What Does Rest Look Like?

Comment held a symposium, asking writers how they are working at rest this summer. It’s worth reading. For instance, here’s Norman Wirzba: The opposite of rest is not activity but restlessness. That is, I need to rest so I can calm down and discern how the world around me is a place of so much beauty [Read More...]

Life, Death, and Vegetables

Over at Art House America, Christie Purifoy writes about life, death, and . . . vegetables: I look forward to the beets for weeks and then, inevitably, I ignore them for a moment only to find that they have grown to the size of softballs and must be fed to the chickens. I tell myself they are [Read More...]

Become a Better Online Reader

At the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova looks at how to become a better online reader: In new research that she and her colleagues will present for the first time at the upcomingconference of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media, in Torino, Italy, Mangen is finding that that may indeed be the case. [Read More...]

Don’t Fight the Road

At In Earnest, Jane Clark writes about discovering, on a road trip through Southern California, that it’s actually more fun to drive the speed limit . . . and considers why: This is counter-intuitive on every level. First of all, the speed limit is the rule, and following rules usually seems less fun than bending or breaking [Read More...]

Many Hopes

There’s an interview over at Darling with Alice Kinyua, founder of the organization “Many Hopes,” which invests in the generation of children who can defeat extreme poverty in Kenya: Before working for Many Hopes (which is known as MUdzini Kwetu in Kenya) I was previously working in a commercial law firm. One day, a friend told me about [Read More...]

We Miserable Sinners

I’ve got a new column at Christianity Today, where I’m the chief film critic, called “Watch This Way.” Last week, after I saw the remarkable film Calvary, I posted some reflections on why being a Christian and making a good film requires being a wretch: When art is made in order to carry a message, it becomes a [Read More...]

Marriage — for the Common Good?

In Comment, James K.A. Smith looks at marriage from a different perspective: This romantic picture is already enacted in the honeymoon: to kindle your marriage, you need to “get away,” retreat from the drudgery of the workaday world (which is, apparently, matrimonial poison). For your marriage to last, according to this logic, you’ll have to keep [Read More...]

Internet Writers: Beware

I publish almost exclusively on the Internet, and I’ve grown to like it: it’s easier to correct an error on the web, and it’s nice to feel like the distance between reader and writer has closed (since feedback – for good or bad – is more readily available through comments, emails, Twitter, and so on). [Read More...]

Teaching O’Connor

It’s that time of year again – the time when teachers (like me) are enjoying the summer, but still thinking about what we’re going to do in the fall. Here’s Nic Ripatrazone at The Millions on teaching Flannery O’Connor (the great American Catholic writer): As a Catholic, I find O’Connor less perplexing than illuminating. This is [Read More...]

The 18 Minute Plan

I rather like this 18-minute plan for focus – not just because it helps us to feel more organized and calmer, but also because ritual frees us up to do better creative work and serve one another more fully. Here’s the plan (it’s a short read!): We start every day knowing we’re not going to get it [Read More...]

Doing the Difficult Things

In In Earnest, Laura Herrod writes about doing difficult things, and sometimes not getting recognition – but doing them anyhow: The road of difficulty seems to be the road less travelled. And yet, we all relate to its perils. The switchbacks and the cracks in the pavement catch us now and again. The hills we climb [Read More...]

Sabbath: Axis of Rest

At Art House America, Shelly Miller writes about how Sabbath is an axis of rest in times of uncertainty: Walking past a sink full of dishes, a cluttered coffee table, and my writing desk with deadlines awaiting attention, I escape to the back porch, curl up on my damp couch in my pajamas, and savor each [Read More...]

Fasincating Review of a Fascinating Movie – “Boyhood”

boyhood-review

My colleague and contributor to this blog, Alissa Wilkinson, is the chief film critic for Christianity Today. Check our her review of Boyhood, which sounds like a fascinating, unique (truly), and compelling film. I had not planned to see this film until I read Alissa’s review. Here’s how it starts: I don’t write these types [Read More...]

The Creative Pair

We often think of creative geniuses – but what about creative genius pairs? The latest issue of The Atlantic looks at some, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney: For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney [Read More...]

Adoption in Reality

Over at The Curator, Geoffrey Sheehy wrote about what his family learned about the theological metaphor of adoption .  . . through adoption itself. I teared up in part because the sentiment echoed the reasoning I’d been using to explain why my wife and I were looking to adopt, reasoning I’d also acquired with a reading [Read More...]

The Vacation That Wasn’t

Over at The High Calling, Sam Van Eman remembers a family vacation – or, rather, not a vacation: In the meantime, I had been writing stories about my childhood, an era when my own dad spent more time at the bar than home. He had neither vacation time to take, nor interest in doing anything of [Read More...]


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