Thursday, January 27, 2011
Reading and Traveling
I’ve been traveling recently, and when you travel by airplane, you always have lots of time for reading. (I had so much time on this last trip that I ran out of things to read.) (That sounds like a good title for an article or even a book: “Running Out of Things to Read While Traveling and Other Disasters.”)
The current issue of Christianity Today Magazine has a number of good stories and features: how exercise, diet and technology are helping us life longer and should we care; an interview with Jeff Van Duzer (Why Business Matters to God) on business as ministry – with a trademark alert – he says that there’s growing sentiment to refer to work as a high calling; an interview with Roberta Ahmanson on the support she and her husband Howard have given to Christian art; and a review of Bo Caldwell’s City of Tranquil Light, which I reviewed here in December (I don’t read what other reviewers say about books I’m reviewing until I finish and post my review).
Then there’s Radix Magazine (subtitled "Where Christian Faith Meets Contemporary Culture"). In addition to some really fine poems, this issue includes an interview with William Rankin, president of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance; two stories on unusual Bible studies; an article on the 11th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen; and a review of a biography of Julian of Norwich by Amy Frykholm – and the reviewer is the Radix poetry editor, Luci Shaw.
I’ve recently read three of Shaw’s poetry books, and I’m working on another work by her. I’m thinking about doing on a article on her and her poetry.
And in the current issue of Poets & Writers (which always has good articles), I was attracted to a small ad (page 45, Jan/Feb 2011 issue if you’re interested) for a book of poems by Mark Jarman. It was the blurb by Edward Hirsch for the Washington Post that caught my attention: “Jarman’s poetry is God-haunted. He writes as an unorthodox but essentially Christian poet who embraces paradox and treats contradiction, to use Simone Weil’s phrase, as a lever of transcendence.”
I finished reading The Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Lakin. It's a wonderful story, part of Lakin's Gates of Heaven series. I'll be doing a two-part post on it and the seocnd book in the series, The Map Across Time, which is scheduled to be published March 4. I'm still surprised that I (1) voluntarily read two fairy tales and (2) thoroughly enjoyed both. Lakin is an imaginative, gripping writer.
Speaking of traveling, I had my first experience with TSA. I was standing in the security line (shoes - off, belt - off, pockets – empty, laptop – out, bag of toiletries – out; coat – off) when I noticed a security guard watching the line and counting off silently. He stopped two in front of me – it was a girl about 10 years old traveling with her mother and sister. The guard’s face fell. His glance then landed on me.
Yes, he called me out of the line. So I got the full body scan treatment (I’m sure that excited the people watching). My arm was then patted down rather extensively (I had neglected to remove my watch) and then my chest was – patted down (I wear a chained cross). And then he patted down my wallet. Yes, he patted down my wallet.
Actually, in this case, I didn’t mind. Better me than a 10-year-old girl.
Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays runs every two weeks over at Marty Duane Scott’s place at Scribing the Journey. This is an off week, but I was pleasantly disturbed enough to write a post anyway.