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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Woodlief’

The Casserole Dish Manifesto

By Tony WoodliefJanuary 31, 2017

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…

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The Long Regretful Wait

By Tony WoodliefMay 19, 2016

My mother’s quavering voicemail was right: I hadn’t called in a long time. I justified my neglect with the assurance that I’d called on her birthday, I’d called on Mother’s Day, I’d made my dutiful calls even though I suspected she was mad at me. I made them and she didn’t answer. I hadn’t called…

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The Beast Without

By Tony WoodliefOctober 20, 2015

“Isaac’s being a jerk,” my seven year-old, Isaiah, says about his older brother. They have been sledding over new-fallen snow. “Why do you say that?” “Because he keeps knocking me off my sled.” “Why do you think he does that?” I ask. I’ve been trying to help my children consider how sometimes they incite one another. “Because…

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Let Me Die Like This

By Tony WoodliefSeptember 21, 2015

When I die, Lord, let me go in a plane crash, spiraling down, earthward, earthward, apportioned enough time to pray but not nearly enough to forget what we’re all prone to forget: that the end comes, it rushes up to greet us, every one in flight. What I’d pray in my downfall is: forgive, sweet…

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I Come Not to Praise the Megachurch

By Tony WoodliefSeptember 3, 2015

The church may have begun as a non-spiritual entity, a business of some sort that was judged insufficiently profitable. Maybe it was one of those sprawling climate-controlled storage facilities, for example, the kind assembled from pre-fab insulated concrete forms, crafted not for enlivening souls but for storing up the treasures that have no place elsewhere.

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Downturned Face, Upturned Eyes

By Tony WoodliefAugust 19, 2015

There is no writing more precious and self-indulgent than the essay about the difficulty of writing, so I will not write an essay about that. The truth is that writing is easy if you have a little talent. A little talent affords some writers a fine living, in fact. The only real pain comes not from the act of writing, but from a voice hovering in your ear, which may be your conscience or your mother but most likely is the devil, whispering: They’re not going to like it.

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A Boy, a Wren, and the Kingdom

By Tony WoodliefJuly 22, 2015

The little boy moves amongst his creation in the sand: a montage drawn with a stick, with fingers, with his heel dragged before him as he hobbles backwards. Amidst its various pictures are small mosaics of driftwood and shell, all of it held together by whatever artistic vision fires the imagination of a seven-year-old. He…

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Dancing for My Life, Part 2

By Tony WoodliefJuly 2, 2015

During the course of my first marriage, I saw a bevy of marriage counselors. I can now say with some conviction: to hell with therapists; get yourself a dance instructor.

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Dancing for My Life, Part 1

By Tony WoodliefJuly 1, 2015

So here we are. Gulya instructs me how to turn Maggie without trampling her. You have to take short steps when she is turning, she explains. Yes, the dance has a structure, but we have to accommodate ourselves to one another. Dancing isn’t just steps, it’s you and your partner.

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Prayers in the River

By Tony WoodliefJune 11, 2015

I am not the kind of man who routinely stands hip-deep in anything, but the kids are still asleep, and I need to pray somewhere—God knows—so here I stand. The water is frigid and it soothes my feet, sore from stumbling over stones to rescue my lure. All I’ve caught in this damned river are rocks.

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