From Nebraska to OHIO: This Indie Springsteen Tribute Charts a Heartfelt Map

Sometimes it takes a true fan to open a songwriter's work for you, to reveal poetic treasures obscured by the well-worn hooks that propelled the musician to fame. Just about everybody liked The Boss back in the day, at least in the surfacey way that connects us with artists whose hits are part of the … Continue reading From Nebraska to OHIO: This Indie Springsteen Tribute Charts a Heartfelt Map

Prepare for this Political Year: Read Arthur Brooks’ Love Your Enemies

I don't know about you, but I've begun to dread election years. I used to love them. My parents watched the conventions of both major political parties and every presidential debate and they invited my brothers and me to join them in the living room to take it all in. Mom and Dad were clear … Continue reading Prepare for this Political Year: Read Arthur Brooks’ Love Your Enemies

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: How America’s Fascination with Mr. Rogers Can Help Heal our Culture’s Vitriolic Division

A gangly pre-teen, I was "too old" for Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when the soft-spoken man in the red sweater and tennis shoes captured the hearts of American children, but still I watched him. Public television was a new thing back then and besides, there was only one TV in the house. Agitated and worn from … Continue reading Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: How America’s Fascination with Mr. Rogers Can Help Heal our Culture’s Vitriolic Division

Not-Sorry’s Not Worth It, but Sorry-Plus Is a Beautiful Move

Some say it started with a hashtag. It took off in the Twitterverse and inspired songs by punk rockers Amen and pop phenomenon Demi Lovato. The punchy one-liner even found its way into a successful ad series for the ever-delectable Reese's peanut butter cup, in which a snarky male voiceover extols Reese's with in-your-face bravado, … Continue reading Not-Sorry’s Not Worth It, but Sorry-Plus Is a Beautiful Move

Small People and Places Shine in Wendell Berry Film Look & See, Now on Netflix

As summer came to a close this year I found myself reviewing its moments with gratitude for small wonders. There was the little backyard garden my husband coaxed to abundance and the lichens and shimmering insects that caught my eye on mountain hikes. I recalled with affection the pride I felt watching my colleagues who … Continue reading Small People and Places Shine in Wendell Berry Film Look & See, Now on Netflix

Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan’s Beatitudes for a Political Leader

"Put not your trust in princes," the psalmist advised long ago. People didn't choose their leaders back then, so they were, on a material level, absolutely beholden to a king's whims for good or ill. The psalmist reminds them of the human tendency to view the world from a material point of view only, forgetting … Continue reading Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan’s Beatitudes for a Political Leader

The Tao or the Wow: How Ancient Texts Rehumanize the Heart

The tension in many a good story centers on a hero's struggle, as opposition mounts, to remember his identity or to recall her mission. Succumbing to Sirens and Circes is perilous and treasure greater than victory awaits the unwavering. In Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, for instance, Meg Murry's mission is to rescue her … Continue reading The Tao or the Wow: How Ancient Texts Rehumanize the Heart

When Defending the Right to Life, Choose Beauty. Choose Love.

The anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade provides a yearly opportunity to consider the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision. The court's ruling has made a political battleground of human life's earliest stages. Abortion is the most intimate of issues, piercing the into heart of our deepest questions concerning freedom, … Continue reading When Defending the Right to Life, Choose Beauty. Choose Love.

Graham Greene Reminds Us That Hate Is a Failure of Imagination

"All too late, experience has taught me that we should not evaluate people by their vices but, on the contrary, by what they have kept intact and pure, by what there is still left in them of childhood, however deep we have to search for it." I discovered this quote from French novelist George Bernanos … Continue reading Graham Greene Reminds Us That Hate Is a Failure of Imagination

Netflix’ Outlaw King: Battle, Betrayal and the Body’s True Beauty

Give me swords clashing and chail mail flashing.  Bloody battles and medieval mystery have captivated my imagination ever since my grandmother refashioned Idylls of the King and Ivanhoe as bedtime stories for my brothers and me. Give me a just cause and an undying love and impossible odds.  Give me legend.  Give me history. Give me heroes … Continue reading Netflix’ Outlaw King: Battle, Betrayal and the Body’s True Beauty