...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Finished reading it today, and what a book. I was thinking I'd post more passages from the book here, but looking at my copy, I must have dog-eared fifty of its 247 pages, so I wouldn't know where to begin. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron, R.I.P.

Here's an essay I remember loving in college, and which I'd say holds up.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More from Gilead

pp. 114-15:
I did a strange thing this morning. They were playing a waltz on the radio, and I decided I wanted to dance to it. I don't mean that in the usual sense. I have a general notion of waltzing but no instruction in the steps, and so on. It was mostly a matter of waving my arms a little and spinning around a little, pretty carefully. Remembering my youth makes me aware that I never really had enough of it, it was over before I was done with it. Whenever I think of Edward, I think of playing catch in a hot street and that wonderful weariness of the arms. I think of leaping after a high throw and that wonderful collaboration of the whole body with itself and that wonderful certainty and amazement when you know the glove is just where it should be. Oh, I will miss this world!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Listening

Mountain Goats, The Coronor's Gambit

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Marilynne Robinson

Some excerpts from Gilead that stood out today:

From p. 23:
There is a reality in blessing, which I take baptism to be, primarily. It doesn't enhance sacredness, but it acknowledges it, and there is a power in that.
pp. 48-9:
I can't tell you though, how I felt, walking along beside him that night, along that rutted road, through that empty world--what a sweet strength I felt, in him, in myself, and all around us. I am glad I didn't understand, because I have rarely felt joy like that, and assurance. It was like one of those dreams where you're filled with some extravagant feeling you might never have in life, it doesn't matter what it is, even guilt or dread, and you learn from it what an amazing instrument you are, so to speak, what a power you have to experience beyond anything you might ever actually need.
p. 57:
I feel sometimes as if I were a child who opens its eyes on the world once and sees amazing things it will never know any names for and then has to close its eyes again. I know this is all mere apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it. And I can't believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the whole world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don't imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.
p. 65-6:
They say an infant can't see when it is as young as your sister was, but she opened her eyes, and she looked at me. She was such a little bit of a thing. But while I was holding her, she opened her eyes. I know she didn't really study my face. Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was. But I know she did look right into my eyes. That is something. And I'm glad I knew it at the time, because now, in my present situation, now that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face. Boughton and I have talked about that, too. It has something to do with incarnation. You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can't help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and the loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any. Boughton agrees.

Summer Listening

A great summer record is the ten-years old The Coast is Never Clear, by Beulah. Look it up. And be sure you buy it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Writing Project

You can find it here. Except for vacations, I'll be posting new content each day, through the election.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Salon Saturday

Come on out, brothers and sisters.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chapbook for Sale

A little home-made collection of twenty or so poems. You can buy it here, cheap.