From the Writer Who Brought You “Amazing Grace”…

Our pleasure and our duty, Though opposite before, Since we have seen his beauty, Are joined to part no more: It is our highest pleasure, No less than duty’s call— To love him beyond measure, And serve him with our all.- John Newton This hymn relates to the subject of this site. Trust me. … [Read more...]

The 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant — Contestant 1: Ida

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall... who's the fairest of them all?"In the famous fairy tale, that's what the vain and wicked queen asks her own reflection. Nevertheless, when it comes to the women of pop culture, that seems to be the question that American moviegoers can't stop asking. The more I watch the ways in which actresses become household names — making themselves a more popular subject than their characters — the more I see similarities between the Celebrity Factory and the lurid mat … [Read more...]

In Which I Reveal Who I’m Voting For

Who am I voting for? I'll tell you. But in a rather roundabout way.I have to begin by telling you about Image, the journal about the arts and religion that has changed and enriched my life in ways too great to measure.In the new issue of Image, there's an interview with Marilynne Robinson that is so inspiring I find myself slowing down and reading small pieces of it again and again.I'll share an excerpt, but proceed with caution. Marilynne Robinson is one of those writers who, as one … [Read more...]

Opening the Door to Crimson Glory on October 22nd.

The sun came up on a day without a deadline, the first day of that kind I've seen in a long, long time.As if he wanted to be first in line for my attention, my cat Mardukas perched on my chest, purring madly, as I woke up.I opened the front door and gasped at the extravagant golds and reds of our Crimson Glory display—leaves the size of dinner plates, each ablaze with burgundy, rust, and yellow. It was as though their autumn exhibition, all by itself, was renouncing the ocean of fog that … [Read more...]

Next Wednesday at Seattle Pacific University…

Next Wednesday, Seattle Pacific University throws the doors wide open to the public for a day of lectures on the subject of BEAUTY.I'll be speaking about beauty, beasts, and Cyndere's Midnight.And before that, I'll be speaking at this conference for high school teachers.I hope to see some of you at one or the other of these events. Bonus points if I see you at both! … [Read more...]