Book Review~~Do Wooden Flutes Sound Different? Penny Noyce’s New Novel, THE BEECHWOOD FLUTE

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        In her blog post of 5 February 2017–“Do Wooden Flutes Sound Different?”—Penny Noyce writes, “Three flutes, three sections to the book: that’s the organizing principle behind my young adult fantasy, THE BEECHWOOD FLUTE. Kiran, the flute boy who wants to become a warrior to avenge his father’s death, first plays a […]

A Bishop, A Bottle, A Bicycle: Old News Remembered

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There are situations and people and events that are never really out-of-date, never completely “old news,” because they touch us in some deep way that transcends time and place and particulars.  There are situations that continue to move us because they are never fully settled, because the moral questions they raise have only ambiguous answers, […]

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty . . .”

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Joseph Raffael (Haiku Fish, Color Lithograph) The lithograph, “Haiku Fish,” featured on this blog hangs now in my son’s home. It was a gift to me, many years ago, from the artist. It is Friday the 3rd of February 2017, just past 1:00, and I am home from some time with good friends, looking at […]

No Book Reviews, Portraits, Elections or Inaugurations; No Birthday Parties; No Holidays; No Weddings or Funerals; No Bursts of Deeply Felt Emotions

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I woke up this morning without a single idea about what to write for this week’s blog.   What can I write when I have nothing to write? Monday 23 January 2017 Early in my teaching career, I wrote a course I called “The Hebrew Bible as Literature.” I taught that course until the day […]

Portrait + + Grace Harwood “I am a voice”

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The painting featured at the top of this blog is 36″ x 48″, acrylic on white duck canvas. It is the second in the collection of  three paintings that Grace Harwood calls “The Hiroshima Series.” The image arrived last week in an email in which Grace explained,  “I’m attaching the Hiroshima painting that I would rather you […]

“Ahh-Yoo-Yahh”

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Today the editorial board of the New York Times published an article called, “Take a Bad Year and Make it Better.”  It’s a long piece and it includes an impressive discussion of some very good things that happened in 2016. The one I liked the best was this. “West Virginia . . .  a state […]

The Holy Days of December: From Darkness Into Light

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This morning, in an email from a dear friend, I found this: Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light […]