Interludes of the Imagination

I read my last entry out loud to Christine, and she said: “I didn’t know that you’d been thinking about these topics,” and I said: “I didn’t know I was either. It just came together.” Lines converging at the center of two circles—poeisis and ecstasy. What makes for significance? Why this story and not that? I’ve struggled with these questions like milk pails over rocky ground. I’ve hesitated. I’ve stopped. This is a memory that sauntered through my brain as I sipped my coffee this morning. There was no reason for it being there other than circumstance and how circumstances … Continue reading “Interludes of the Imagination”

Threads To The Naked Eye

The other night, I shared the hyperlink to an interview about a book on ecology. In it, the author gushes about the affect he hopes his work will have on the reader’s way of perceiving the world: “To go and see something like a bunch of gulls swarming, [before you’re like] ‘Oh, they’re just gulls swarming,’ but then realize, ‘Wow, no, directly underneath them there could be thousands of herring.’ I mean, how cool is that? And I just think, wow, I want to be able to see that. I want others to be able to see that and make … Continue reading “Threads To The Naked Eye”

Year Zero: Hypertexture

Shortly after New Year’s Day, as part of a staff meeting check-in on Zoom, I was asked if I had a “word for the coming year.” That question hadn’t occurred to me before they’d asked it, but a word still rushed into view very quickly; after a few had volunteered to share why they’d chosen the words they’d chosen, I pressed unmute and said: “I have a one in mind, but I’m not going to explain it—I’ll just say the word: ‘wholeness’.” The thing is–I’ve been struggling with words for quite some time. What used to come to me like … Continue reading “Year Zero: Hypertexture”

‘the piecing together of dissociated knowledge’

Two young men with a tripod and a luminous rod taking photographs in a dark, residential courtyard; a lone smoker sitting on the stone street furniture circumscribing the parking lot on The Mound; a plastic bag blowing uphill, along the designated pedestrian walkway beside the torn up sidewalk; a bathroom light left on. Facebook status, March 6, 2012

Poiesis: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 20

Part 1: Beginning “Poiesis is understood traditionally as an activity of formation, in which the artist gives shape to matter in accordance with his or her idea. The specifically aesthetic quality of a work is seen as consisting in its form; perfection of form leads to the experience of beauty. The philosophy of art from Aristotle to Kant is based on this understanding. This perspective itself stems, ultimately, from a tradition of reflection in which the intellect is regarded as the primary mode of human existence … In modern aesthetics, especially in the classic work of Kant, the predominance of … Continue reading “Poiesis: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 20”

#StayHome: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 13

Part 1: Livestreamed Concert This week had been planned for months to be a special one at work, with the official launch of a pet project of mine on the occasion of The Feast of the Annunciation. Circumstances have complicated all plans, and yet, have also made this particular one even more relevant than I could have imagined. To express this strange transvaluation of all things in these self-isolating times, I want to share some of my favorite creative responses to COVID-19. I’ll say more about how that connects to what I’d been planning later. First up: Dubioza Kolektiv, an … Continue reading “#StayHome: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 13”

Creative Clusters: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 8

Part 1: Artpop, Inc. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lady Gaga since she popped up on my playlist on Valentine’s Day. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to anything as infectiously positive and carefree; I’m especially aware of this because, two days prior, I attended an art-based workshop where they asked us to share a song that we turned to when we wanted to lift our spirits; I couldn’t think of any. There was a time when it was strangely meaningful to think that Lady Gaga and I are the same age. Looking back, I now feel … Continue reading “Creative Clusters: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 8”

Storytelling Strategies: Quote & By-Line

I’d like to interrupt this storytelling exercise I’ve been engaging in for the last few weeks to share an interesting convergence of narrative arcs in my life. This, here’s an article by @sarahngu, who graciously found space for my oddball story in her long-read on Christians who turned to socialism; if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know my arc was more of a loop-the-loop. I connected with Sarah through the DSA’s Religious Socialism mailing-list, and though I’ve found myself much less involved with that organization than I’d hoped, way back, two Advents ago, I really appreciated our … Continue reading “Storytelling Strategies: Quote & By-Line”

Beirut: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 3

Part 1: The Writers This is ‘Floating Woman’ by Joe Nix. As soon as I stepped into Jupiter and saw this on the wall, I thought: “It’s Raneem!” I even said it out loud. The resemblance would have been shocking if I hadn’t seen it before; there’s a mural in Gemmeyze that also looks just like her. “Apparently, Raneem-looking people are muses.” Christine should know; she’s painted her too. Raneem and I first met when we were both searching for inspiration. She had a blog & so did I; we left a comment or two, exchanged messages, & agreed to … Continue reading “Beirut: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 3”

New Year’s Eve, 2019

You’re probably sick of my rituals by now, but decades don’t come by every day, and there’s something satisfying about symmetry—it’s almost 2020, and just like in 2010, I’m standing at the threshold of something that feels new and energizing. I’m excited to step into this confluence, but I want to do so with a lot more intention & mindfulness than I ever have before. I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I have some in mind this year. I have goals, but more importantly, I seek an orientation. I want to “face up” to this future; à … Continue reading “New Year’s Eve, 2019”