August 29, 2018

To reach the mouth of Mammoth Cave’s historic entrance, we made a short descent into a wooded ravine along a paved path. It was a humid day, but cold air poured out of the cave, creating a ring of mist that circled the dark portal like a gate. The further in we traveled, the colder it became. Faint yellow lights lit our path; the occasional floodlight illuminated patches of irregular stone wall. Tourists have walked these paths since before the… Read more

August 28, 2018

When I bought the shirt, I didn’t think much of it. It was for workouts, something practical and utilitarian. That, of course, is a lie. I am smitten by all sorts of athleisure–have been ever since I saw my first pair of Air Jordan’s decades ago. I could never afford them (or any of the other shoes, shirts, or basketball shorts I coveted), so instead I dreamed about the day when I could roll through my life wearing a fresh… Read more

August 27, 2018

My memory of last summer is filled with Jesus. Jesus in many guises behind the glowing muslin scrim in the crypt confessionals: the varied inflections of his voice, the smell of his sweat or soap in the airless wooden cell. Sometimes I could tell he had eaten something spicy for lunch. Sometimes, by the source of his voice, I knew he was tall or stooped. Sometimes his wheeled walker was parked by the penitent’s kneeler, like the workaday incarnation of… Read more

August 24, 2018

End times? Friends in the evangelical world talk seriously about the Rapture. Our world is in turmoil, and the social and political structures we have trusted seem to be coming undone. This is not the first time I have experienced so unsettling a change in the fabric of my universe. In my childhood, I lived through the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK, race riots, the Vietnam War, the Kent State shootings, and worldwide student unrest…. Read more

August 23, 2018

It is a miracle that we do not love; love is the watermark in the parchment of our existence. It is to love’s melody that our limbs respond. Whoever loves is obeying the impulse of life in time; whoever refuses to love is struggling (uselessly) against the current. —Hans Urs von Balthasar, Heart of the World   Two birds that may be hawks, but are probably just turkey vultures whirl over my head, circling through the clear blue light of… Read more

August 22, 2018

You might stumble into a lengthy life through no particular fault of your own. You might, as well, find yourself in a situation of relative comfort and ease without ever exactly earning it. And who could blame you for it? Such things happen to people now and again. But what if it isn’t that important to live a long life, or to be especially comfortable during that life? What if living a long and comfortable life is, essentially, a crappy… Read more

August 21, 2018

As I shuffle through the stacks pushing my cart of books along, awkwardly favoring one side so as not to sever a loose wheel, I make note of the classifications within the Library of Congress system. Literature is in the P’s. DVD’s that have something to do with Shakespeare are in the Audiovisual PR’s. Photography: TR. The Assertive Librarian, a staff favorite for (mostly) ironic reasons: Z’s. One I deem significant: Books about the Bible…BS. (Oh, the irreverence and exactitude!)… Read more

August 20, 2018

My house has doors built for death. When my husband and I first bought it a year ago, I won’t say I fell in love with it, but it felt like a place that could become a home. Built in the 1850s, the house has narrow stairways that appear in unexpected places and steps that creak and bend from more than a century of foot traffic. Two different colors of circus-striped wallpaper cover two of the bedrooms in a strangely… Read more

August 17, 2018

Poet Anya Krugovoy Silver passed away on Monday, August 6, in Macon, Georgia, at forty-nine. Image was honored to print a number of her poems over the years, and we are all grieving this loss. In the words of her friend, the poet Tania Runyan: Anya didn’t want to be a hero or a fighter. She didn’t want to be told that she would “be going to a better place.” Her faith wasn’t gilded with platitudes, and, above all, it… Read more

August 16, 2018

Dear Steve, I’ve had to look away for most of three decades now—away from your work. “Why.” That’s the title of a poem, a poem in your book Here and Now, I read this morning. “Because you can be sure a part of yourself is always missing,” the poem begins. When I read your poems now, like when I read them regularly decades ago, when, for a brief time, I was your student, your friend, I discover a part of… Read more

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