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Poetry Friday: “Flying Letters”

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a large lacy and green bough with small leaves partially lit by sun in front of a dark green forest underbelly.

I admire the way this poem speaks indirectly to the incomprehensible loss of military life through direct imagery from the natural and domestic worlds. The speaker’s civilian perspective here is captured in a swirl of motion and silence made audible: the mouths of flowers are not real mouths, and yet their blooming right in the…

A Feminine Corollary To Machismo? Part 2

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My companions and I had overstayed our moment in the bishop’s suite, which was by now devoid of beer, wine, tequila, and perhaps wisdom. We decided to meet outside the hotel for a cigarette. On the way down, the bishop’s assistant, a young man in his twenties, asked about my music. My ensemble was going…

A Feminine Corollary to Machismo? Part 1

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After the keynote speaker at the conference, everyone in my immediate vicinity wanted a drink, including the bishop. Location was an issue. It needed to be discreet for his sake. It needed to be cheap for our sake. It needed to be comfortable for the sake of the pregnant woman with swollen ankles along for…

Remembering Father George

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My priest has died. Or rather, in Eastern Orthodox terminology, he has reposed. He has fallen asleep. It’s funny how this death both echoes, and completes, the death of my biological father forty years ago. Throughout my childhood, for years after my father died, nothing irked me like people’s vague references to somebody “passing away.”…

Letter from an Underground Karamazov to His Couple’s Therapist

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Dear Dr. E, My, but you’re a clever one, aren’t you? You sit there looking so kind and compassionate, smiling and nodding, affirming and encouraging us, and so on, but I’m onto your little game. I’m a clever one, myself. Therapy, I know, is not really about feeling heard and receiving good relationship advice. It’s…

Poetry Friday: “Camp Meeting”

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We’re familiar with the genre called “historical fiction.” But in “Camp Meeting: Old Saybrook, Connecticut, April 1827,” Marilyn Nelson has created what we could call “historical poetry.” She invents a narrator who attended this mammoth camp meeting with her evidently upper class girlfriends, and describes the meeting through the narrator’s eyes. The narrator is a bit…

Everything I Know

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Everything I know fits inside my body, but where does my body end? Is it as deep and wide as the lake in which I swim? Is it as thin as an electric guitar’s high E string? The lead guitarist solos; my body bends, ascends, and descends with the notes. He’s playing a Gibson SG,…

You Can’t Hide from Winter

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Winter is coming. All of northern Michigan seems to whisper the warning. The sun is slower to rise each day, and the mist clings to the lakes when I drive my children to school in the darkness. Our neighbors have been anticipating the first snowfall since we arrived here in August, when it was ninety-two…

Nostalgia for Stranger Things

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In July 2016, I watched season one of Stranger Things with my younger brother. I didn’t encounter a Demogorgon in the small town where we grew up, but I did use walkie-talkies, grow infatuated with girls from school, and roam the neighborhood on my bike. Last week, I watched season two with my wife, the…

Arcade Fire at the Empty Tomb

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The end of Arcade Fire’s latest album finds the band somewhere unexpected: the tomb of Christ. “Mary, roll away the stone,” frontman Win Butler rasps as “We Don’t Deserve Love” approaches its climax. “The men that you love always leave you alone.” Many reviews of Everything Now—the band’s worst-received effort by far, according to Metacritic—take…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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