Kylan Rice

Kylan Rice is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Colorado State University. He blogs at

It Demands Glory: Covenants, Bonds, and Interrelationality in Hosea

Oct 01, 14 It Demands Glory: Covenants, Bonds, and Interrelationality in Hosea

Posted by in Featured

Note: This was a talk offered at the Horsetooth Student Ward in Fort Collins, Colorado If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m easily overwhelmed. I mean this in the traditional sense, where “overwhelm” is synonymous with words like “overflow” or “overbrim,” like a capsizing boat or a cup filled passed the limit. To overwhelm a thing is to submerge it completely. And if there is one sense that I try to carry with me on a day-to-day basis, it’s this sense of being overfilled or filled past brimming. I try to find myself submerged or immersed in light, color and sound. Submerged in joy, sadness, boredom. Immersed in my family’s love, immersed in God and God’s love. Believe it or not, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy trying to cultivate this state of mind, this state of being overwhelmed. I’ve found it’s not easy to give yourself over to the world in this way, usually because there’s a lot of pressure that goes along with submersion. Indeed, when it comes to scuba diving, the most important factor to overcome in breathing under water is pressure. Water is almost 1000 times more dense than air. To scuba dive, say, along the coral reef, to see the vast and vibrant array of animal and plant life the ocean has to offer, one has to endure the burden of a pressure 1000 times greater than that which we experience on a daily basis. These days, I feel overwhelmed in particular by the modern world. I feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the planet, and by the incredible complexity of ecological, economic, social, and interpersonal systems. For instance, I am astonished by the physics that causes burning paper to curl, or the biological systems at work that cause leaves to emerge and array themselves along a branch. Often, looking beyond nature, I feel overwhelmed by systems and industries that lie over and above my control, or by the accelerating and...

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Reverse Resurrection

Mar 30, 13 Reverse Resurrection

Posted by in Featured, Poetry

  Art is exploratory, and begins in a place of not knowing. Like all expression, it is predicated on risk and vulnerability – on partial information, on hope. As often as I write to know, I spend equal time writing to unknow –  to complicate and to question. Indeed, at the center of any good poem is an interrogation, rather than an answer. An uncertainty, an ambiguity. A small gray, ineffable heart. When I approach art, I am essentially approaching a tomb in the springtime, seeking a beloved body. I find a great stone rolled aside, a vacant space, some linens neatly folded. There is a shaft of narrow light and a question. I wait for someone to approach from behind and call my name. I pace the tomb for hours. I confuse strangers in the garden for heralds and angels. Eventually, it grows dark and I go home and lie in my bed. I wonder what I might have missed. I return to the tomb the next day, and the next. After some time, I’ll learn to love that narrow shaft of light. Those folded linens. The vast silence that meets my voice when I say into the space, Lord? Lord?   REVERSE RESURRECTION Back before a psalm sung could sabotage even the darkest city parks I learned it’s prettier to repent— as in spring, when snow has the posture of a beaten dog and, Christlike, the ice loves well what doesn’t last: planes, morning glories. What good’s another hymn for brutal Easter. A new psalm to click in the brain. Singing my heart out with new grief for an old story told in the morning. It’s times like these I’ve got to love the thawing, then the thousand other winters coming back to cinch me up again....

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The Day Breaketh

This is the second post written by our guest blogger Kylan Rice.  His essay explores the idea of wrestling with God as found in Genesis chapter 32.  To read his first post click here. THE DAY BREAKETH by Kylan Rice   It’s not often that God’s finger reaches through the cosmic ether into a recognizable dimension, beckoned, perhaps, by prayer to light a stone or two―a handful of lithic lamps designed to illuminate a crossing of “great waters in darkness” (Ether 2:22). Unlike the brother of Jared, we are more often than not required to operate based on stirrings of the veil, rather than rents and tears in the fabric of space and time through which divine parts pass. The universe shimmers as a shroud before the face of God, and we find ourselves kneeling by light rather than by lifted finger. In an essay found in the November 2006 issue of Poetry magazine that neatly links theology and poetry, Matthew Fitzgerald notes that “both [poetry and Christianity] recognize a basic elusiveness; both testify to the fact that we see and don’t see, seize and don’t seize; both acknowledge a greater reality pulsing just beyond the boundary” (132). Each of us interface with God in separate fashion. For some, God roars through life with all the tonnage of a waterfall. For others, he is on the tip of a tongue, the edge of a hem. For others still, he is light seen from the corner of the eye, sparking out of a gram of darkness. For these latter, faith is an act of groping, scraping, kicking against the pricks. A feat of wrestling, pinning, begging for keeps. For some, God is elusive―but it is in these variations and aberrations that personal, intimate faithfulness can materialize. In the act of wrestling with God, we sweat against sweat, rake tendon against tendon, lock arm and neck through the night “until the breaking of the day” (Gen. 32: 24). I first came across the story of Jacob...

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There Is No End To Light

For about  four years now I have been teaching the Priest Quorum in my ward here in Oregon.   It is a calling I have thoroughly enjoyed.    During that time in a young man’s life, they start to really grapple with things.  They no longer are willing to believe things solely because an adult authority figure has told them.  They debate and argue.     It is this push and pull, this give and take that has made the calling so wonderful. One of the men I was able to teach was Kylan Rice.   He is majoring in English at BYU and is a very interesting person to speak with.  Kylan will be leaving for the Paris, France Mission soon; entering the MTC this Wednesday.  Since he has been home from BYU, I have been able to sit down with him on two occasions and have had amazing discussions with him.  His insight into language, his love of poetry and metaphor makes him one of the most thought-provoking men I have known.  My life has been enriched because of my association with him. Kylan gave his mission-farewell address this past Sunday in our ward.  He agreed to let us post it on our blog.  I hope his talk will be enjoyed by all of you as much as it was by me.  Here is a little flavor of Elder Rice:   THERE IS NO END TO LIGHT  Kylan Rice 2012 As a pre-teen, I half-entertained the notion that the scriptures could be treated as a spectacular, ancient magic 8-ball. At some point, I’d been taught that we can find real, tangible answers to personal questions in the scriptures, and I mistook serendipity for the oracular by flipping through the pages and stopping at random with my finger on a verse as if it were a country on a spun globe. More times than not, though, I landed in a war chapter, or on a verse calling sinners to repentance, so results were mixed, to say the least....

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