This Icelandic Children’s Tale Melts the Heart and Speaks Truth to Our Times

Snow is late this year, but winter's chill is in the air in my Colorado mountain valley. Time for a fire and a return to Narnia, Middle Earth, or maybe Sigrid Undset's Norway. Winter months are long here, but they are less so with the help of wintry tales. By the time the Fellowship of … Continue reading This Icelandic Children’s Tale Melts the Heart and Speaks Truth to Our Times

Dante’s Divine Comedy: Links to Lead You through “History’s Greatest Poem”

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wilderness, for I had wandered from the straight and true." These, the opening lines of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy (Anthony Esolen translation) speak to the inner journey of the soul. They confront us with the voice of a man who knows … Continue reading Dante’s Divine Comedy: Links to Lead You through “History’s Greatest Poem”

“If I Could Tell You” – W. H. Auden’s Hopeful Whisper in the Dark

Through the window by my desk I can see that our backyard garden is crashing. Vibrant summer greens are now tinged with yellow and brown. Hollyhocks bend toward the ground in graceful curves; tired sunflower heads droop. Yet shafts of early-autumn sunlight illumine beauty in the bean stands and potato vines. Work remains to be … Continue reading “If I Could Tell You” – W. H. Auden’s Hopeful Whisper in the Dark

C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces and the Slow Liberation of Our True Selves

T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock speaks heavily into our contemporary souls of "time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." Who are we, really, aside from our curated Instagram personas, our virtue signals and our self-justifications? What is the truth we hide even from ourselves? In Till … Continue reading C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces and the Slow Liberation of Our True Selves

How to Remove the Speck in Your Neighbor’s Eye

With lights dimmed and screen illuminated in my optometrist's examination room, he and I review my latest retinal scan, one eye at at time. My eye appears as an orange globe networked with a map of red blood vessels. The scan allows him to detect signs of early eye disease, tears in the retina and … Continue reading How to Remove the Speck in Your Neighbor’s Eye

The Blessing of Birding by Ear: Tips for Identifying Birds by their Song

"More than any other kind of wildlife, birds have an almost magical hold on the human imagination: "They are beautiful, vibrantly alive, and everywhere to be seen. They open our eyes to the world of nature. They enrich our spirits with their color, their music, and their wondrous gift of flight." The editors of the … Continue reading The Blessing of Birding by Ear: Tips for Identifying Birds by their Song

Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

I read it in two days. I'd received an email notification that Sohrab Ahmari would be the first guest on this summer discussion series. I wanted to know more about him before listening to the conversation with the author, editor and essayist. My husband and I were going camping and I relished the thought of … Continue reading Why I Couldn’t Put Down Sohrab Ahmari’s From Fire by Water

Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

Back in 2017, Bill Gates included Hillbilly Elegy among his summer reading recommendations. Having come from an advantaged home in Seattle, Gates said he reads memoirs like this to understand another side of America. "Through deeply personal stories like these, 'Hillbilly Elegy' sheds light on our nation's vast cultural divide — a topic that has … Continue reading Hillbilly Elegy’s Window into Addiction and Disfunction Rings True

Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

One afternoon during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, I listened to a lecture on the joys of reading. I love reading and I needed joy. Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg, a veteran teacher, offered the following reasons for becoming a more intentional reader, particularly of the classics: to grow in wonder, to join more fully in the … Continue reading Begin Your Reading Year with this Book (and Live Your Own Story Well)

Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp

"It is difficult to sum up the year now ending in a few words. So much has happened during this year and yet I cannot see what its real message is for me, or its real achievement....Hardship and hunger and violence have intensified and are now more shattering than anyone could have imagined." With left … Continue reading Nazi Prison New Year: The Integrity of Alfred Delp