Inside: James K.A. Smith on art, solitude, and quarantine. Rachel Sturges on what we don’t tell kids about God. A conversation with Diane Glancy on the brokenness of language, her love of long-distance driving, and the loneliness of being Native and Fundamentalist, and much more . . .
Summer Stage Series
The Image Summer Stage is lively series of free online events with something for everyone in the Image community. Twice a week, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we will present an eclectic mix of programming that features our editors and contributors from all over the world.
Home Alone Together
Every week for the next three months, twenty-five artists from around the world will contribute one photograph from a different part of their living spaces. Together, these photographs—whether taken in a kitchen, bedroom, or looking out a window—will articulate a new, collective picture of home in a time of pandemic.
Redeeming the Time
It’s not an accident that art finds us in these moments, or that we find art. Each week as part of our series “Redeeming the Time,” we will publish original essays, poems, and works from our editors and editorial advisors that speak to our current moment.
I found an unexpected resonance in D’Angelo’s low-fi, melancholy mood, articulated in the album Voodoo, which has mystified me for years.
Now you are a monotonousness of grace-
light under my steps, the unseen seen.
days like my lost eyelashes,
just dry leaves curled there and here,
When I hear my parents’ voices lilt with Midwestern shame, our pernicious lineage, I want to set the bench on fire or bury an axe head into it.
The spaded earth spurts in fury:
a geyser of yellow jackets torque
from their lair.
Diane Glancy is professor emerita at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she taught Native American literature and creative writing.She has published more than sixty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as screenplays and plays—and increasingly, as in her new book, Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job (Turtle Point, 2020),…
Everything close enough fades
in the coming dark; what’s at a distance,
I have hurt my father two times that I know of.
Easter, I make myself space
in a pew facing a pillar
four feet wide, I’d say, gray,
mottled, plastered countenance.
In our solemn conversations about the firemen, in our statements of unconditional loyalty and trust, I realize that maybe instead of the moral authority of God in our household, I have given Toby the firemen. Brave and noble, yes, but a shabby substitute for the Almighty.
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Once upon a time I thought belonging just happened, was angry or ashamed when I couldn’t experience it. But togetherness happens with practice and intention. It takes everything: pain, grief, rage, as well as my good intentions. This is even more evident now: though physically distanced from my church, I feel less alone in the body of Christ than I ever have before.
But quarantining inside two small rooms in a retirement village has more than the intended, necessary consequence. Quarantine is a muffler, it is a black-out shade. It is the space between a daughter and her father. The singular. The plural.
The death of George Floyd has shown once again how urgent and necessary systemic change is. In many cases, attacking a monument should not be seen as undesirable collateral damage, like looting a TV. Instead, these attacks are like gashes in the self-satisfied veneer of democracy and respectability, creating room for new narratives. In this case, immutable preservation is the actual violence.
And then I wonder: is this the quiet that dominates the life of all those people in hiding as well? The smallness, the excessive focus on detail, the mind going around in ever smaller circles? Will deeper thoughts and grand narratives only make themselves heard after this is all over?
In these days of world pandemic caused by something that can’t be seen by the naked eye, I’m coming around to seeing this song as one of faith in our interconnectedness, our interconnectivity. The songs and drumming drifting down from balconies to fill the streets in Rome can be heard echoing from rooftops and windows in Barcelona to Budapest, Ankara to Panama, New York City to Gurgaon. We all sing the same song, though in different keys.