It’s the first day of the poetry unit for my freshmen composition class. All morning, I rehearse my opening lines like a high school invitation to prom: Would you like to read poetry with me? I promise we’ll have a good time. After a few minutes, I advance to the break-up speech: No really, it’s not you. It’s me. I can’t help it. I just really love poetry. It’s ok. You can admit it—I know you hate it. Maybe we should just break up.
“Thus, writing narrative—and reading it—is an act of faith that places us in time and space, locating us in a chronology that suggests by its very order both the cause and meaning of our lives.” —Leslie Leyland Fields in Christianity Today.
Early in June, I flew out to Tacoma, Washington for the weekend. It was a short trip—21 hours of travel, including a red-eye return flight, for three days vacation.
In James Lord’s A Giacometti Portrait, Alberto Giacometti often refers to Cézanne out of reverence for his work and competence. At one point, Giacometti says, “Cézanne discovered that it’s impossible to study nature. You can’t do it. But one must try all the same, try—like Cézanne—to translate one’s sensation.”
In 1999, Mark Wallinger created a statue of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. He named the statue Ecce Homo (“Behold the Man”). It was not chipped out of stone or carved out of wood, but was instead made out of a plaster-and-marble-powder cast of a human body. The piece was a temporary installation that stood on the empty “fourth plinth” in Trafalgar Square in central London. Being made from a human cast, it was literally life-sized and dwarfed by the imposing surroundings of the square.