A couple of weeks ago we heard from Amy Fetterman, co-author of Who's Got Time? Spirituality for a Busy Generation. Today we hear from the other half of that dynamic writing duo, Teri Peterson:1. What inspired you to write this book? I wanted to read this book…and it didn't exist. Now it does!
In all seriousness--we kept looking and looking for something that would address the spiritual lives of people like us: smart, busy, X-Millennial bridge people who long for something bigger but aren't super interested in just retreading the same institutional route and are decidedly unwilling to disengage from culture or intellect. There was lots of stuff about resourcing the spiritual journeys of teens, and lots written about how all of us young adults were entitled rejectors of everything our parents built, but nothing written to or for us, or even really for anyone trying to figure out 21st century spiritual reality. Enter one professor-mentor-turned-colleague who gave us "the look" over a glass of wine in a hotel room, and voila: a book proposal was born.
2. What does "spirituality" mean to you? For me it's about how we approach life. I don't subscribe to the idea that there's a division between sacred and secular, so I think of spirituality almost as a worldview. I'm constantly looking for the Spirit, and for what speaks to my spirit. But that all takes practice…and that practice is spirituality.
3. What will people gain by reading this book that they won't get anywhere else? An imaginative yet grounded, playful yet profound look at how to engage the world. And hopefully some ideas that spark their own imagination toward seeking a deeper relationship with God even in the midst of the crazy that can be life in the 21st century.
What they will not find is a lecture about how they've been praying wrong all these years, and if they would just try XYZ thing that (insert historical figure here) did, they'd be happy and rich and find world peace. Though if anyone does find that thing, we hope they'll write to us…
4. Share one idea, quote or section in the book of which you are particularly proud. While pajama days are probably my favorite practice in the book, I have to say that the chapter on making up rituals to mark the moments of our lives (which are often different, or differently timed, than previous generations' moments and rituals) is some of our best work--and having actually done many of the rituals in that chapter, and others inspired by that chapter, I can say that they work. In spite of the skepticism of some of my 25-years-older friends.
If this question had been about the writing and what was the most fun part to actually figure out how to put on paper, it'd have to be researching songs in the Common Meter and singing Amazing Grace to them. Seriously…ask me to sing Amazing Grace to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" sometime. It's awesome.
5. Dream time: where would you LOVE to see this book get covered? (Oprah's Book Club, Colbert Report, etc.) We clearly need to be on the Daily Show. Obviously. Though I might settle for Krista Tippett's On Being at first. ;-)
Ooh, good choice Teri! Whether you end up across the table from Jon or Krista, we will cheer you on.