Train us Lord to fling ourselves upon the impossible, for behind the impossible is your grace and your presence; we cannot fall into emptiness.
—Father Luis Espinal Camps, 1932 – 1980
In March 1980, the Jesuit Father Luis Espinal was tortured and murdered, his bound and gagged body found abandoned on a road outside of La Paz, Bolivia. Originally from Spain, Espinal had moved to Bolivia in 1968 to chair the journalism department at the Universidad Católica Bolivian. Two years later, after falling in love with his new home, he became a Bolivian citizen.
A Bigger Splash, by David Hockney
“Every day is a gift. It’s just, does it have to be a pair of socks?”
After nearly dying from a gunshot wound inflicted by his uncle, Tony Soprano discovered a new vibrancy to life. He was deeply moved by his wife, Carmela’s, watchfulness and care through his ordeal, and was overjoyed to have more time to spend with his daughter and son. But as his strength and health returned, Tony morosely quipped the line about socks when explaining to his therapist, Dr. Melfi, how his pursuit of other women was being strangled by his newfound gratefulness for Carmela.
William Blake – Europe a Prophecy – Creation of the World (1794, mirrored)
Sports have made me a superstitious person. Whenever Tottenham plays I wear a particular shirt. When I take foul shouts I spin the ball, bounce three times, spin the ball and shoot. Once, during a playoff game between the Red Sox and Cleveland in college, I refused to exit the dorm during a fire drill because I didn’t want to disturb the thin fabric between me and the late-inning rally occurring a thousand miles away. (Also: the guy who organized the fire drill and physically removed me was from Cleveland, so…) Because it seems to alway work, this entrenches the superstition.
The Trinity (also called The Hospitality of Abraham) by Andrei Rublev.
Though I am as dismayed as anyone by the current election year antics, I take comfort in remembering that bald-faced lunacy exercised in high places is nothing new. But I still have the sense that this election cycle is in a league of its own. Hopefully the bilious clouds of insanity swirling around us this fall will one day coagulate to something Americans can still recognize, once the whole thing is relegated to the history heap.
A big bank just released a campaign with the following line, “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” When I saw it, a chuckle snuck out before I could muster up the will to be outraged. And I should be outraged. I should be offended and threaten to pull my patronage, at least, that’s what the dancers that make up a bulk of my Facebook newsfeed tell me. This advertisement is just one more national campaign that invalidates the important contribution artists make to society and discourages young people from careers in the arts, or whatever.