vol. 6, num. 16 :: 2007.09.07 — 2007.09.21
There are stories that you’ve heard a dozen times or more and even though you may roll your eyes when you hear the opening line yet again, let’s face it: it’s a good story. Furthermore, you have your own stories that you tell over and over again. “Each man has his own batch of poems” (Herzog, Saul Bellow). On the good stories that we’ve read, heard, lived and told.
Thoughts from a writing teacher and father-to-be.
On listening to both the factual and fictional stories that surround us.
A story about a man, a woman, a ceremony and more.
The clandestine motivations of storytelling can find us either apathetic or engaged.
Reflection on a nighttime ritual that fills various kinds of needs.
On the paradoxes and perils of rodent home invasion.
A grandfather’s death brings an opportunity to reflect on family stories.
An interview with Dawn Ulmer about her annual story.
A grandmother’s stories about death and destruction warrant both laughter and love.
A review of the work of storyteller Michael Perry.
On the cinematic audacity of Todd Solondz in Storytelling.
A review of Life of Pi by Yann Martel
A college professor shares a story of living in relationship with God.
On the unseen variables and pleasant surprises of life's road trips.
What unites these stories on the surface is that they're all made from old tapes, recordings found in attics and thrift stores. What unites them under that surface is that they all end up being stories about the legacies that fathers leave their children.
Telling stories from Scripture changes the people who learn them well enough to tell them—and changes worshipers who hear the old, old story anew.
If only holiness were measured by the volume of our incessant chatter, we would be universally praised as the most holy nation on earth. But in our fretful, theatrical piety, we have come to mistake noisiness for holiness, and we have presumed to know, with a clarity and certitude that not even the angels dared claim, the divine will for the world. We have organized our needs with the confidence that God is on our side, now and always, whether we feed the poor or corral them into ghettos. To a nation filled with intense religious fervor, the Hebrew prophet Amos said: You are not the holy people you imagine yourselves to be. Though the land is filled with festivals and assemblies, with songs and melodies, and with so much pious talk, these are not sounds and sights that are pleasing to the Lord. “Take away from me the noise of your congregations,” Amos says, “you who have turned justice into poison.”
"God and Country" in The Boston Globe (July 8, 2007)
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