Shadows & Dust, Vol. V, Issue 1

Well the Cubs won the World Series, and it turned out the apocalypse has not, as far as I know, occurred. I’m not personally a Cubs fan, but as a lifelong sports fan, it seems as if the world has spun out of orbit a little bit. For my entire life, it simply wasn’t possible for the Cubs to win, even an pennant. But they did, so now that the (sports) world at least has changed forever, I thought it would be fitting to change up my “Shadows & Dust” monthly recommendations. It does us all good sometimes to unwind a bit, at least that’s what Mark Twain thought:

  • God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’ by Sarah Coakley — Just got this book, with its unusual take on theology, through interlibrary loan and am excited to read it, as it comes highly recommended.
  • Aelred of Rievalux: Spiritual Friendship translated by Lawrence Braceland, edited by Marsha Dutton — This spiritual classic was also recommended to me recently, as it relates to a special kind of friendship, otherwise known by Celtic Christians of the past as ‘soul friendship.’
  • Dylan’s Nobel and “No Direction Home” — Songwriter and performer Bob Dylan was recently named the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, an interesting and non-traditional choice, to say the least. Here’s a PBS story examining the reasoning behind and controversy associated with the award. Also, check out the trailer to No Direction Home, Martin Scorcese’s documentary about Dylan. Also, not to detract from Dylan’s accomplishment, but you might enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s impersonation of him (and others).
  • Poetry from Mary Oliver — I’ve recently been drawn to the poetry of Mary Oliver, a genius from my mom’s generation. Here’s a poem of hers called “Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way.” It’s a collection of thoughts, really, about finding the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.
  • The Visit of the Magi — In honor of the Advent Season, please take some time to read about the journey of the Magi. Imagine them on their way from the east to present their gifts to the newly born King of the Jews, and if you can read it again and place yourself inside the story.

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