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Chest Percussions

By Amye Day Ong Essay

LURLENE MCDANIEL KEPT ME COMPANY in the hospital. Her young adult novels—which included Six Months to Live, I Want to Live, So Much to Live For, I’ll Be Seeing You, A Season for Goodbye, Sixteen and Dying, and Someone Dies, Someone Lives—featured stories of teenage love for the terminally ill. I was not terminally ill,…

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Gathering the Light: Sean Scully’s Montserrat Chapel

By Paul Anel Essay

THE FIRST TIME SEAN SCULLY told me about his commission for a chapel on the grounds of the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, in Spain, it was in a restaurant in Chelsea, in New York City, in November of 2010. Digging into his side pocket, he found a pen and started drawing on the paper tablecloth: the…

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Presence in a Space: The Flickering Contradictions of Martin Puryear

By Karen L. Mulder Essay

IN 1997, THE ST. JAMES GUIDE TO BLACK ARTISTS called sculptor Martin Puryear a quiet revolutionary engrossed in the business of eroding art-world oppositions. “I would describe my usual working process as a kind of distillation—trying to make coherence out of things that can seem contradictory,” he says. “But coherence is not the same as resolution.…

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The Doubt that Breathes Beside You

By Stina Kielsmeier-Cook Essay

1. We are late to church and sneak along the outer edge of the sanctuary, the pine floors creaking under our careful steps. I slide into the pew next to my husband. My leg brushes against him, this man I love, a man who recently lost faith in God. I scan the bulletin and try…

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Listening to Silence

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

I ARRIVED AT THE ADVANCED screening of Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence, in the worst possible frame of mind. I was running late, and I was starving. My only option for getting food in time was a fancy burger joint near the multiplex. After ordering a mega-burger and fries, I fidgeted at the table, waiting…

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Dinner with Dona Adélia

By Jessica Goudeau Essay

Jessica Goudeau’s translations of the work of Adélia Prado, Brazil’s foremost living poet, appear in Image issue 91.   The night I met Dona Adélia, she told me my husband was the perfect man. She came to the University of Texas for a poetry reading with her longtime translator and editor, Ellen Doré Watson. At…

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Web Exclusive: A Love Supreme: The Surprising Art of Sedrick Huckaby

By Bruce Herman Essay

Homely, decorative, domestic—that’s how most of us think of quilting: something a sweet grandmother does while humming an old tune and waiting for a pie to cool on the rack. It’s a comfy-seeming practice we associate with homemaking and mothering—vocations mostly overlooked and never accorded the worldly esteem we give to the artist, composer, intellectual,…

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Roman Charity

By Tracy Brimhall Essay

THE LAST TIME YOU SAW your mother alive, she helped you heal from your C-section. It wasn’t what you planned, with your careful study of the benefits of natural childbirth, your doula, your pelvic carriage the midwife called beautiful. Your own mother’s births had been natural, her milk abundant. She always said that being a mother…

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The Charged World

By Martha Park Essay

WHEN MY FATHER finished seminary at Vanderbilt, he served his first small church in Beech Bluff, Tennessee. He was single and drove a little moped. He took disco dancing lessons to stave off loneliness and survived on church ladies’ casseroles. That summer he was working as a counselor at a church summer camp when he…

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The Thorn and the Heart: Anxiety, Irony, and Faith

By Jonathan McGregor Essay

Ø IT WAS ONE OF THOSE OVERCAST October mornings in College Station that look like they ought to be much colder than they are. I walked back to my south-side dorm from the Zachry Center in shirtsleeves, sweating, a zippy mock-turtleneck sweater over my arm. Zachry was an engineering building at the far northeast corner…

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