What Came Before Numbering Our Days?

What came before “there was evening and there was morning, a first day,” and “there was evening and there was morning, a second day,” and “there was evening and there was morning, a third day,” and so on until “the heaven and earth were finished” and God “ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done,” and “God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy”?

In other words, what came before numbering our days, one through seven?

Before light, darkness. Before light, no colors. Before light, no vast distances. In darkness, I reach out cautiously and touch this dark shape and it’s smooth, that dark shape and it’s sharp, and I cry into the darkness and the darkness replies with darkness. Before light, the name of the box turtle and the eucalyptus and the harp-shaped lake and the ibis and the cave are one: Darkness. Before light, no before. Darkness is.

And then it dissolves. Like a black aspirin in water. So much water that the blackness gradually gives way, black to murky gray to clear. [Read more…]

A Theology of Singleness, Part 1

Guest Post

By J. M. Samuelson

Publishers today are churning out self-help literature at ever-increasing rates. Many of these tomes aim at helping selves better enjoy or endure singleness.

Based on my acquaintance with this literature I can say that few areas of descriptive English fail so utterly to satisfy as the nomenclature of singleness. Virtually every term of choice sells somebody short, whether single persons themselves or the “attached” persons from whom these terms are supposed to offer useful distinction.

Singleness implies a state of doubleness in others, thus implying that the single person lacks some essential element. With this particular family of words, classification bleeds into character indictment. “Singleness” says too little and too much. [Read more…]

Science and the Death of Philosophy

My boy is a bit of a science geek. He subscribes to Discover and Popular Science. They are both styled after the fashion of other pop magazines in an attempt to appeal to non-scientists (“Cold Fusion: A Special Investigation”).

Popular Science focuses on technology. The past year’s issues have featured an invisible, invincible war ship, faster racecars, the ultimate scuba system, elevators with speeds of forty miles an hour.

And there’s the new no-pulse mechanical heart that has revolutionized heart replacement by running steadily at 10,000 rpm instead of trying to pulse like a heart made of muscle. This advance is making the old heart, “that mimics nature’s lub-dub… as comically shortsighted as Leonardo Da Vinci designing a flying machine with flapping wings.” People are now walking around, living comfortably, with no pulse whatsoever. [Read more…]

King of Kings and Showrunner of Showrunners

With the fall season of primetime television underway, the knives are out and the chopping blocks ready as critics, network heads, and, most importantly, the general viewing public, collectively decide which new shows will survive and which will be buried.

It’s always a bloody affair, one that can become as much a spectacle as the Roman amphitheater, fans waiting with bated breath to see which direction the ruling thumbs will point.

Personally, it was never something I attended much from the stands. Professionally, though, it is my line of work as a writer/producer in the arena of one-hour drama, which regularly puts me in the ring among pen-wielding colleagues and hungry lions.

The job description is hardly gladiatorial, but in an “empire of illusion” like ours, to quote the author Chris Hedges, the virtual comparison stands.

As one who ended up in the business despite my predisposed cynicism towards it, I was humbled early on by seeing from the inside what an extraordinary burden it is to run a television show. [Read more…]

The Tower of Light

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the makings of a kickass drama series for primetime television in America many generations hence.

At least that’s how I liked to imagine pitching it (but of course didn’t in the end) when beginning to develop the idea for said series this past summer, one inspired by certain stories, characters, and themes in the Book of Genesis.

In the interest of intellectual property, that’s all I can or should really say about the idea, even this little perhaps being too much given the copyright horror stories in Hollywood.

Now that I’m deep into the endeavor, though, of actually trying to write the damn thing, I have found myself questioning and wrestling with my creative process like never before. The irony of this timing is not at all lost on me in light of the very process that gets the heavens and the earth and everything else underway in the very first verse of Genesis. [Read more…]