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The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand it, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?
Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.
-Søren Kierkegaard.
(via shortbreadsh)

Well there was depression, anxiety, horrible stomach problems, horrible back problems, loneliness, horniness, dread, fear, and recurring radical doubt as to the worth of my endeavors, but other than that it was all quite effortless. At my nadir, I was reduced to lying beneath a glass coffee table and reading books placed faced down on top of it, which made page turning a bit of a production. Relief consisted of aquatic aerobatics classes attended by the aged and nearly dead. My malady? Life, really. Old-fashioned neurasthenia. The impossibility of everything. That, and the effort to write.
-Adam Haslett, in response to the question:  “Can you recall early challenges you faced, writerly or otherwise?”

Just got back from watching Tree of Life. It left both my roommate and I in tears and full of observations on the world and nature and creation and the bestowing of grace and what a gift forgiveness can be.
It is a beautiful, touching, poignant, troubling, ultimately redemptive film. Highly recommended. Just got back from watching Tree of Life. It left both my roommate and I in tears and full of observations on the world and nature and creation and the bestowing of grace and what a gift forgiveness can be.
It is a beautiful, touching, poignant, troubling, ultimately redemptive film. Highly recommended.

Just got back from watching Tree of Life. It left both my roommate and I in tears and full of observations on the world and nature and creation and the bestowing of grace and what a gift forgiveness can be.

It is a beautiful, touching, poignant, troubling, ultimately redemptive film. Highly recommended.


It’s time we valued our writing not just for its aesthetic accomplishment, its moral or political weight, but as work, as part of the myriad of activities necessary to build the physical and intellectual infrastructure of society. And when we give away our work—our words—for free, we are telling the world exactly how much we think it’s worth.
-Dale Peck

I really think the main export of America is this sort of fountain of youth that we somehow manage to tap into, like with pop music — it’s not out of the question to see 50-year-old men still dressing like teenagers and I just feel like, “What happened?” It’s like we won World War II and now we can be idiots for the rest of time.
-Chris Ware

I think that the biggest life lesson I learned as a boy, that has helped me and is still with me, is that you really have to discipline yourself to do the work. If you want to accomplish something, you can’t spend a lot of time hemming and hawing, putting it off, making excuses, and figuring ways. You have to actually do it…. I want to write, so I get up in the morning, go in and close the door, and write. You can’t string paper clips and get your pad ready and turn your phone off and get coffee made. You have to do the stuff. Everything in life turns out to be a distraction from the real thing you want to do. There are a million distractions, and when I was a kid I was very disciplined. I knew that the other kids weren’t. I was the one able to do the thing, not because I had more talent, maybe less, but because they simply weren’t applying themselves. As a kid, I wanted to do magic tricks. I could sit endlessly in front of a mirror, practicing, because I knew if you wanted to do the tricks you’ve got to do the thing. I did that with the clarinet. When I was teaching, I did that with writing. This is the most important thing in my life, because I see people striking out all the time. It’s not because they don’t have talent or because they don’t want to be, but because they don’t put the work in to do it. They don’t have the discipline to do it.
-Woody Allen

Technology, despite its promises of social connectivity, actually makes us lonelier by preventing true intimacy.
-

Libby Copeland, “The Anti-Social Network,” Slate.com

(Taken roughly from Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together)

(Source: Slate)


But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.

Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.

This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement. That multitasking can argue a wasted life. That a close friendship is worth more than material success.

-The mighty Ms. Lamott, telling it like it is.

At a certain point I find myself so handcuffed in my own faith by trying to get it right—to try and look like a Christian, to try to do the things that Christians should do, to be all of these things externally—to fake it until I get myself all handcuffed and tied up in knots as to what I was supposed to be doing there in the first place. If God expects me, in order to be a Christian, to be able to theologically justify every move that I make, I’m sorry. I’m going to be a miserable failure.
-Jennifer Knapp, saying things I totally agree with