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Posts Tagged ‘loss’

Epiphany in the Memory Unit

By Cameron Dezen HammonFebruary 16, 2017

The priest’s wife handed me her half full can of beer. It was Christmastime, and the beer she was offering was a Texas IPA, sweating seductively on the table between us. I brought the can to my lips and the slightly bitter taste of the half-warm beer filled me with relief. I needed a drink.…

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The Song of the Desert

By Christiana N. PetersonFebruary 7, 2017

“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…

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Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea

By A.G. HarmonJanuary 24, 2017

It’s impossible to speak of Kenneth Lonergan’s film Manchester by the Sea without alluding to its major premise: Some events in life simply can’t be overcome. However, stating that conclusion does not betray the work’s plot, because from the outset the story depicts a man upon whom a terrible blow has been dealt. There is…

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Hea i ka Haku

By Marlene MullerJanuary 9, 2017

On day two we fired the harpist. “The music is really very lovely,” the nurse had explained, as if we’d never heard a harp before. My sister and I sat facing each other in plastic chairs on either side of a hospital bed. We watched the nurse smear Vaseline on our mother’s lips. Our mother’s…

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I Miss Gwen Ifill

By Caroline LangstonDecember 19, 2016

For Kate Keplinger It is the blight man was born for It is Margaret that you mourn for… —“Spring and Fall,” Gerard Manley Hopkins “I’m sorry for your loss,” my friend Dionne posted in response to a note I posted on Facebook. I’d just come back on the redeye from the West Coast that morning, and…

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Keeping Vigil

By Suzanne M. WolfeDecember 13, 2016

These are dark times. Here in the northern hemisphere the sun is at its lowest point in the sky; the winter solstice is still weeks away. I’m sitting outside on my elderly mother’s kitchen step. I’ve come to England three times this year to take care of her. I came before and after her heart…

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The Nightingale Floors

By A.G. HarmonDecember 5, 2016

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…

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A Farmer’s Lament

By Christiana N. PetersonNovember 29, 2016

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,…

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Listening to Beautiful Darkness

By Brad FruhauffNovember 21, 2016

Waking from the Nightmare A little girl awakens in an autumn wood. She stands, looks up through the red-orange fire of the leaves to see a small patch of white sky. Then she brushes the leaves from her cardigan and walks out of the frame. Someone screams. The idyll is broken. We’re back in the…

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