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Wave.

Hey there. It’s been a while. I’ve got some thoughts about returning to writing and taking pictures again soon, but they’re still only thoughts.

For now, I can tell you that Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion was my favorite book I read in 2018, with Iris Murdoch’s The Green Knight runner-up. It took me over a month of 2019 to slog through Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea; I’d been told to read it several times, but it was my least favorite of hers so far. And I know I read something else before that, but I can’t remember what, and that suggests it wasn’t a win.

I can tell you that Bon Appetit’s Adult Mac & Cheese is worth getting down by memory and feel, without measuring cups; it’s not revolutionary, but it’s quick and just a few ingredients and less frustrating than cacio e pepe. Alison Roman’s The Stew, as Instagram calls it, is worth the hype.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about Chuck DeGroat’s words on Transfiguration Sunday & Ash Wednesday. I am a speck of dust. The world was made for me.

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Proclaiming.

What [Adorno and Horkheimer] championed was neither high art or low culture, but art that exposed the contradictions of capitalist society rather than smoothing them over — in short, modernist art.
— Stuart Jeffries in Grand Hotel Abyss

This semester I’ve been thinking a lot about preaching and what it is. It is not primarily art and it’s not all about capitalism and society, but still — exposing the contradictions, crossing high and low; I would be very, very proud to be called a modernist preacher.

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Sight.

Mechtilde of Hackeborn (died 1299) heard these words from the Lord:
“I tell you the truth that I am very pleased when men trustingly expect great things from me. For everyone who believes that I will reward him after this life with more than he deserves, and who correspondingly gives praise and thanks to me in this life, will be so welcome to me thatI will reward him with far more than he could ever believe or boldly hope for, in fact, with endlessly more than he deserves. For it is impossible that someone should not attain what he has believed and hoped. . . . With confident hope you should believe that I will receive you, after your death, as a farther receives his dearest son. . . . I whom am faithfulness itself am incapable of misleading my friends through any sort of deceit.”
As quoted by Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?

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Presence.

I believe one of the most basic acts of love is just to keep showing up, always and unconditionally. Sometimes the best you can do is to let somebody know they are loved, not alone, and not forgotten.
— Joe Callander in the NYT

A couple sentences which struck me today. I believe vehemently that they’re true.

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Hipster.

Let’s just propose a definition for “hipster,” shall we? Quit slinking around and say —

Today, hipsters are people who are interested in food; design, particularly Scandinavian and American mid-century styles; and processes of creation. The latter interest tends to spur a desire for purity, or “authenticity,” and hence an idealization of travel, the outdoors, and by-hand, or “artisanal,” production.

There. Done. It’s the Romanticism of the twenty-first century, really. I’ll chill a bit, I think; try to be careful, try to be critical, and whatever I wear will always look silly ten years down the line.

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