vol. 10, num. 18 :: 2011.10.14 — 2011.10.27
At some point in our development, we become aware that there are insiders and outsiders when it comes to various social contexts -- politics to playgrounds, workplaces to Sunday school. How we respond to this awareness varies greatly from one person to another. Where do you stand?
On the characters who teach us how to accept life around the edges of a big story.
From St. Francis to Shakespeare, an endorsement for radical hospitality.
Moving from transplanted strangers to homemaking exiles.
On a mother’s decision to keep a family secret...for now.
On the secrets we all keep.
Is it possible to truly belong in a new culture?
Remembering the challenges and triumphs of the teen years.
A mother remembers the longings and cruelties of junior high girls.
Learning to cope with unemployment.
First hand experience with Alabama’s new immigration law.
Life is a complicated game of Would You Rather? for a those who find pieces of home in two very different worlds.
Remembering Simone Weil and a middle school band of misfits.
Greg Bottoms on the making of a Santeros artist as an old man.
On the first day, any first day, we're expected to live by the rules and customs of the culture we're entering, but we don't know those rules and customs just yet.
My own experience has shown me that it is possible to live in and attentively study the same small place decade after decade, and find that it ceaselessly evades and exceeds comprehension. There is nothing that it can be reduced to, because “it” is always, and not predictably, changing. It is never the same two days running, and the better one pays attention the more aware one becomes of these differences. Living and working in the place day by day, one is continuously revising one’s knowledge of it, continuously being surprised by it and in error about it. And even if the place stayed the same, one would be getting older and growing in memory and experience, and would need for that reason alone to work from revision to revision. One knows one’s place, that is to say, only within limits, and the limits are in one’s mind, not in the place. This is a description of life in time in the world. A place, apart form our now always possible destruction of it, is inexhaustible. It cannot be altogether known, seen, understood, or appreciated.
Life is a Miracle
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