Our Violent Muse


The universe is no narrow thing. – Cormac McCarthy, from Blood Meridian

Violence is a fitting theme for depravity. It paints lavish images of darkness in books like Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and NBC’s new drama about Blackbeard, Crossbones. I’ve been following Sundance’s Rectify since last year, its first season. While the violence makes it difficult for me to stay with it, I keep returning because the characters and story are intriguing, the same reason I stayed with the other titles I mentioned. Read More

Seeing into the Life of Things, Perspective and “The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper”


While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
                                             -  William Wordsworth

I’ll never forget the feelings I had the first time I saw Salvador Dali’s “The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper”in the stair well of the West Wing of the National Gallery. Read More

Naming the Silence


Tuesday, I give my junior high ESL classes a simple homework assignment. As you speak English, I say, pay attention to where you fall silent. Notice the words you don’t have English for. Then choose one of those that you think you really ought to know and look up the English definition. Read More