Bar Rescue, the Wedding at Cana, and Me

Bar Rescue Spike TVGuest post by Lisa Ampleman

I hardly ever go to bars, and when I do, I tend not to drink. I don’t like the taste of beer and even a drink or two can give me insomnia.

So why am I addicted to the reality show Bar Rescue?

I’m not the intended audience for the show on Spike TV, a network that “knows what guys like,” as their website says. The advertisements feature starlets suggestively eating Hardees burgers and men satisfied with their aerodynamic razors.

Still, I’m mesmerized by each formulaic episode. Attempting to account for this, I reflect on my past. Until my early twenties, I didn’t eat well or exercise or even know how to share my emotions with others.

I had no one to coach me, but, determined to change, I found books on healthy living and put into place my own systems. Knowing that new habits form more easily in times of change, I took advantage of the upheaval of moving into an apartment and starting a teaching job.

New daily life, new person, I told myself. [Read more...]

Songs Dead Men Sing

Guest Post Scott Warner headshotby Cathy Warner

In the backseat of our minivan I swig an individual serving of white zinfandel to numb myself from the terror that is I-5: long sweeping curves, cement barricades, and massive trucks pulling two and three trailers that sway and rattle.

When I’m in the passenger seat, my husband can’t help but react to my cringing, so we agree a sleeping pill and $1.49 bottle of wine are reasonable for the five-hour trip from Eugene, Oregon where our daughter attends college, home to Puget Sound.

Ten years ago, living in San Francisco’s Bay area, I tried therapy. “You’re afraid of death,” the counselor said as if I thought being plowed into by tons of steel would result in a chipped tooth. I wanted driving—and life—to be predictable and safe.

Tonight, when I awake after two drugged hours, my husband’s brother serenades us from the grave. Scott died eleven years ago yesterday of liver failure at age forty-five, the slow suicide of an alcoholic. [Read more...]

Escape from the Holy Land, Part 1

Israel Bomb Shelter 300By Bradford Winters

On a Friday morning in mid July, I entered Ben Gurion Airport in quite a different manner than when I exited it upon my arrival six weeks previously: by running for a bomb shelter.

Back in early June I stepped outside the glass doors and into Israel for the first time, my first photo a snapshot of the airport control tower ablaze against the rising sun because…well…I don’t know—there was nothing else to shoot and I had to mark the epic moment!

Six weeks later outside those same doors, I didn’t understand at first why others were allowed to run for the entrance after I had been stopped for a random security check—until I understood that all the chaotic Hebrew amounted to the equivalent of an air siren. So in I ran and took shelter in a stairwell among other passengers, ticket agents, and janitors, this being my last act in Israel. [Read more...]

Losing the Thread

27Guest post by Michael Leary

After someone commits suicide you begin to filter through everything you know about them in the hope of gleaning all that remains good and beautiful and true.

At first, this proves difficult: there isn’t much left but murk and silt. But you find yourself returning again and again, panning in the stream of memories because flecks of gold begin to appear and the mere weight of them feels so precious.

I became familiar with this habit of disinterment long before my brother chose suicide. I say “chose” because in David’s case it was an idea he had talked about and lived with for some time, the act becoming a final expression of personal agency in a world that had seemingly closed all of its doors on him.

And yet, despite his choice, his memory, our kinship, abides. [Read more...]

Made Whole Again: 25 Years of Image

To celebrate Image’s twenty-fifth anniversary we are posting a series of essays by people who have encountered our programs over the years.

Guest post by Paige Eve Chant

I am not the kind of Christian my parents wanted me to be. Case in point: I rarely call myself a Christian in public. These days it seems more of a political statement than I’d like it to be—and often not one I’d care to make.

I just don’t want the ordeal.

Any faith I could be said to have is troubled by doubt, such that most days I do not know where one ends and the other begins. This is not a new problem for me and hardly unique. It is not even, when you come down to it, a problem. It is simply the way of things.

Most days I feel I am a terrible Christian. And most days that’s exactly what I am. [Read more...]


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