Journal Excerpts

Since I haven’t posted in quite a while, I thought I’d share a few excerpts from my WAND journal. Some of these may reappear in the book, so consider this a teaser.

Day 4 – June 6

I have rather quickly come to feel like being on this trip—on the trail—is my life. Like the rest of my life is just kind of there in the background, that what I do is walk around with the necessities on my back, stop and rest, stop and camp. I walk and eat and talk.

Day 8 – June 10

The library [at Assumption Abbey in Richardton] consisted of three conjoined rooms and it was just a cool experience, for some reason, to walk through. I guess the idea of monks reading the “normal” books I or any scholar or just person might read. [Brother] Michael said they add about 600 volumes a year, which seemed like a lot. When we were back at the dorm, Tyler remarked that it was sad that so many of those books—most of them, in fact—will probably never be read again. I can see being saddened by that but for some reason I’m not. It’s on the verge of being comforting, for some reason. Maybe. Maybe I’ll change my mind. There were some old, ugly floral couches in the library, which added to the oddly comforting effect.

Day 9 – June 11

We get to use her [potter Robin Reynolds’s] public restroom while we’re here [in Hebron]. It has a nice Kleenex box and Victoria’s Secret lotion, which makes it like a nine out of ten bathroom by my current standards, haha.

Day 10 – June 12

I enjoyed observing a few small insects today during breaks. A tiny leafhopper hopped around on me for a little while, and a little flying bug of some kind rubbed its antennae and legs together in a variety of ways as it perched on my finger.

Day 13 – June 15

This might be the most beautiful day of the WAND. Endless seas of waving emerald grass—blue sky and legions of puffy white clouds—lots of boulders in the gently rolling hills. I’ve seen all these things before, but they seem lovelier than ever today.



About Gwen

Gwen is a Moorhead-based editor, writer, and musician. She owns Content & Contour, LLC ( and teaches french horn at North Dakota State University. She loves weightlifting, reading novels, spending time with her family and friends, and being a board member of the Moorhead Business Association. View all posts by Gwen

2 responses to “Journal Excerpts

  • Br. Michael Taffe, OSB

    Gwen, Gwen, Gwen….rather than say “old, ugly, floral couches”, I prefer to label our sofa’s as “unique and individual period pieces that reflect a time-honor vision of comfort”. To be honest, they were all donated by people who did see them as old and ugly! I really over-stated the number of new books we put into our collection each year. I recently finished cataloging a huge back-log that we have, so that threw me off. A better estimate would be 200-300 per year – half donated and half we purchase. Probably a good footnote in your writing. Hope you are getting ready for graduate school!

  • Gwen

    Thanks for the comment, Michael 🙂 I am indeed getting ready for graduate school, including a review of Latin for a second-language proficiency exam. Hope you and the rest of the community are doing well!

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