All posts tagged: Surrender

Concerning the Heart

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Christ / Course Ideas / Reflections

Beauty is witnessed in the heart. In the midst of calamity, when the towers are crumbling, and the temples are crumbling, and the skies are crumbling, still the heart is free. It is quiet amidst the waves. Gratitude may enter us then. Beauty may be recognized. For it is the heart that recognizes its own. Avowed of neither persecution nor vengeance, the heart has a talent for blessing, for insight, and for gentleness. In the […]

The Sellout, Satire At Its Finest

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Book Reviews

In his landmark paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” philosopher Thomas Nagel suggested that an organism is conscious when there is something that it is like to be that organism. It’s a beautiful definition, I think, and one that can be expanded to all sorts of questions of identity. What is it like to be American? To be a farmer? To be an art critic? To be a woman? To be Latino? […]

What It’s Like

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Poetry

Once I asked Hafiz what it was like to be God and Hafiz told me one night when he should have been sleeping he asked himself the very same question and when he imagined what it was like to be God he discovered God was imagining what it was like to be Hafiz. A psychic tremor occurred in the air of his breath like when you know your mother is calling right before the phone […]

Limbering Up

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Poetry

Hafiz with a pick axe. A coil of rope laid over his shoulder. This is a rare sight. He’s standing in a flood of holographic daylight which doesn’t cast any shadows whatsoever because somehow in my living room the light of three majestic stars has intersected, and I swear we only ever had one star in the area capable of this when I was growing up. Behind him a few angels are stretching out in […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 5

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Course Ideas / Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] When I was a boy who needed to be in nearly continuous motion on long summer days, lest I become bored and try to rappel off the porch using a clothesline, or hitch the family dog to my bicycle so we could pretend we lived in a Jack London novel, I went (briefly) to a summer camp about thirty miles east of Birmingham. I was dropped off […]

A Review of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Book Reviews

This morning I finished George Saunders’ novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which I greatly enjoyed. I enjoyed it not only for the quick flecks of prose that struck like the tongue of a benevolent snake; not only for the scenes of the self-evinced departed rummaging through their own private psychoses, e.g. the Bardo; not only for the utterly imaginative mechanisms and rules of the in-between to which they clung; but for the manner in which […]

A Meditation on Fear

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Course Ideas

When we are in a fearless state, the edges that delineate us as individuals blur. We flow into the world comfortably, and the world flows into us without resistance or hesitation. This is the primal form of giving and receiving on which I think all beings are nurtured and sustained. It is not a state of excitement or of euphoric abandon, but of peace and of enduring joy.  When this is our experience we respond […]

On Writing

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Course Ideas / Creative / Fiction

I could suggest I’m grappling with writing—with the idea of writing, perhaps, and how the idea crumbles when I sit down to write; how I pan in the dust for gold and will myself to proceed though a dense and peculiar metal, of itself, is meaningless; how I come up dry and uncertain, but then find a sparkle or two in the half-light just as I turn away, and suddenly am renewed—but the real grappling is […]

The Magnificence Challenge

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Christ / Course Ideas / Poetry

When I saw Linda’s Magnificence Challenge it gave me a moment of pause to think about how I might answer it, but it did not take long for me to recall a favorite quotation of mine I thought might get the ball rolling: “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he […]

On a Scale of One to Ten

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Poetry

We’ll never know what it’s like to exist forever in a condition of perpetually transforming joy and goose-bump inducing discovery if we don’t consider it a very real and inevitable possibility. It does sound pretty out there, but so don’t NASCAR races to German Shepherds. If we don’t consider it a very real and inevitable possibility, we’ll likely take something perfect and beautiful just as it is, something like space exploration or boat building or […]