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The Arm, the Girl, and the Guard

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In a long room with three doorways in Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art, somewhere in the humming midgut of the building, hangs an oil painting of a man’s arm holding a hammer above a length of chain. In front of the painting about three paces away is a twenty-two-year-old girl (her wording) who’s spent…

Poetry Friday: “The Anxiety Offices”

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Are any of us sleeping much lately? With such grief in the world right now, I suspect anxiety keeps a lot of us awake nights. What a rosary of sound and image Lisa Russ Spaar gives us to work through with this poem, beginning in the early evening of a sleepless night and ending with…

Cinematic Longings for Sophia in mother! and Blade Runner 2049

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Two of our most compelling film directors working in the Hollywood studio system—Darren Aronofsky and Denis Villeneuve—recently released startling movies, and the movies have obvious differences. Aronofsky’s mother! is an original psychological horror film allegorizing in unorthodox ways the Biblical mythology. Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is a science fiction sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic,…

The Road to Dogmascus

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I’ve clearly missed some important cultural boat, for people love so many things that I just simply don’t get. Beer, Star Wars, zombies, body piercings. While my friends devote themselves to these phenomena with cultish fervor, I look on with confusion, if not a little disgust. But the item that used to top my list? (Allow…

Famous Last Words

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Towards the end of his life, Winston Churchill famously quipped: “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” As is always the case with humor, a world of seriousness is implied. For one thing, the statement rests upon an understanding of…

To Be Born Again

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The day after Yom Kippur 5778  When I finish being born for the fourth time, I will live in a house by the sea. The windows facing the ocean will hold the ocean, as much as glass can hold. The phone will vibrate with messages of peace. There will still be a trashcan: everything that…

Poetry Friday: “A True Story”

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In the aftermath of three large hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) the news has been filled with stories of communities recovering, trying to survive after the devastating impact of these incredible storms. Despite a lot of discouraging news, I have been moved by the reports of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers fishing each other out of…

The Vocation Trap

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My wife is finishing up the first of a multi-year graduate program in nursing. When she graduates, it will be with a doctor of nurse practice. (This will also, coincidentally, mark my retirement. Or so I keep telling her. She has yet to comment.) Anyway, her pursuing this degree has been a conversation we’ve had…

Homecomings

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Last night I sat on the curb with my three youngest children, while my three eldest walked in the homecoming parade. My paraders each represented a different sport in their team jerseys and class colors. They walked in leagues of friends, shoulder to proud shoulder, sharing the inside jokes of those in the social center,…

Richard Osler’s Hyaena Season

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We’ve all suffered wounds in some way. If not the physical wounds of war or other violence, then the psychic wounds of broken relationships. We struggle against the evil both within ourselves and outside in the world. Richard Osler’s new poetry collection, Hyaena Season, fearlessly probes all these wounds, all this evil. Let’s take the…

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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