#AdventWord 2022: Maya

These double exposures are from my very first #filmswap: I shot the roll in Bellingham, then Maya, whose poetry I feature here, shot over it a second time in San Diego. We had a vague idea of what each of us was planning, but every composition you see here and in the next two posts was completely accidental/providential. I love everything about this. I love how our images were taken in two borderlands on the two far ends of this western coast; two liminal spaces mirrored and refracted in our contrasting choices of locations—public and impersonal landmarks in mine, private and intimate spaces … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2022: Maya”

ADVENTWORD 2022—PURIFY

Today’s #AdventWord is not one I’d have picked myself; there’s almost no choice but to read a word like PURIFY in, well, puritanical terms, and, if you’re anything like me, maybe even a James Hetfield twang: TRUTH AND DAREPEELING BACK THE SKINACID WASH GHOST WHITEULTRA CLEANWANNA BE SKELETON Metallica’s “Purify” perfectly captures the unrelenting reductionism of how we tend to hear & deploy the concept of “purity”: a sweet turpentine to burn off all excess & filth. PURIFY OUR CONSCIENCE! cries this Sunday’s collect: “Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may … Continue reading “ADVENTWORD 2022—PURIFY”

Let The Reader Understand

Over the years journeying with Christ, I’ve found myself returning again and again to the same sort of affect when searching for God: a sense of feeling God’s presence most deeply in the margins and fringes—the uncanny things that reach out and grab ya, as the Halloweentide song goes. My theological reflections have almost become predictable; sooner or later, I’ll be using the word “strange”—and this Advent reflection is no different. What a strange line we have in this already bizarre Gospel telling by Matthew: “let the reader understand.” It’s the only interjection of its kind in the whole New … Continue reading “Let The Reader Understand”

#AdventWord 2022—Messenger

Today’s #AdventWord was meant to be a collaboration, but it didn’t quite come together that way. And yet, even though someone else picked this word out for me, MESSENGER just happens to be one of my more favored from this year’s list. Charlie Brown wasn’t the first to wonder about the meaning of Christmas. From day dot, the Christ event has been the riddle that somehow turned the key on a cosmic mystery; everyone could sense it, but few had the words to describe what it meant, and we still fumble with the language til now. For me, the meaning of Christmas … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2022—Messenger”

#AdventWord 2022: Sabrina

Sabrina and I worked on a video project called SANCTUS deep in the belly of the early pandemic that relied heavily on pieced together footage recorded at a distance, so we thought it would be poignant to reference & recall that time and visual grammar in this year’s Advent collaboration. In these next three posts, we will combine recordings of Sabrina’s liturgical action with imagery I’ve captured to illustrate Sabrina’s written words. BREATHE Breathe, and let thislifebloodinfuse every oneof your (30 trillion)cells,bodyandsoul x FIRE The flame flickers, shrinks, then leaps and grows, ready to kiss my fingers. As I hold … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2022: Sabrina”

#AdventWord 2022: Christine

// Every year for many years, I took part in an Instagram ritual called #AdventWord, first on an old account, then here—every year except the last, when I just couldn’t; the very idea of ritual exhausted me. // A few weeks ago, I checked in with myself to see if anything had changed. Things had. I wanted to mark the season again, but only if I could do it with others. So that’s what I’ll be doing this year; not every day – just when it feels right. I hope it feels right for you too. // Today’s word is WALK. … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2022: Christine”

Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28

The genesis of this whole itinerary was my reading about Smohalla, a spiritual leader of the Wanapum people and prophet of the Washani (Dreamer) religion. After yesterday’s extended quote from Eugene Smalley, I want to share a little of what Smohalla had to say: “The work of the white man hardens soul and body. Nor is it right to tear up and mutilate the earth as white men do. … We simply take the gifts that are freely offered. We no more harm the earth than would an infant’s fingers harm its mother’s breast. But the white man tears up large tracts … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Priest Rapids Dam, June 28”

Trip Like I Do—Seattle, July 4

“Processing” takes a much more visceral meaning when you’re literally waiting for a roll of film to develop. I’ve never really known a time when photography wasn’t instantaneous; I mean, I do remember those days, but they didn’t effect me personally. The gap between holiday and photo album was like the cash my father drove to retrieve from a robot in the wall—someone else’s magic trick. We’ve all been processing something very heavy and very large in the past few months. It rolled in like a summer storm and it just sat there, covering everything with the acid rain of … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Seattle, July 4”

Our Marmite God

There’s a sticky sandwich spread in the United Kingdom called marmite. It’s as dark and goopy as molasses but has a savory flavor that’s so strange and inscrutable that the company that produces it decided decades ago to celebrate its divisive distinctiveness with a slogan that declared: “Marmite—You Either Love It or Hate It.” Brilliant. Why pretend that your yeast extract is just like peanut butter when it’s so demonstrably not? By fully owning your bizarreness, your fans become your best evangelists and you may even generate a healthy margin of profit from the curious seeking something new (even if … Continue reading “Our Marmite God”

A Facebook Post About Love

In two days, I’ll be taking a bus to Redmond to cast my diasporic vote in the Lebanese elections. I won’t be doing this because I believe that there will be a direct correlation between casting my vote and seeing any change in my lifetime; I’ll be taking that bus to cast that vote because I love my friends and family and when you love, you do things like that. You show up, you participate, you chip in. I’m grateful to be able to ride that bus to Redmond; I’m grateful that I can ride a bus to pretty much … Continue reading “A Facebook Post About Love”