Monthly Archives: May 2013

aesthetic outburst


What a wonder it would be if we believed. That life is meaningful. Or better yet, precious. That beauty is necessary. That children deserve our full attention and teach us things. That babies are works of art. That books are thresholds. That meals are shared. That silence is the doorway to sound. That laughter belongs in our hearts as much as kindness and generosity.

What a wonder it would be if we washed dishes by hand. Ironed our own shirt and trousers, slowly. Took pictures. Painted. Rang doorbells. Threw parties for whoever comes to mind.

What a wonder it would be if we slowed down and noticed who we were with. Who loves us. Who said hello this morning. Who let us go first. Who thought of us. Who taught us to tie our shoes or ride a bike.

What a wonder it would be if we

delayed our concerns

and fell in love.


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go tell it on the mountain


James Baldwin and Jesus never met. Or perhaps, I should say, that if they had, Baldwin did not talk much about it. At least not in public. Baldwin did not consider himself a Christian. He said as much. He grew up in a very strict, somewhat brutal Christian home and was a child preacher for a brief time to please his father. When he walked away, he walked away from it all.

It’s strange, he certainly lived in a way that Jesus would have found blessed. Jesus would have told his story in a parable. Perhaps he did. His life was sacrificial. His life was rooted in love. He considered people very important.

“From my point of view — no label, no slogan, no party, no skin color, and indeed, no religion is more important than the human being.” Jesus would have been delighted with these words.

While Baldwin did not consider himself a Christian, Jesus considered himself a human being in much the same way Baldwin lived his life and this – Jesus believing in him – is as much an active faith as the other way around.

(James Baldwin, Beauford Delaney, 1963 Pastel on paper.)


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