Jen Hinst-White

 

jen_hinst-white_milo_nap

Mostly I’m a writer, but I also
moonlight as a pillow for moppets.

*    *    *

THE NEWEST NEWS:

I have essays forthcoming in Image Journal (November 2017) and Consequence Magazine (winter 2018).

And I’m overjoyed to have been awarded a Sustainable Arts Fellowship at Rivendell Writers’ Colony! I’ll be spending two weeks on Rivendell’s beautiful grounds working on my new novel this November/December.

≈≈≈

And if we’re not yet acquainted:

Hello! I’m Jen. I write. I speak. I like to be alive. I’ve written a novel about tattooing with illustrations (and I’m looking for a great agent or indie press to bring it into the world). I write essays and stories; I review books; occasionally I make a little music or deliver an unconventional sermon for those (like me) who waffle between the skeptics and the mystics. Should we talk? Connect on Twitter? Instagram?

Cheers & love, Jen Hinst-White

Read More

what they did with the grief.

I have never met anyone like them.

andrew

It was just over a year since the 9/11 attacks, and Andrew Rice was still grieving the loss of his brother in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Read More

sneak out with us . . .

jen_hinst-white_scrivening_Bartlebys

Got any plans this Saturday evening?

Rob Hinst and I will be playing live music as The Scrivening Bartlebys this SATURDAY, SEPT. 16, at House of Brews in Port Jefferson, NY.

Read More

empty space.

jen_hinst-white_space

(my kitchen)

Sine proprio. It means “without grasping.” It’s Latin, a phrase used in the vows taken by Franciscan friars—or that’s what I learned from my friar friend, anyway.

Specifically, sine proprio is the phrase used for the vow of Poverty. I would’ve thought they’d use a phrase like “without money” for a vow of poverty. But the point isn’t strictly the not-having. It’s the giving-away. For St. Francis and his early followers, sine proprio meant giving away even the ragged clothes from their own bodies, even their last handfuls of food, if they came upon another person who was hungry or poorly clothed.

Whatever comes into your hands, you choose to hold lightly— and freely release it, if need be, for the sake of love.

Read More

the beautiful mess

I often look around at other people’s religious belief the way I look at their perfect lush lawns. How did they make that look so nice and tidy and easy?

Mine will never be like that, and I’m at peace with that. (See Quirky Sermons.)

jen_hinst-white_sermon_812

I got to speak at True North Community Church this weekend as part of a series they’re doing called Under Construction—what it looks like to be a work in progress. I talked specifically about the beauty of doubts, questions, skepticism—and how much fear a lot of people experience around these things. How they are actually a vital part of our spirituality. How there’s something to be said for faith that doesn’t look as easy, neat and tidy as a suburban lawn.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Click here to watch.

The talk is about 23 minutes in (after a sweet music set by visiting musicians The Brothers McClurg and Ian Zumback).

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Among other things, I talked about how faith is not supposed to be something you conjure up in a vacuum for your own benefit. It’s meant to DO THINGS—to open the door for greater acts of love in the real world. Speaking of which:

I am so grateful for the hundreds of clergy who traveled to Charlottesville, VA this week to protest against white supremacy. I was moved by this account of the counter-protest from Brian McLaren. 

I’m continually grateful for people like Red Letter Christians, who take justice and mercy seriously.

brothers_mcclurg_ian_zumback_true_north_community_church

 

And I was so grateful yesterday to share the stage with the gifted musicians Ian Zumback and the Brothers McClurg, who stopped by as part of their “Back to Their Roots” tour. On a weekend when the ugliness in our culture was so bold and so public, I was glad to sit in the dark backstage listening to Ian ‘s new song “Entertaining Angels,” about the choice to do simple, quiet acts of love. It began with the words I will be your hospital…

Read More

Fiction that Glimmers in Darkness (Review Series)

Opening up my mailbox to find indie (literary) books I might never otherwise discover is one of the pleasures of reviewing for IMAGE Journal. Each month I get to read and ponder a new one for their digest of delights, ImageUpdate, and recently it was Animal Heart, a collection of short stories by Paul Luikart.

animal_heart_luikart

Luikart has worked in homeless services for the past 15 years. This wasn’t why I chose the book to review—I just enjoyed reading it, out of a large stack I’d been sent—but that fact did pique my interest. It’s a tricky thing (or has been for me), splitting a life between two vocations that, however rewarding, do draw on the energy of the soul. Almost all the paid jobs of my adult life, too, have been for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit work can be deeply meaningful. And disillusioning. And enlightening. And deadening. And all kinds of other ings, not least of which, on good days and bad, is tiring…

Read More