Litany of Days

O holy morning O holy help me O holy child with her finger on my eyelid O holy voices breaking down the stairs O holy cellophane wrappers and boxes in the cabinets O holy fight over the last of last night's rich dessert O holy telling that the day will be one of less thans O holy fantasy of suffering and how I would bear it O holy hurry O holy day on which I'm conspicuously clean, head anointed O holy sharpness of the outside air in my lungs O holy frost on my windshield and snow … [Read more...]

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“Hunger”: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part IV

 ED: Your work reveals wide ranging Biblical literacy, but also a certain world weariness. Were you raised in Church? Any rhyme or reason to what Biblical passages translate into your artwork? JB: World-weariness…? Maybe. I’ll be honest that sometimes I don’t want to be here. I also feel that I have a lot to do. But my concept of time and eternity is always changing. I know a few people who have more reason to be world-weary than I am, so I end up trying not to consider my own “wear … [Read more...]

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“Go On”: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part III

  ED: …You spoke about maintaining your integrity, and it would seem that maintaining the integrity of your school, and discerning which technologies to allow into it, means that there are also many technologies and cultural influences that you have to reject. Can you talk about some of those tensions and trade-offs, and about your discernment process. JB: My aim is to be intentional about what I choose, which I feel, or hope, defines me more than what I reject. Kind of like c … [Read more...]

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Interview With Artist Jack Baumgartner, Part II

I hope that this portion of my interview with artist Jack Baumgartner will be of particular interest to anyone who has felt a call to create in more than one medium, and how to balance the different callings with family life.Part 1 of the interview is hereJack Baumgartner's blog is hereHis folk music album, "Cry the Blood" is here  ED: How did you get your start in art, music and woodworking? And do you speak more fluently in one of those mediums over the o … [Read more...]

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My New Favorite Folk Album: Interview with Jack Baumgartner, Part I

May I recommend that if you like acoustic, bluegrass, or folk music, with vibrant, honest layers of banjo, accordion, penny whistle and acoustic guitar--or even if you don't much care for it-- that you go right now to Jack Baumgartner's blog or directly to Itunes, and avail yourself of his new album, Cry the Blood, just released by his one-man band, "i am erth."He's good--very good-- at what he does, which is compose all original music, play a variety of instruments, layering his own voice tr … [Read more...]

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Birds of the World: In Praise of the Homing Pigeon

My dad kept homing pigeons when we were kids. On Saturdays, he entered his best birds in races with the local pigeon club. The president of the pigeon club, as I now see things, was a bit of a Renaissance man--robustly expressive and artistic. His children were named Dante and Leah. But when I was younger, everything related to my Dad's pigeon operation was an ocean of lameness."Good morning, pigeons!" my dad would sing in a halting tenor beginning around 6:30 a.m. His intention was to rouse … [Read more...]

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A (Mother’s) Brief Meditation on the Sport of Wrestling

Wrestling season has started again. Took the kids last night to watch a meet. There's always some hot dog wrestler who gets up to wrestle 160 or something relatively brawny but lean, and his opponent, usually from our own team, clearly weighs the same but in unequal distributions. For instance the hot dog wrestler is shaped like an inverted triangle, and our wrestler is shaped, well, like a hot dog, in a bun.The match ends in a swift pin, the referee slaps the mat, and then the inverted … [Read more...]

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