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Poetry Friday: “Erasure”

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Have you ever felt that your own existence is being called into question? That you might be real but in the next moment disappear? Robert Cording explores this feeling in his poem “Erasure.” At first the poem’s speaker decides that his life is “too neatly drawn” and needs some erasure, some subtleness. So he goes…

Ready to Run

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Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path… And the reason I had wandered off from the straight path, Brothers and Sisters, was because—for the first time in my forty-eight years on this weary earth, I started doing…

Literacy Class: Learning the Language of Love 

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This past week, I taught my last English class for quite some time. Three years ago, I moved to my new city in the Midwest. Almost right away, I started teaching literacy to people (mostly women, mostly older, all East African refugees) who have been denied access to education. The levels of trauma, displacement, oppression,…

The Song of the Desert

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“The Word of God which is his comfort is also his distress. The liturgy, which is his joy and which reveals to him the glory of God, cannot fill a heart that has not previously been humbled and emptied by dread. Alleluia is the song of the desert.” —Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer When the hospice…

How To Arm Yourself Against Irrationality

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If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. —1 Corinthians 13: 1 My four-year-old enthusiastically agreed to another term of gymnastics with the parks and rec department. He’s not particularly athletic, but he enjoys climbing over obstacles,…

Poetry Friday: “Bewilder”

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Image

This is a poem about scale, about the awesome power of the Creator, who in turn gave humanity the power to create. And it’s about the power of a created being, and its potential to do good or evil. Here we have a whale sighting, her powerful fluke useable for constructive or destructive acts—“so many…

Wrestling

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two wrestlers on a mat

My son who is autistic wrestles in high school because he doesn’t mind pain. My other kids would cry when they stubbed their toes playing in the yard, but this son of mine, more than once came to me with gaping wounds needing stitches and hardly a tear in his eye. Now he has a…

John Slater’s Lean

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dying branch with tiny yellow leaves laid across a white table cloth in the afternoon.

What is poetry, anyway? I found myself musing about this as I sat with John Slater’s stimulating new collection, Lean. First I recalled what I’d once heard poet Li-Young Lee say at a reading: In poetry, language is not the only medium; silence is also a medium. This is a difference of poetry from prose.…

The Casserole Dish Manifesto

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I possessed a consummate ideology before I had children. It was a perfectly distilled comprehension of man, God, and government. I knew with certainty that if everyone would just turn off the television and read Important Books, we could live alongside one another the way the Almighty intended when he crafted laws of the universe…

The Next Abraham

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A few days ago, I was blessed to be present at my grandson Abraham’s bris, his ritual circumcision. The mohel, the rabbi who officiated at and performed the circumcision, explained to the family and friends gathered for the ceremony, explained that a bris is the way God signs God’s name on a Jewish male baby.…

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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