Friday, June 29, 2012

"Am I Married to My Brother?"

A post about sperm donation, and how it impacts the lives of people conceived that way. An excerpt:
It is clear that, at a visceral level, David Gollancz gets the foregoing teachings. He has drawn some good out of his situation by rejoicing in his long-lost siblings, but his feelings about his ancestry are mixed. He says: "It's rather uncomfortable, because artificial insemination was developed on an industrial scale for cattle and I don't like the feeling of having been 'bred.'"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Happiness is the longing for repetition"

A touching and thought-provoking essay by a young woman who found solace in the power of ritual after the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Billboard music milestones

Some fun stuff here, like the fact that Dark Side of the Moon spent 14 years on the Billboard 200 charts!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What writers can learn from ancient oral storytelling traditions

A powerful essay about Irish storytelling and what all writers can learn from it. An excerpt:
Lesson one: Dance with the language. There's a saying that "The English hoard words like misers, the Irish spend them like sailors." Those ancient storytellers were drunk on words. They arrested us with their language, they painted pictures. Storytelling, in print or speech, needs vital energy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The tragic story of a nun who lost her order

A heartbreaking and powerful piece by a man whose sister was called to life as a religious sister, then was left on her own as the order fell apart. Do take the time to read it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Anger and the Psalms

Most of us live in a world in which anger is not a completely acceptable emotion. We are nice people who believe in a religion of peace and we may not experience anything that really seems to make us angry. When our reality is then confronted with the reality of the cursing Psalms we experience a sense of dislocation. We feel that these are not acceptable sentiments for prayer.  
Once again, though, the cries for destruction of enemies and vengeance can become good news. To people who have lost everything, their families, their health, their possessions, their autonomy, anger is not a foreign emotion. For the victims of atrocities in our world anger is a healthy response. When people are able to feel anger rather than simply the emptiness of loss, healing can begin. The Psalms then facilitate this healing because they engender a reality in which it is God who is called upon to act. We are not called upon to personally destroy our enemies but we reaffirm our faith that God is Lord and will bring about justice. A cycle of violence is not being created but rather an affirmation that evil will not triumph.