having wings

having wings - Amy Bornman | Lynnette Therese Sauer
photo: Amy Bornman

Having Wings is a community-sourced advent anthology created / edited by Amy Bornman (of All Well Workshop), and it contains a drawing I made and words I wrote this advent season. Amy’s thoughtfulness in her creative process and beautiful handsewn creations have been inspiring as I consider my work (“art” and otherwise), and how it intersects with the values by which I hope to live. So when she announced an invitation to participate in this gathering of poems for the hoping, waiting season of advent, I wanted to contribute.

Most of my drawings this year have been unplanned curves filling sketchbook pages, as I try to get outside of a systematic mindset when it comes to making. Searching for the intuition I hope I have, and maybe starting to find it in this practice. After filling untold sketchbook pages with these swirling lines, I started noticing forms that reminded me of art historical Madonna and Child paintings. (A lovely google image search: “abstract madonna and child”.) Continue reading “having wings”

books (2016)


  • Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
  • If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers, Hannah Brencher
  • Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf
  • Home, Marilynne Robinson
  • Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • Erotic Ambiguities: The Female Nude in Art, Helen McDonald
  • Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, Jennifer New
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
  • 40 Days of Dating: An Experiment, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
  • Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • Mindfulness: 25 Ways to Live in the Moment Through Art, Christophe Andre
  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg
  • Dog Songs, Mary Oliver
  • Color: A Natural History of the Palette, Victoria Finlay
  • Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
  • Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings, James Elkins
  • No Matter the Wreckage, Sarah Kay
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, B.J. Novak
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  • That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  • How We Are Hungry, Dave Eggers
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Art, Sylvan Barnet
  • Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century, Jed Rasula
  • Women in Clothes, Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton
  • Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, Nada M. Shabout
  • Stardust: Supernovae and Life – The Cosmic Connection, John Gribbin
  • Slaugherhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • *Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, George Saunders
  • A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
  • Pastoralia, George Saunders
  • H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald
  • Remote Control: Power, Culture, and the World of Appearances, Barbara Kruger
  • Buddhism for Beginners, Thubten Chodron
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
  • Fool Me Once, Harlan Coban
  • Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, Shunryu Suzuki
  • McSweeney’s #44, edited by Dave Eggers
  • Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal, Joseph Campbell
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, Joel Brinkley
  • *Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Amitav Ghosh
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
  • How to be Both, Ali Smith
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Donald Miller
  • Thirst: Poems, Mary Oliver
  • Evidence: Poems, Mary Oliver
  • The Book of Buddhas: Ritual Symbolism Used on Buddhist Statuary and Ritual Objects, Eva Rudy Jansen
  • Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, Mary Oliver
  • The Circle, Dave Eggers
  • TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris J. Anderson
  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

* = re-read

books (2015)

In 2015, I read these.

  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Ed Catmull
  • The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, Caroline Alexander
  • Great by Choice, Jim Collins
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  • The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli (translated by W.K. Marriott)
  • The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, Steven B. Sample
  • One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven, Mark Cahill
  • Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis
  • Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right, Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.
  • The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance, Christopher G. Worley
  • The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
  • How Will You Measure Your Life?, Clayton M. Christensen
  • The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis
  • The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad
  • The Luminous and the Grey, David Batchelor
  • The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis
  • Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren F. Winner
  • The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis
  • A Prayer Journal, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Chosen, Chaim Potok
  • Tenth of December, George Saunders
  • Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, Lauren F. Winner
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (translated by Constance Garnett)
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo (translated by Cathy Hirano)
  • Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  • Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • ART/WORK, Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Flannery O’Connor
  • Paper Towns, John Green
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
  • Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, Lauren F. Winner
  • Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith, Barnabas Piper
  • Beauty Looks After Herself, Eric Gill
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  • Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Claire Bishop
  • Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, David Balzer
  • About Looking, John Berger
  • Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith, Matthew Lee Anderson
  • Minding the Body, Patricia Foster (editor)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • The Lipstick Gospel, Stephanie May Wilson
  • The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Best American Short Stories 2006, Ann Patchett (editor)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Promise, Chaim Potok
  • Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, Sarah Bessey
  • African Art, Frank Willett
  • The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain
  • Nejma, Nayyirah Waheed
  • Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, Jacques Derrida (translated by Eric Prenowitz)
  • The Princess and Curdie, George MacDonald
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur Bennett (editor)
  • Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans
  • The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
  • Women, Art, and Society, Whitney Chadwick
  • The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
  • Marjorie Main: Rural Documentary Poetry, John Sherman
  • Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
  • the Bible (English Standard Version)

books (2015)

To those who shaped this list by your generously loaned or gifted books, recommendations, and willingness to read with me – thank you!