Good Letters

It Doesn’t Come Easy


The Pill’s fiftieth anniversary year is an odd occasion for me, the daughter of young parents who stoked their fiery love affair with accidental babies. Despite the pink plastic nautilus of Pills in our mom’s make-up tray, despite the condoms we found when we looted our dad’s sock drawer for impounded Nintendo controllers, my parents…

Drive-By Art


So much of Exit Through the Gift Shop is shrouded in mystery. The documentary film’s (purported) creator, Banksy, is an elusive British graffiti artist whose identity is unknown, even though he’s the darling of the international art world who routinely sells screen prints for six figure prices. In his first foray into film, Banksy presents…

A Boy Named Day


On Thursday May 7th at 2:15 am, my wife gave birth to a boy: Alexander Day Griffith, 8 lbs. 8 oz. Alexander is my middle name, so that requires no explanation, but “Day” is unusual, I guess, and so I’ve had many awkward phone calls with family and friends where at some point the person…

The “S” Word


All my life I have had fantasies of freeing slaves. I believe I have this fantasy more than most because I was raised in Illinois—Land of Lincoln, home to the Great Emancipator—and came of age in a house with numerous Civil War books, including the ubiquitous Time-Life series of hard back, faux-leather-bound books (though they…

Jarmusch 101


One of the things I like about jazz, kid, is I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?                                 —Bix Beiderbecke The name Jim Jarmusch was all I needed to see. My browse through Blockbuster Video ended there, and I carried a DVD of The Limits of Control home. I wasn’t disappointed. Jarmusch…

Knit One, Purl a Pattern


Once I asked my neighbor, the composer David Liptak, why listening to classical music can be so meditative. David offered: “when your mind is focused on following the pattern in music, other preoccupations tend to drop away.” As I expand my skills in knitting (which I’ve mused on in earlier posts such as this oneand…

I before E


Among the register of things once known, now less known, is the fundamental capacity to spell. And if it would seem that a loss so detrimental to the world of letters—in truth, to the civilized world—would raise a greater alarm, such is not the case. Never before has such degeneracy been found less worrisome, less…

This Week in Under-Known Christian-Ish Rock


Ever since I decided to stop trying to know everything about new music (I really recommend this; it’s very liberating), I’ve been able to focus on my favorite genre, which the good people of ImageUpdate recently made fun of me for: “Recording Artists Who Kinda Sound Like They Might Be Christians.” I thought I might…

Big Baptists


Yesterday morning I woke up laughing, thinking of a phrase my mother used to use but which I hadn’t heard in years, “Big Baptists.” “He was a big Baptist,” she’d say, commenting on something she’d read in the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, or even in The Baptist Record, the in-state newspaper of the Mississippi Baptist Convention,…

Recovering Together


My father is a sophisticated kind of guy. When I visit his house, he lines the guest bed with red satin sheets that he picked up from the dollar store. He has never been rich. But that never seems to stop him. “You’re never too poor for a little style, Red,” he tells me, setting…

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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