Hemingway’s Epigram

Reilly vin en Chartres

A big man named Hubert, a jazz singer, a skydiver, and a wife with a leopard print purse. It wasn’t a joke. The evening felt like something from a Hemingway novel. The Sun Also Rises, perhaps. But we weren’t in Paris. We were in Chartres. And it was 2020, not 1920. My point? Read Hemingway’s … Read more

The Purpose of Fairy Tales

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a favorite of mine. Written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, it demonstrates what fiction should do: teach a truth about the human condition. Fiction (good fiction!) usually penetrates the conscience better than direct truth. It’s one reason, I believe, children should still have fairy tales read to them. … Read more

Simone de Beauvoir and the Catholic Church

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Given the opportunity, I would have asked Simone de Beauvoir many questions, the first being: Did you ever stop to consider that your Roman Catholic upbringing might have negatively influenced your reading of Genesis, and other books of the Bible? The second question (depending on her answer to the first): Have you ever made a … Read more

En herbe: Van Gogh to His Sister

De la vue qu’encadrait la fenêtre de sa chambre, il retint le bleu lavande du ciel orageux et des collines et les tons rompus de bleu-vert du champ de blé en herbe. — (Steven Naifeh, Van Gogh, 2013) From a letter of Van Gogh to his sister (Paris, 1887): “Now comparing people with grains of … Read more

Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement

Subvert book cover

Currently reading: Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement by Sue Ellen Browder. Because there’s always a hidden side of any revolution in thought, or otherwise… From the front: The chains that bind [a woman] in her trap are chains in her own mind and spirit. They are chains made up … Read more

Take Me Deeper: Typography and Meaning

Take Me Deeper: Reflections and Prayers from the Edge

Next to writing, I think I like taking photos best. So when I was trying to develop the cover for Over Oceans, a collage (of sorts) came to mind. When I showed the initial design (of round three of cover designs) to an artist friend, she just looked at it and didn’t say much, turning it around … Read more

The Pilgrim’s Progress Will Make a Traveller of You

Map to the Celestial City, detail

John Bunyan was a radical. Perhaps you might even call him a religious radical. And maybe some might call him a fanatic. Bunyan had no thought of hashtags or Twitter. He lived in the 17th century, a time when most book titles weren’t short enough to fit in a Tweet. His best-selling book, The Pilgrim’s Progress … Read more

Bonhoeffer and the Holier Angel

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer made mistakes, but he understood the value of grace and repentance. When Hitler began to demand allegiance from pastors in Germany, Bonhoeffer fled to the United States. Not long after his arrival, he realized his wrong decision and returned to Germany to participate in efforts to overthrow the evils of Nazism. Six years later, Bonhoeffer was … Read more

The Busloads to Hell

Busload of people

Whether in the mind or the heart or in reality, hell is not a place that anyone wants to be. But people go there. By the busloads. Every moment. And no one, not even God, is sending them to hell. Hell is “the greatest monument to human freedom,” C.S. Lewis says. The occupants of hell … Read more