Saturday, July 12, 2008


the next issue of the other journal will focus on the 2008 election. although i'm interested to see how theologians will address this topic, and i think it will be an interesting issue for our readers, i wonder how creative writers will take to it.

if poets and writers are our modern prophets, our contemporary truth-tellers, then it makes sense that their work might be politically noisy, that it might voice protests or hoorahs over policies and potentates. and perhaps we should listen.

but when i sit down to read a poem or a short story, i don't want to bullied into belief. i don't want a writer knocking me up side the head with the moral bush is bad. if this is their point, i'd like the message to sneak past my defenses, settle in my mind, and convince me via the rhythm, images, and story.

so, yes, i'm afraid that some writers will forget their subtlety and fly headlong into the role of teacher. therefore, when i think of our next issue, i'm most excited by the lens we're hoping to use for election '08: change.

it's a word that's on the lips of all our pundits and politicians these days, but i also think it's a potentially rich word for christian writers. when you think about it, nearly all great literature is about change. we read books that have shifting plots, characters that are melded by their stories. and at the heart of the christian faith is change.

and speaking of change, here's the point of today's entry: today i'm on the brink of change. after battling a nasty cold, i'm starting to feel much better. this seems small and shallow, of course, but to me, at this moment, it feels big and important.

and i just finished haruki murakami's the wind-up bird chronicle, which i hope to say more about later.

and after several years of off-and-on practice, i'm finally learning debussy's "claire de lune" in its entirety.

so hooray for change!