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The Baptisms on Pentecost

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Our guests at the baptism on Sunday agreed, all of our friends and family, many of whom simply don’t care for church or really can’t stand church or usually wouldn’t be caught dead in a church, but all of them, all of them agreed: Yes, what a beautiful cathedral, and wasn’t the choir amazing, and…

As Petals Fall

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I met a little boy new to the neighborhood this evening when I was pulling weeds in my yard. “Why are you in the dirt?” he asked, trundling to where I crouched. “I’m pulling weeds.” “Why?” “So that there’s there more room for the flowers.” “Why?” “Because I like the flowers.” “Why?” “Because they’re pretty.”…

A Conversation with Ron Austin

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This post is a web-exclusive feature accompanying Image issue 93. In the conversation around faith and film, Ron Austin is an elder statesman. He has worked a lifetime in the entertainment industry, and his essays and books, including In a New Light: Spirituality and Media Arts, have influenced generations of filmmakers (much of his writing is…

Poetry Friday: “On Value”

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I’m amazed by the flexibility of the sonnet form. When you first read Kelly Cherry’s delightful poem “On Value,” you wouldn’t notice that it’s a sonnet (except that I’ve just told you!). The enjambment of nearly every line swooshes you past the end-rhymes without your noticing them. You read Cherry’s meditation on the philosophical concept…

The Businessman’s Faith

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  One year ago, I abandoned the nonprofit and academic world to become a freelance copywriter, a man whose goal was to help businesses share their stories with the world. I fancied myself something of an author-consultant, a skilled writer who could chart out the best alignment of speaker, message, and audience. I told people…

Summer’s Heartbeat

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On some summer nights, it seems the world is brighter, more visible in a quiet way, as if the dusk was created for your pleasure. On some summer nights, it seems you can see through the false dome of sky to what lies beyond, air glimmering just for you. There’s a vertiginous sense that the…

Necessary Images, Part 2

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This post, continued from yesterday, appears as the Editorial Statement in Image issue #93 on the art of film guest edited by Gareth Higgins and Scott Teems. Kieślowski’s Blue is a master class in film form—everything there is to learn about editing and sound design can be found in its first ten minutes—but what lingers longest in the memory is…

Necessary Images, Part 1

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This post appears as the Editorial Statement in Image issue #93 on the art of film guest edited by Gareth Higgins and Scott Teems. not beautiful photography, not beautiful images, but necessary images… —Robert Bresson For years I’ve wrestled with this seemingly straightforward declaration from the notebook of revered French film director Robert Bresson (a small book, but a…

Poetry Friday: “The Human Share”

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Here’s a brilliantly crafted poem which I love, even though it makes me a bit sea-sick. Bruce Bond’s poem “The Human Share” begins on familiar ground, with a well-known phrase from John’s gospel. But then in line 2, Christ’s salvific work is prefaced by “as if”—and the ground we’re on becomes shaky. “As if” implies…

The Beautiful Boy

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It’s barely even summer and already, in our house it is the Summer of the Guys. Our son is thirteen now, and in the last few months, the world has opened to him: he and his two best neighborhood friends start planning the day almost as soon as it has started. Freed to stay at…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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