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Monthly Archives: November 2009

“Jesus was poor so we could be rich.”


Andrew Sullivan takes on, in few words, the “Prosperity Gospel” – the Bad News – and gives some real spiritual teaching. It’s staggering really that modern American Christianism supports wealth while Jesus demanded total poverty, fetishizes family while Jesus left his and urged his followers to abandon wives, husbands and children, champions politics while Jesus […]

Marriage and Divorce.


I found myself very affected by this piece by Sanra Tsing Loh in the Atlantic – on her divorce.  It’s not pleasant reading, but its very unpleasantness begs the question: if we are becoming this self-centered, complicated, prissy, and intelligent, how can anyone want to be married to us? Most curious to me is the […]

Me and Orson Welles.


Any American with talent and artistic ambition must be a little haunted by Orson Welles.  On the one hand, there is his achievement – he wrote (cowrote), directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, universally acknowledged as one of the five or so greatest films of all time, when he was 25 – and on the […]

Customs House.


A Not Bad City of All Possible Cities.


Waiting in the New York Public Library to meet a friend, who was late, my eyes had leisure to see things they had not seen before; and they chanced upon a tiny little room overdone in purple marble just off the foyer, a sort of bibliophanic sacristy, with a few glass cases containing what appeared […]

Reading Languages.


Students of ancient languages know the feeling of being able to read no more than a paragraph of text in an hour, slogging through a dictionary for nearly every word and then trying to decipher the sentence.  But similarly those who have stayed with them know the feeling of being able to speak and read […]

Star Maker.


MOYERS: So the old story, so long known and transmitted through the generations, isn’t functioning, and we have not yet learned a new one? CAMPBELL: The story that we have in the West, so far as it is based on the Bible, is based on a view of the universe that belongs to the first […]

The Bottom of Giant Ledge.


I climbed Giant Ledge with a friend yesterday, and we elected to go around the mountain and inspect the foot of the cliffs from below.  We found a little unexplored world, November moss on all the rocks, green against the coming winter – this is a steep East-facing slope, and stays cool and moist all […]

Ye Manticke Apples of Ye Catskilles.


Last year the local sages were abuzz with predictions of a snowy winter, for the apple-trees, to which vegetable they attribute the gift of prophecy, were loaded down with much fruit, and “did bowwe their heades to Lord Winter.”  I don’t know if there is any correlation, but I will say that it was a […]

Death in Dreams.


I had a friend over Saturday, and after he left I felt tired – I had not slept well Friday night – and the warmth from the fire put me to sleep around 5 p.m., just as it was getting dark.  I slept for three hours.  Just before I woke, I dreamt I was driving […]