Hidden Art

Creativity & the Commonplace

21 notes

ayjay:

Possibly my favorite item in the British Museum is this miniature altarpiece, which, as you can see, opens to show an immensely detailed relief carving, in boxwood, of the Crucifixion. And when I say miniature: the entire object is less than ten inches high. When you see it in person, the spears of the Roman legionnaires are impossibly thin, the detail on the faces impossibly precise. The emotional power of the object is all out of proportion to its size.

Details here.

7 notes

Public gatherings—and most private ones, as well—made him jumpy. For years he had passed up family weddings and graduations, town meetings, dedications and book awards, cocktail bashes and boat gams and garden parties. As his literary reputation widened when he was in his forties and fifties, he did make it to a few select universities to receive honorary degrees, but despite prearranged infusions of sherry or Scotch he found the ceremonials excruciating. “So the old emptiness and dizziness and vapors seized hold of me,” he writes to my mother after his honoris causa Ph.D. appearance at Dartmouth in 1948. “Nobody who has never had my peculiar kind of disability can understand the sheer hell of such moments, but there they are.” And when the time came for the encomiums and the enrobing, there in the sunshine at Hanover, he went on, his hood—“white, quite big, and shaped like a loose-fitting horse collar”—became entangled with the honoree in the next seat, Ben Ames Williams: Andy’s worst dreams come true. “When I got seated the thing was up over my face, as in falconry,” he continues. “A fully masked Doctor of Letters, a headless poet.” After that, he stayed home, even passing up an invitation in 1963 to go to Washington and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Lyndon Johnson; the deed was consummated instead by a stand-in, Maine’s Senator Edmund Muskie, in the office of the president of Colby College. Andy also skipped his wife’s private burial in the Brooklin Cemetery, in July, 1977. None of us in the family expected otherwise or held this against him. And when his own memorial came, eight years later, I took the chance to remark, “If Andy White could be with us today he would not be with us today.”
Roger Angell on his stepfather, E. B. White (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

25 notes

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18. Emphasis mine. Those who want to confine freedom of religion in America to freedom of worship — and I have heard from a number of them lately — might want to reflect on their dissent from this document.

Further commentary from Lord Alton of Liverpool here.

(via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

15 notes

The takeaway message is this: no one needs churches to be nice or tasteful. If churches have a future, it’s in addressing our existential darkness: sin and death. Progressive politics is important, but it doesn’t do any deep religious work. And liberals in the church will have to rediscover this after we have won our culture wars. What other religion has such a dark image at its centre? And yet my own brand of liberal Christianity too often seeks salvation through a few gentle verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful or lots of self-important dressing up and wandering around in fancy churches. Devoted atheists are never going to be persuaded by a theology of the cross. But no one whatsoever is going to be persuaded by a theology of nice.
Giles Fraser (via ayjay)

40 notes

Sexual autonomy is increasingly more important to contemporary Americans than religious liberty, which was one of the founding principles of our nation. What we call “traditional Christians” in our discourse refers to what 50 years ago would have simply been called “Christians,” given that there was no dramatic dissent among the various Christian sects and churches on sexual morality. So, when we say that we are living through the transformation of traditional Christianity from majority to minority status, what we’re really saying is that the Sexual Revolution has conquered Christianity in America, and that Christians who still believe about sex more or less what nearly all Christians for over 19 centuries believed are becoming a declining population that will be seen as as reactionary weirdos.
What Is ‘Traditional Christianity,’ Anyway? (via ayjay)

42 notes

My best Beloved keeps his throne
On hills of light, in worlds unknown;
But he descends and shows his face
In the young gardens of his grace.
Isaac Watts, from a little-known hymn that (Watts says) paraphrases Song of Songs 6. A stunning poetic sentence. (via ayjay)

210 notes

foodnetwork:

Recipe of the Day: Ina’s Fresh Peach Cake Sour cream adds moisture and subtle tang to Ina’s seasonal dessert, packed with two layers of fresh, juicy peaches.

foodnetwork:

Recipe of the Day: Ina’s Fresh Peach Cake

Sour cream adds moisture and subtle tang to Ina’s seasonal dessert, packed with two layers of fresh, juicy peaches.

272 notes

foodnetwork:

Recipe of the Day: Easy Farmers Market Pasta Tyler makes a simple sauce using tomatoes and zucchini from the farmers market then adds artichokes and sausage – giving the dish tons of flavor – before tossing it all with pasta.

foodnetwork:

Recipe of the Day: Easy Farmers Market Pasta

Tyler makes a simple sauce using tomatoes and zucchini from the farmers market then adds artichokes and sausage – giving the dish tons of flavor – before tossing it all with pasta.

8 notes

My professional life has been framed by two very different institutions. For the first twenty-two years of my academic career, I taught at the University of Washington in Seattle. In many ways, my time there was a blessing. The UW is an elite academic institution with an extraordinary faculty and world-class resources. During my time there it boasted five Nobel Prize winners, one of the largest libraries in North America, and was ranked by the Economist as one of the top twenty public universities in the world.

I also made several good friends at UW and benefited from a number of genuinely kind colleagues who took sincere interest in my well being, both personal and professional. Finally, I should acknowledge that I flourished there professionally — in certain respects. I was awarded tenure, rose in rank from assistant to associate to full professor, won the university’s distinguished teaching award, and was accorded a prestigious endowed chair in U. S. history.

And yet while I was experiencing a certain measure of professional success, my soul was always deeply divided….

For twenty-two years I accommodated my sense of calling to this secular dogma, bracketing my faith and limiting explicit Christian expressions and Christian reflections to private conversations with students who sought me out. In his book Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation, Parker Palmer writes movingly about the costs of such segmentation. Vocation is a calling to a way of life more than to a sphere of life. “Divided no more!” is Palmer’s rallying cry.

If I were to characterize my experience since coming to Wheaton four years ago, these are the words that first come to mind — divided no more. Wheaton is not a perfect place, nor did I expect it to be one when I came here. But I can honestly say that I have experienced much greater academic freedom at Wheaton than I ever did at the secular university that I left.

My former colleague Tracy McKenzie. (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)