Further reading: Best of 2022 Part One: Peers’ Picks

It’s easy to be the Debbie Downer at the end of the year: to consider all the places you didn’t travel, the plans you didn’t make, the work deadlines you didn’t quite get in on time, the volunteer opportunities you didn’t take. But there’s a reason New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are holidays: to celebrate the wins we did have this year and to look forward to the opportunities ahead.

In that spirit, we asked our writers to look back and say what piece they were the most proud of in their 2022 catalogue, whether it was a post that stretched them, an essay that really hit its intended mark, or a piece that was just plain fun to write. Below is a greatest hits list of the post calvin, compiled by the people who know it the best, listed in publication date order.

Animated Plants Ranked by Appeal | Christina Ribbens

It made me smile re-reading it—lots of my posts this past year have been pretty serious/self-reflective-y, but I enjoyed freeing myself from any attempt to be serious on this one (and I had a few friends help and twas fun to collaborate).

Lessons Learned While Backpacking | Ansley Kelly

This piece makes me laugh and offers important reminders like that apply on the trail and off (always bring more beef jerky!).

The Magic in Murmurations | Comfort Sampong

I delight in how this piece knits together science, wonder, memory, and longing.

Leaving Room for Jesus | Alex Johnson

It felt good to interrogate and crystalize what always rubbed me the wrong way about celibacy, and it was a big deal for me to do it so publicly.

Chocolate & Homage | Hannah Riffell

It was a vulnerable piece for me, but I managed to pull it off with storytelling and not so much sentimentality.

Lover (Of My Soul): A Taylor Swift Worship Experience | Josh Parks

Hands-down (or hands-up?) the most fun I’ve ever had writing a tpc piece. Anyone know a glockenspiel player for my cover album?

Aberdeen, As I Walked It in 2021 | Gwyneth Findlay

As hard as it was to distill a year of exploration into 800 words, this piece allowed me to share a glimpse of my home and how I came to know it so well.

Coffee Crimes | Philip Rienstra

This was a piece I wanted to write for a long time before I actually felt ready to write it, and when the time came I think it turned out really well.

Sluggard | Gabrielle Eisma

Weaving three unlikely lines of story together made each small bit stronger.

Do Not Despise the Day of Small Things | Jack Kamps

This piece was, I think, my most successful attempt at describing an experience of farm labour in all its deeply spiritual, rotely mundane, and often quite gross and unglamourous aspects.

Grace for the Gray | Olivia Harre

Writing this piece helped me process my experience, and I hope what I’ve learned can be beneficial to others in a similar place.

Exempli Gratia | Courtney Zonnefeld

This post took so much weaving, reworking, and restructuring to accomplish, and I’m proud of the way all the pieces sing together in the finished version.

Why I Wanted to Leave the Church, and Why I Stayed | Tiffany Kajiwara

Of the posts that I’ve written this year, it asked the most difficult question, and I like that it didn’t settle on an easy answer.

A Sex Education | Laura Sheppard Song

I’m proud I was able to strike a balance here between self-disclosure and overshare, as well as between grace and critique.

Sakura | Ben DeVries

At its best moments, this post feels quiet, associative, and vivid in the way my favorite poets often are.

DB Cooper and Unsolved Mysteries | Lille Spackman

This timeless puzzle from my native PNW made me a little less homesick this year, and I delight in bringing others into the Cooper Cult.

Living in Liminal Space | Katerina Parsons

This essay is a snapshot of a strange and fleeting moment in my life, and I’m glad I captured the feeling of it before it’s gone.

A Costa Rican Culinary Experience | Kayleigh (Fongers) Van Wyk

Writing about a small step out of my comfort zone was enlightening, and I think this piece stood out from some of the other topics I pursued this year.

Transracial Adoption | Mitchell Barbee

Adoption has been and always will be something I have mixed emotions on, and rating it was just another step in sorting them.

A Theology of Doomscrolling | Joshua Polanski

Bean Dad + St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

Who Do You Think You Are? | Natasha (Strydhorst) Unsworth

C. S. Lewis understood the shape of the world; I am often in need of the reminder of his that “every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before;” the choices are identity itself… this piece lets me remember it.

Curse Tablets | Annaka Koster

As much as I enjoyed writing about homoerotic manga for our June theme month, this was probably the most fun I had with a post all year; it also comes with vintage insults, which are the best part of history.

A Fine Balance | Anna Jeffries

It’s always such a nice surprise when ramblings verging neurotic can actually make something coherent and with some substance and style.

An Ode to Turkey | Jon Gorter

I kept myself from overthinking this article, which made it fun to write.

The Dog-Man Question | Sam Tuit

I think I nailed the tone on this piece taking by taking something inherently silly seriously.

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