Friday, October 19, 2012

MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Interview #186

Name: MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Where you live:
Springfield, VA -- Washington DC metro area

What you do as a vocation or avocation?
writer, pastor,
mother of 3.
I'm the author of Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family's Experiment with Holy Time, published by Chalice Press.

Your two favorite books:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Your two favorite songs: "The Yes of Yes" by Carrie Newcomer, "Magnificent" by U2

Why you are interested in spirituality? 
I am actually not interested in spirituality in the sense that the word is often used. Spiritual is sometimes juxtaposed with physical, as if what's in our minds and hearts can be separated from these bodies that we live in. Spirituality can also be superficial escapism rather than a groundedness in the world and its deep needs. 

I think we need a new word. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions!

As Howard Thurman put it:

I am simply interested in becoming more fully and vibrantly human.

Your favorite quote:
I snuck an extra quote into the answer above! But here is my real favorite:
 “If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” -E.B. White
Your favorite web sites: 
Colossal (, an amazing collection of visual art, videos, photography, etc. I never cease to be inspired by it.

The Dish ( -- Culture, politics, books, ideas. 

99U ( -- Excellent ideas about creativity. 

And my own Blue Room, simply because of the graciousness of my readers and the opportunity to write whatever's on my heart (

Your hero? I've thought for a long time about this question and cannot come up with a hero. I have creative mentors and people who inspire me, but no heroes!

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
I wrote a book about Sabbath because I'm exploring how to treat time as a friend rather than as something to control or subdue, something I never have enough of. I feel like I made progress on this goal but also have a long way to go.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Iona, Scotland. Mo-Ranch Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. The desert.  

Editor's Note: 
You can order MaryAnn's book here. Follow her blog * Catch her on  and/or on  twitter: revmamd

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