blog (which is very interesting, btw).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jeremy says:

    “art therapy”

    exactly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judi says:

    I love the new look of your site! Hats off to you! I didn’t really know where to leave that comment so I opted to put it here as I really, really like this “about me” description. Best ~ Judi

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cher says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting – I am glad to get to know you through your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bscarlettc says:

    I’ve never even heard of “intentional christian community” before–thanks for sharing the link and the info about that-What an experience that must be!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nom J says:

    thoroughly enjoyed your entry!

    a long-term, deep admirer, depth researcher of intentional christian community, and a more recent admirer of human wit & light heartedness, which you seem to excell at, but, with class.

    grin.

    blessings from toronto/canada

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Luke Emrich says:

    hi jessica…i read your bio, your summary of you…i can soooo relate…yes, i’m in ministry…i’ve been pastoring forever it seems…i guess i’m good at what i do, but i’m burnt out…yet, i continue because tho i’m toast i still am passionate…mostly, passionate about “being” ’cause “christ plays in ten thousand places” has arrested me and ruined me…i recently had “one thing alone i crave, namely all in everything” tattooed on the inside of my arms…midlife crisis??? ha! it’s on the inside and and now it’s on the outside…thx for your blog…i look forward to reading…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Rubingh says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I love what you’ve shared here, and how you’ve written it — lots of common experiences in my own life. I happened upon your blog while researching Irenaeus’ quote (the glory of God is man fully alive). If you don’t know her already, you should check out singer/song writer Sara Groves. She’s amazing, and includes the quote in “I just showed up for my own life.” I’m not seeing any recent posts, are you still writing and posting?
    Blessings,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa says:

    Jessica… I Stumbled Into Your Blog And Though You Wrote That A Few Years Ago, I Am Curious If You Still Feel This Way. Pressing Into Our faith Is Challenging…Arresting…We Truly Become Prisoners. So How Do We Deal With TheEveryday realm…After The Extascy…The Laundry? Contact Me LLB787@gmail.com

    Like

  11. jhelenadams says:

    So glad to have found your blog (via Monastery on FB). Already commented on one blog entry but also wanted to say – “me, too!” when I read this. I am also seminary-trained and also lived in an intentional community while in seminary but only for 8 months, which was long enough for me (though I was only there temporarily before moving to Europe to be with my now husband). I am also a minister but burned out quickly juggling that with other jobs (long story) and am now a doctoral student instead at the age of 40 and a mom. Love writing and sketching. And a big fan of Hopkins and Wendell Berry, etc. I am really looking forward to learning more about your journey!
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ‘it’s OK to draw badly’ Wonderful! biggest wide open door to creativity there is. When i realised that it was a huge turning point in my life – hope it has been in yours too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alethea Eason says:

    I am so glad I saw that a friend had posted your “Bake Two Cakes” entry and that I’ve found your blog. I too take joy in doing art, though I am far from being an artist. It opens writing and my soul and gives me great joy (as well as grounding). Good luck in your journeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. berserkbird says:

    Wow! I love your writing and your views in “Bake Two Cakes”, and in your mini-bio above. Following! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. […] post by blogger Jessica Kantrowitz on how Christians might consider responding to the whole gay wedding cake kerfuffle is brilliant and […]

    Like

  16. berserkbird says:

    As in writing (all first drafts are crappy), art doesn’t automatically flow perfectly from anyone’s hands with no correction. It’s the journey, not the destination. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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