Sparrowfare may be explored by category using its drop-down menu. Here’s an overview of its developing content:
Books–My first college degree was in English, and I spent a happy decade teaching communication arts to college freshmen as an adjunct English instructor. Sparrowfare’s books category is a growing selection of book reviews and book-related pieces that include literature such as Maryilnne Robinson’s Gilead: A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time, and The Book Thief Stole My Heart (and Reminded me Why I Read).
Culture–commentary on current issues such as Dialog in a Divisive Time: Bishop Barron, Dave Rubin and the Space Between and pieces on art, music, film and how they relate to a meaningful life, like Links for Exploring the Soul-Washing Art of Marc Chagall. Sparrowfare’s last post is the first of a series of occasional podcast reviews called “Intentional Earbuds: Links to Great Listens.
Spirituality–I am a lifelong Christian and a convert to Catholicism since 2006. Experience and study have taught me that the deepest longings of the human heart are met in heart-to-heart contemplative encounter with the risen Christ. He is the source of my joy even in sorrow, and I cannot help but share. The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story is an example of the reflections categorized as Spirituality. More serious and soul-searching is Scorsese’s Silence: A Four Question Examination of Conscience.
Optimism–One of Sparrowfare’s most viewed and shared posts is Pollyanna vs. Curmudgeon: the Case for Realistic Optimism. It’s something of a defense against the accusation that optimists are unrealistic saps. The post led a couple of self-identified “glass-half empty” readers to comment on their struggle to embrace a realistic, resilient and faith-based optimism. Having developed my own optimistic philosophy as a counselor applying the research base in the field of positive psychology, optimism as a Sparrowfare category will continue to grow.
Civility–The vitriol in the current culture seems to be creating a moment for those of us troubled by this trend to risk civil conversation with each other. Those of us who believe in loving our enemies know its imperative to set a higher bar than we typically see in political reportage, popular entertainment and on social media. In addition to Dialog in a Divisive Time: Bishop Barron, Dave Rubin and the Space Between and For a Time of Transition: 3 Versions of the Litany of Humility in Song, many posts in Sparrowfare’s Lenten series on speech and silence were devoted to aspects of this topic, which concluded with How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ.
Children–I’ve been working with children as a counselor for over a decade and a half, and I’m painfully aware of the effect our cultural trends are having on most vulnerable members of our society. In this role I developed a curriculum for young children focusing on building resilience through virtue-based character development. But the reviews I post at Sparrowfare tend to apply the story’s theme to cultural issues we all are facing in pursuing virtue, becoming humble and learning to control our tongues. Peter Rabbit, Bluebeard, and Adam and Eve: A Theological Meandering definitely became a reflection for adults and Big Pink Baby Name-calling and the Invisible Mistakecase addresses an alarming cultural trend in a child-friendly way. For more, see the FledglingFare which includes links Sparrowfare’s posts related to children.