Ben Rietema (’14) lives in Wanaka, New Zealand at the moment. Besides staring at and running in mountains, he makes a wicked hospital corner and can clean a bathroom like Gandhi (if he were a housekeeper) at his job at a local lodge. He also enjoys saying “HOUSEKEEPING” in the highest pitch voice he can muster before entering a room to service it. benrietema.wordpress.com/

post calvin direct

Get new posts from Ben Rietema delivered straight to your inbox.

The Reality of Fear

We think the world is going to hell. Every single generation has in some respect thought their world was going to hell. Right now, it’s not.

The Food Struggle

No one remembers to send okra a Christmas card, and they usually misspell “okra” anyways. Ocra? Akra? Okrah? Occasionally, someone visits her when they go south for spring break.

Genetic Potential

So for the present, let’s stay out of the future. And dear god, let dogs stay dogs, let cats stay cats, and let mice stay undersized rats.

The Limitations of Flowers

The woman looked at me like I’d asked to give her a dead fish, which, considering I looked like I had come out of the forest, wasn’t wholly misplaced.

Let’s Talk About Ghosts

Do I cling to God and morality because behind those things there lies a black, incessant void of despair and pointlessness that existentialism can barely put a Hello-Kitty band-aid on?

Housekeeping for Dummies

Step Seven—Whew, we’re already on step seven. Check the time. What time is it? Whoo boy, we’ve already been in here thirty minutes, and it’s only half done.

What The Hell Did I Just Watch?

The list of far-fetched hobby-type things goes on—latte art, throwing things in a blender and showing the footage on YouTube (Will It Blend?), keeping moldy water in your garage and selling it to other people (home brewing)…

What They Don’t Tell You About Campervans

He took a lap around the vehicle, got in the driver’s seat, and tried the key. The van roared to life… as if nothing had been wrong, as if it were just born, as if it were doing it just to spite me. I stared at the van in silence.

A Night on the Lash

It was like asking the two of them to play a game of ping pong, but no one had brought any paddles and the only ball available was a brick.

Where Is Home?

The answer can act as a balm; even speaking the name can reseal the permanent connection to the fact that travelers are not always traveling,

Landlubber

Another wave of nausea wrenches my stomach, and I cling to the horizon with my eyes, willing the North Island to come closer. I nervously check the lower deck to see if any hapless soul is below should I release my lunch.

Me and My Pet Grizzly

We admire the people who adventure, who scale mountains, who travel to faraway places with nothing but optimism, peanut butter, and probably not enough experience.

Do You Even Board, Bro?

The whole town’s milieu has changed from German trampers and the Asian tour bus multitudes to people who can’t seem to survive without a beanie on their head.

Another Game of Uno

By the end, I had to get out, or I was going to keel over from Uno-induced asphyxiation. I said my goodnights and stumbled off down the corridor.

The Sheep That Could

It gazed at me, seemingly serene yet still in obvious misery. Was it questioning its life? Was he brought closer to some meaning in its purposeless sheep existence? Do sheep go that deep?

A Hero for the Rest of Us

While Superman is out saving the world and dating incredibly attractive women, I’m covered in grime, decidedly without any lingerie models throwing themselves at my feet.

Cat Person

I looked down at Winston (or the other one), who still looked up at me pleadingly. He hadn’t moved an inch, even though there were about fifteen other willing petters around.

A Glimpse

But probably, it was simply a pure moment, where the present brushes eternity and leaves a faint aroma of godliness. I breathed in. The rain whispered, and the grass ruffled.

There and Back Again

But like Bilbo returning to Bag End, sometimes you return home and your neighbors are rifling through your linen and walking out the door with your cutlery.