“I Would Like to Send You a Memory”

ok yes, there's some really great stuff here--I thought it would be glurgy or hipster but it is really neither of those things: The more I looked, the more I found. And I discovered that, secretly, the YouTube comment box had become the strangest and most wonderful place on the internet. A place that was fascinating, endlessly moving, and heartbreakingly human. "The hustle was sexy and graceful," and other moments of joy, penitence, grief, war, love, and growing up. … [Read more...]

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From the Orthodox funeral service, quoted in “The Orthodox Way”

Of old thou hast created me from nothing,And honored me with thy divine image;But when I disobeyed thy commandment,Thou hast returned me to the earth whence I was taken.Lead me back again to thy likeness,Refashioning my ancient beauty. … [Read more...]

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“A Long, Cold Lent”: I read David Adams Richards’s “Friends of Meager Fortune”

it's CanCon for AmCon!: I saved The Friends of Meager Fortune, the second novel I’ve read by Canadian Catholic author David Adams Richards, for the polar vortex. If anything can make Boston in January seem warm, it’s this relentlessly grim tale of the last days of man-and-horse lumbering, with horses crashing through the ice and bloodied hands freezing on the reins.I’m conflicted about recommending the book. What is good in it is immensely powerful. The story of the doomed love of local fail … [Read more...]

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Sandy Denny, “Late November”

what I've been listening to: … [Read more...]

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More About Those Amazing Bejeweled Skeletons

Let's give a warm welcome to... those amazing bejeweled skeletons! Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographerclaims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and asked … [Read more...]

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Glorious Jewelled Skeletons

SO AWESOME. For the two people who read me yet haven't already seen these. Even back when I was reflexively anti-Catholic I was fascinated by reliquaries and similar examples of Catholic tenderness toward and adornment of the bodies of the dead. ...This Daily Mail piece also gets points for describing one of the awesome skeletons as "louche." … [Read more...]

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Thanatostalgia

I don't actually know who Russell Brand is, except that he's British and popular for some reason and he said this thing, which really resonated with me: A new documentary about comedian Russell Brand lays bare the lifelong grip addiction can hold on an individual—even one with long-term recovery. In Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery, BBC3 follows the 37-year-old as he goes back to visit the Focus 12 Centre in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where he got clean in 2002. The program shows di … [Read more...]

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