What Crisis Teaches: A Benedictine Perspective The Great Conversation series began several years ago to convene people around pressing issues of the day. The purpose was not simply to describe an issue, but to explore its meaning in light of the Benedictine tradition. This Conversation, which ends the series as the Center pauses its ministry,…Read more
About: Victor Klimoski
Victor Klimoski, Ph.D. is the former Director of Lifelong Learning Saint John’s School of Theology and provides consulting services for the Benedictine Center of St. Paul’s Monastery. He holds a doctorate in adult education from the U of M and works extensively as a group facilitator and project consultant. He is also author of a number of poetry collections, most recently Margin Notes and Lamentation for the Written Word.
Recent Posts by Victor Klimoski
Writing From the Center One of the upsides of COVID is figuring out workarounds. People are getting versatile using online platforms to meet, party, build and sustain relationships. But the itch to be in each other’s presence is strong. There is something about physicality that makes it an irreplaceable variable. Last spring when I was…Read more
Writing From the Center The Noble Truths About Writing At the end of January, ten writers attended our annual “Just Write” retreat. This weekend event provides time to sit in a quiet space and write – or think about writing. We gathered around the “Four Noble Truths of Writing” created by writer and Buddhist priest,…Read more
One of the exciting aspects of writing is the process of discovery also known as revision. An idea or image comes to mind, and we sit down to describe it because we want to remember it or share with others. Yet, it often happens that as we write, what seemed so clear and evident at first seems to fade. Or we suddenly find numerous threads of ideas with no pattern. When that happens, just keep writing until you come to whatever feels like the end. At this point you are ready to embrace the process of revision – the nearly magical process of discovery. Like a sculptor standing before a block of marble, you chip away at the mass of words on the paper or screen.Read more
Persistence, Not Perfection Kathy Fleming is a talented visual artist (www.kflemingart.com) who serves as the Artist Coordinator for the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery. Her canvases are captivating both in their craftsmanship and the deep reflection underlying each one. Those who see the exhibits she designs in the Monastery Gallery benefit from her uncanny…Read more
Writing from the Center In Praise of Mary Oliver and Her Call to Attentiveness We recently convened a gathering at the Monastery to celebrate the life and work of poet, Mary Oliver. She died January 17 at the age of 74, leaving behind a body of work that will sustain generations of readers. As a…Read more
Writing from the Center: Wisdom for Putting It In Words I am convinced that writing from the center of who we are requires time and companionship. In that spirit, we recently held a weekend retreat for writers. The invitation was to come into the embrace of the monastery with a single focus: to sit at a…Read more
Companioning Writers “So what do you do with your time?” I’m asked. “Write and work with writers,” I say. “What do you mean, ‘work with writers’?” they respond. “I am primarily a companion, someone who walks alongside them as they do the work only they can do.” Then comes the Minnesota reply. “That’s interesting.” Present…Read more
Calling It To Mind A Great Conversation On Virtue Most of us take virtue for granted since its absence conjures images of people who are venal, self-absorbed, and indifferent to the common good. In a recent session of the Great Conversations series, we discovered that a full-face look at virtue helps us to remember the…Read more
Before my mind is overcome / by news of the world’s woe, / I want to think of water, / fresh, cold water, cascading / over shelves of jagged rock / and falling like skeins of rich silk. . .Read more
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