Sign of the Rose is a diverse collection of reflections, poems, thoughts written by me, Neil White. This collection has grown steadily since the blog’s beginning in 2012 and now consists of almost 750 posts. In their own way each post is a small part of my search for something expansive in my relationship with God, the cosmos, and in the relationships we share with one another both physically and now digitally. Sign of the Rose is an extension of the work l do as a pastor, as strange as some of the topics he engages may be in some religious settings, and I intentionally pay to keep this space free of external advertisements. Creative Words: Poetic Reflections on Creativity, Creation and the Power of Words originated in this space and can be ordered wherever you purchase books. If you enjoy the poetry or work you find in Sign of the Rose I invite you to consider this small work.
People arrive at Sign of the Rose from various points with various interests and I think that is a wonderful thing. Read what you are interested in and feel free to leave the rest. As you navigate around the blog here are some things you will find:
- The most consistent part of Sign of the Rose has been a regular engagement with the Christian scriptures. There is a lot of reflections on scripture out on the internet, but many are either come from traditions that have a very rigid interpretation of scripture or are very facile. This is both a part of my learning as a pastor, continuing to engage with the breadth of the scriptures in a deep way and a part of my own exercise of my faith, but it is also a way I share some of the wisdom I have gained from this search. Each book that I have worked through can be accessed by clicking on list of categories on the side of each post. I am currently back to working my way through the book of Psalms (Psalms 63-72 in this set) and I recently completed my most consuming project to date which was working through the Gospel of Matthew. In addition to Matthew and Psalm 1-62 the complete reflections from the following books are also available (listed in the order they appear biblically): Exodus, Deuteronomy, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Jeremiah, Haggai, and Revelation. Clicking on the any of those books will take you to a title page from which you can navigate anywhere in the book.
- Poetry is the other part of the blog which has significantly impacted me as an author. There are close to two hundred poems captured here. Some of these will be included in Creative Words, mentioned above. These poems are an action of delighting and experimenting with language. I never thought of myself as a poet until the words began to flow from my mind onto the page and I have frequently been amazed at the way the words may unearth something I did not realize was there until the stare back at me from the page.
- Book Reflections are also something that will pop up frequently. I do not do one for everything I read (I am a bibliophile and read approximately 60 books in a typical year), but l will sometimes review something I find exceptionally rich. I am also currently working through Time Magazine’s top 100 Novels since 1923 (when Time was founded) as a way of encountering some works of fiction I may not naturally gravitate towards and posting on each one as I work through that project.
- There are a number of posts that have gone into areas relating to my interests in creativity, psychology, and philosophy. As a person who works in the church in a time of change I have occasional reflections on church as it is, trying to re-imagine what it will look like for the future, and in particular what faith looks like in a digital age. Sometimes I merely look at culture, media, music and let it enter my reflections. There is even a little short fiction I wrote for my kids about our two dogs. Each one is a part of the puzzle that makes up my experience of the world. They help me bring meaning into my life and hopefully some thoughtfulness and joy into yours.
The story behind the name, Sign of the Rose, can be found here. Thank you for reading, I value any reactions or thoughts you have.