March '13: Currently Reading

annah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Hannah Coulter's simple and delicate narration unfolds the story of a lifetime of farming and marriage, calling my rootless generation to brave commitment to people and place. In an introduction to the Trinity Forum Reading of "Hannah and Nathan," Greg Wolfe (Image Journal) writes this... “Love is not a passing emotion but a fundamental commitment, a rootedness in being. Its shape and meaning can only be known on the scale of a lifetime. To bind oneself to a spouse is the same as binding oneself to a place. As Hannah says, ‘Most people now are looking for a better place which means that a lot of them will end up in a worse one. There is no better place than this, not in this world, and it is by the place we’ve got and our love for it and our keeping of it that this world is joined to heaven.’”

Standing By Words  and Imagination in Place by Wendell Berry, excerpts

Berry's writing about art and place has been central to my thinking about the possibility for an artist, in an age of isolation and dislocation, to root herself in the place where she lives and to commit to the flourishing of that place and its people. Berry writes of his work as a novelist as it compares to his work as a farmer: "Advocacy is dangerous to art, and you must be aware of the danger, but if you accept the health of the place as a standard, advocacy is going to be present in your work."

Refractions y Makoto Fujimura.

Fujimura writes about the role of the arts in peace-making and community-building. I value this New Yorker’s perspective on how to rally a local urban community around the arts, and look forward to Mako and his wife Judy's visit to the Trinity Forum Academy later this month.

Deeper Than Reason: Emotion and Its Role in Literature, Music and Art by Jenefer Robinson, excerpts.