Here's What's Next
I’m calling this the question for 2023.
Cassiodorus, writing in the sixth century about Psalm 91:
This psalm has marvelous power, and routs impure spirits. The Devil retires vanquished from us through the very means by which he sought to tempt us, for that wicked spirit is mindful of his own presumption and of God’s victory. Christ by His own power overcame the Devil in His own regard, and likewise conquers him in ours. So this psalm should be recited by us when night sets in after all the actions of the day; the Devil must realize that we belong to Him to whom he remembers that he himself yielded.
This from my friend and colleague Philip Jenkins, who has a new book about the complex and varied life of that psalm.
The French composer Josquin des Prez (ca.1450-1521) made a wonderful setting of this Psalm, which a few years ago was adapted by the Canadian musician Laurel Macdonald to be sung in many languages. Don’t miss that video – it’s gorgeous.
I posted this to my blog, but it’s worth posting here too. Mandy Brown:
In the spring, when the weather is (hopefully) warm and wet, a tree will grow rapidly, forming large, porous cells known as “earlywood.” Later, as the weather cools, it will grow in smaller, more tightly packed cells known as “latewood.” You can spot the difference when looking at a tree’s rings: earlywood appears as light-colored, usually thick, bands, while latewood shows up thinner and darker. What doesn’t show up in the rings is the dormant period — the winter season, when the tree doesn’t grow at all, but waits patiently for spring.
I think this is a useful metaphor for thinking about how we grow, too. There are times and seasons when the conditions are right for earlywood — for big, galloping growth, where you learn a lot in short order. This is often the case when you first step into a new role, or take on a new and challenging project, or start at a new organization. But those periods of rapid growth are often (and ideally) followed by periods when the growth is slower, more focused, moving in short and careful steps instead of giant leaps. These latewood periods are when the novelty of a new situation has worn off, and the time for reflection and deep-skill building arrives.
Craig Mod, the long-distance walker/writer/photographer, on why he prefers to walk alone.
Also, I think I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth a rewatch: Mod’s short video on pizza toast and coffee in a Japanese kissa.
A rather harrowing but also very moving essay about the challenges and blessings of adoption – written by Wendy Kiyomi, my former student!
A wonderful essay on the pleasures of always being ready to take a picture.
The good people at the Criterion Collection give us a special gift: room tone.