Be the pulse driven from a broken shell.
One of my favorite stories is about the interview I wanted most, but didn’t get.
It was 2005 and I had just signed a contract to write what would be my first book — a collection of profiles of mostly well-known people about their spiritual lives. Artists. Writers. Thinkers. Scientists. The odd rock star.
Sitting in my publisher’s office, she asked me to dream out loud: If I could interview anyone for the project, who was No. 1 on my wish list?
I answered without hesitation: Seamus Heaney.
When most people think of Gaza, surfing is not the first thing that comes to mind. But photo journalist Ryan Rodrick Beiler has an eye for capturing the resilience and richness of life in this occupied land.
Excerpt from Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander
before he unlocks the church gate
the rector kneels before
the gridiron fence surrounding the Cathedral,
not in prayer
but to collect empty wine bottles,
snack bags, and used condoms.
If I were a tree
I would like to be
A giving tree.
Leaves a peaceful green,
Birds could sit and sing,
Children laugh and swing
Upon my branches.
From the midst of the nether
world I cried for help.
—from the Book of Jonah
A gray whale blows off Cardiff Beach,
just beyond the glamour homes,
boutiques, and drive-thru windows,
valet service and all-u-can-eat sushi.
I want to swim out and be swallowed.
Jonah’s whale wasn’t Ahab’s, all
tripey white and peg-toothed, but
a strainer of phosphorescent shrimp,
which lamped the reeking gut, like
fireflies we swallowed once, in jars.
Editor’s Note: The following poem by Trevor Scott Barton was written while he was living in Africa and reading The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi.
Holding you in the palm of my hand
I see your tiny feet and hope you'll live and walk these stony paths
To the pump to get water.
Blessing you in your meekness and gentleness,
You are Jesus to me today.
Kind, tired eyes from too much seeing ...
Worn, battered shoes from too much walking ...
Stained, tattered shirt from too much working ...
Gentle, calloused hands from too much holding ...
Open, humbled heart from too much knowing ...
Mass in Las Choapas, Mexico