From Francis Spufford, “Unapologetic”

You discover that repetition itself, curiously, is not the enemy of spontaneity, but maybe even its enabler.  Saying the same prayers again and again, pacing your body again and again through the set movements of faith, somehow helps keep the door ajar through which He may come.  The words may strike you as ecclesiastical blah nine times in ten, or ninety-nine times in a hundred, and then be transformed, and then have the huge fresh wind blowing through them into your little closed room.  And me … [Read more...]

Recognition is a feeling. Especially if you’re in “ElfQuest.”

So now I've read the entire Grauniad article from which that Francis Spufford quote was pulled. A couple thoughts: 1. The bit Alan Jacobs quoted was the best bit.2. The opening is much too long, and seems whiny. Possibly in Britain this comes across as extended self-deprecating humor?3. Spufford seems to be conflating a few things. When he says that "emotions" are the form and substance of his faith, I think he means both recognition--he recognizes in Christianity something shaped the … [Read more...]

A Very Ingmar Bergman Christmas

in which I stare at Winter Light like a Dostoyevskyan married couple staring at a spider. The comments are already interesting, and you should go make them even more so! … [Read more...]

“You think, ‘What do you want?’ You think, ‘Make a decision’…”

If you have confronted some serious inadequacies in your understanding of the world, and have one or a few candidates for possible alternative understandings, but feel stuck, constantly noodling with meta-questions and "But how can I know for sure?" and never actually getting to the point where you change your life... here are some things you might try.1. Ask a new question. The one I really like is, "Which of my possible beliefs and actions are kind of banal, and what would be the sublime … [Read more...]


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