Peace Like A Turtle

Meaning of life found...In Cannon Falls

"We focus on personal stories," says Bickman. "We don't have stories that say, 'You should do this,' or 'You should do that,' or how-to articles. We have first-person experience stories."

"I think there's an unseen community of people who are interested in things that the regular media isn't presenting," says Lindeman. "There just is not a lot of opportunity for people to make any connections, to explore anything, to examine anything, to experience anything new."

From there, the talk turns to definitions of God, religious upbringing, the validity of terms like "spiritual path" and "new age," music, the paper's readership (everybody from "cultural creatives" to high school and college students, plus a large out-of-state subscription base), to the "smorgasbord spirituality" that defines Turtle River Press and so mightily offends some Christians.

When I suggest that the paper is a good destination for those who find themselves constantly walking in two worlds--everyday earthbound experience on the one hand, and broader mysteries as framed by music, art, philosophy on the other--Keul says flatly, "I don't think we're that deep. I just think that we find things that are cool and put them in the paper." Then, with the sort of curt segue that could only be pulled off by a Catholic-mom-turned-yoga instructor, she talks about the week-long Etty Hillesum symposium she recently attended, and reads a passage from the back of the book: "Etty's story is one of fearless, passionate commitment to intellectual integrity, sexual honesty, moral beauty, and, finally, to a mystical encounter with the God within."

"I think," says Keul, "Etty would like Turtle River Press."

 

For more information on Turtle River Press, call 651.258.4944 or e-mail cbickman@cannon.net.

 

Jim Walsh can be reached at 612.372.3775 or jwalsh@citypages.com.

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