Good Dog

english bulldog - one dressed up as santa the other as rudolph

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. ~ Oscar Wilde

So there we are. It’s Black Friday and we’re stuffed like the turkey we ate a day ago. Bev is decorating for Christmas and I should be enjoying a day spent writing. But I’m anxious instead. My rough draft is late and the animals of my ideas scurry and hide like scared, hungry strays let in from the cold.

Ambiguity

“God will find the pattern and break it.”
   – From John Ashbery’s “Anticipated Stranger,”

In the TV show The Last Man On Earth, the plot develops to where three people are left in the world; and Phil, who reluctantly agreed to marry Carol since she was the last woman on Earth, now wants to be with Melissa, the second to last woman on Earth. It was too easy for Phil to persuade Carol and Melissa that he needed to have sex with both of them to repopulate the world. The question Phil slyly asks and Carol takes up as her own rallying cry is: “Do you want our babies to have sex with each other?”

Quiet Grace

Flannery O’Connor said her fiction was concerned with “the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil,” and that “violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace” and that “[a]ll human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” So it can be nothing like news—though it is thrilling—to discover, as several of my high school students did in tandem during class discussions in September, that the color of bruising marks O’Connor’s “Revelation,” the story of the essential humbling of a certain Mrs. Turpin.

Doubting at Christmas

nativity-icon1
. . . But God himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, King, husband— that is quite another matter.

C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Christmas: God breaking the Second Law of Thermodynamics to snatch the cosmos from its ultimate decay. In other words, a miracle of upward mobility. The Orthodox icon of the Nativity teems with the theology and symbolism of this upswirl, this “redemption of the universe:” the ascending pull of light over the landscape; the bright celestials straddling the razor edge between time and eternity; the ethnic diversity of the Magi, God’s redemptive scope encompassing all peoples and all creation. And in the postures of Mary and Joseph we see the full gamut of human response to this event that couldn’t happen, yet did.