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Poetry Friday: “Advent”

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I’ve heard many people say we’ve never needed poetry more than we do now, but “Advent,” by Bruce Bond, reminds me that poetry has always been vital. The poem begins with a bombing in the Yellow Sea and smoke so thick “you cannot  see your hands,” which sets the reader up for a domino effect of…

Why I Support Image

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Dear readers, When Image was founded in 1989, we turned to a few literary exemplars for endorsements. After all, we had no reputation, money, or power, so we needed to find advocates whose words carried authority. One of the first we turned to was Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Dillard, whose incandescent prose dealt with some of…

The Patron Saint of Losers, Part 2

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This post, which appears as the Editorial Statement in Image issue 90, is continued from yesterday. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, a contemporary of Shakespeare, knew his share of failure. As a young man he went off to serve in the military—whether to escape arrest for wounding a man in a duel or for some other…

The Patron Saint of Losers, Part 1

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This post appears as the Editorial Statement in Image issue 90. One of the stranger conversations I’ve ever had took place during my senior year of college. I was attending a conference, and during one of the coffee breaks I was talking with a scholar who had taken a shine to me. He asked if…

The Nightingale Floors

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In Kyoto, Japan, seventeenth-century Nijo Castle contains an architectural feature meant to protect the ruling shogun. The floors in the inner most chambers are constructed in such a way that the nails rub together when trod upon, creating the acoustical effect of chirping birds. Known as “nightingale floors,” the sound acts an alarm, providing a warning…

Poetry Friday: “Advent”

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Of course you’ve heard of “El Niño.” And you know that it refers to the Pacific Ocean’s warming spells, which can cause heavy rains and even cyclones in the tropics. But did you know that El Niño (Spanish for “the boy”) is so named because it occurs around Christmas time? And did you know that…

Good Letters Is My Devotional

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Image Glen Online

I came to Christianity in my mid-twenties and joined a Protestant church whose denominational arm publishes devotional booklets that called to mind the copies of Watchtowers Jehovah’s Witnesses used to foist on me. As a new believer, I was supposed to develop a disciplined spiritual life, the cornerstone being morning devotions: Rise at dawn, open…

The Ghosts of Home

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When I visit my family in northern Minnesota, I find myself on the same roads I’ve known—back and forth—since I was a child. Often I ride with others because I can’t orient, even in my small town and the outskirts made of barely-there townships and roads that veer only toward themselves. I think of small…

A Farmer’s Lament

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Last weekend, I cooked lunch for three farmers. One of them was my husband. The other two were a couple who were being forced to close down the small organic vegetable farm they’d been building together for nearly a decade. I could see the loss in their weary smiles, in the holes in their clothes,…

Saying Yes to the Annunciation

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Of all the Gospel episodes, the Annunciation has long been one of the favorites of poets. The scene is unique and literally earth-shaking: Gabriel’s sudden appearance to the girl Mary, his announcement that she will bear a son who will be “the Son of the Most High,” her puzzlement (“How can this be, since I…

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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