At my church for the past few weeks, we've been observing Lent and meditating on the (new) Stations of the Cross. I've helped organize and facilitate some of that. Below are the meditations I wrote for this week, the final week of Lent— Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and Disciple (John 19:25-27) … Continue reading I wrote three paragraphs. Finally. Three!
Recently, a journalist asked me to respond to the following question: What can “Christian Art” (i.e., art marketed by Christians for Christians) do better? But my ideas were snipped from the article. Therefore: I thank you, Technology, and I thank you, Democratization of Ideas via the Internet: my full response is below. • The question … Continue reading Things I believe are the same as or different than things you believe. Even so, even so! —Some notes on so-called Christian art.
In storytelling, if you want to make a thing matter to your audience, you have to repeat the same events over and over again. This is why in Homer’s Iliad, at the beginning and at the end, fathers beg for mercy and pity, for their children to be released to them: Have pity, they say. … Continue reading Chew slowly. Taste but do not savor. —A communion prayer (1).
On days I drive it takes only thirty-four minutes to arrive from Whittier to Redondo Beach, but only because I leave very early in the morning, to beat traffic. Traffic gets bad at 5:12 AM, goes from crowded-but-fast to crowded-and-great-can-you-believe-it-now-Grandma-is-writing-a-check-for-her-groceries. The switchover is instantaneous. Grandma can’t find two forms of ID. She goes back to … Continue reading Some days I take the train to work. Some days I drive. Part II.
On days I take the train—the Metro Link Green Line in Los Angeles, from Norwalk to Redondo Beach—I park my car at the Norwalk station. The parking lot is big and quiet. It holds many cars. I arrive to the parking lot at 4:57 AM, park my car, walk to the ticket-selling machine, buy my … Continue reading Some days I take the train to work. Some days I drive. Part I.
Dante’s 14th century poem, The Divine Comedy, begins with a man “midway” through his life—and he’s walking down the road. In medieval Italy, in Florence (or, in Dante’s case at the time, just outside Florence), looking out his window, looking up at the stars every night, these hillsides and mountains provide him with just the … Continue reading The real stuff that is out there wanting to be known. You know. Poetry. Landscapes. Persons.
In an interview I came across once, the late David Foster Wallace said, I guess a big part of serious fiction's purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, …imaginative access to other selves. Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is … Continue reading Storytelling