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Next up.

A few weeks ago, I had my last shifts at JOE and the Kelly Writers House; last week, I graduated from Penn; and in three weeks, I move to the Pacific Northwest.


Last night, Ben and Nolan and I drank champagne in the backyard out of mason jars; then Ben and I walked down all of campus, pointing out all the important places and ending at the Button, sitting there for a long time, thinking.

This afternoon, I’ll drive Ben to the airport and put boxes in my parents’ car. I’m selling books and coffee equipment; giving away old clothes and unused makeup; stacking books to bring with me. As Ana told Jessica, I’m kind of going just to go, to go. I do have a job, a safety-net and an assurance; for that, I’m so grateful and I’m excited. It’s true, though, that I’ve picked Vancouver as somewhere new, from-scratch, and also kind and safe. I’m excited.

This week, I reread Gilead. I couldn’t believe how much of it mattered so much to me. This book nearly created me in some ways, and so it reflects the way I think and what I believe.

All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Lamb Roast, April 2014 (taken by Janelle); Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, March 2014.

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You shall.

Last fall, I wrote a piece on Jewish life at Penn, about Christianity and Judaism and about faith and religion. You can read it now online via Penn Filament: Hear, O Israel. Enjoy.

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I would say, for the moment, that community, at least community larger than the immediate family, consists very largely of imaginative love for people we do not know or whom we know very slightly.
Marilynne Robinson in “Imagination and Community,” as quoted

Yes. Yes, again and again and again and again, day after day after day. And I guess that’s okay.

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Untranslated, undiscovered, witty, young.

In the introduction to his collection of Italian short stories, translator Lawrence Venuti writes that the stories “challenge familiar images” and the translations “pursue this defamiliarizing aim . . . at the level of the sentence.” He calls his authors “untranslated,” “undiscovered,” “witty,” and “young.”

In context . . . all of it quickly becomes intelligible and at points subtly suggestive, taking on meaning that go beyond the Italian text. . . The translations are design to give the reader another opportunity to travel: in their deviations from current English usage, they open up the reading experience to the foreignness of a different language for translation, although in a way that is enjoyably engaging. Such, at least, is my hopeful intention.

I have one paper left, and then junior year is over. We’ve had Fling and Time to Shine and Hey Day and two weeks of reading days and finals. And in three weeks, I leave for Rome.

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The heart of our identity lies not in our hands, but in God’s hands. We are most properly ourselves because God is in us and we are in God.
Miroslav Volf, The End of Memory

If true, this would be a huge relief: identity is hard. I am a citational, epigrammatic, creative being; God in me and me in God.

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