Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Art of Play

Jennifer Trafton is an author of children’s fiction. Her book, The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic, was read aloud by yours truly across many evenings with the Abell six. We laughed and enjoyed this unpredictable book, squealing with its silliness. She recently wrote an essay for The Rabbit Room, titled “The Art of Play,” which is worth a read...

That is what I mean by a holy silliness. Yes, there is a profound need for art that plumbs the depths of human depravity and suffering and shows that redemption is possible within that darkness. But there is also a profound need for art that creates spaces of innocence—innocent play, innocent joy, innocent beauty—in a world where innocence is violently stripped away from even the youngest children, and where adults have spent so long choking in the smog of corruption that they have forgotten what it is like to breathe pure fresh air. 
I will defend and defend the belief that the deepest reality of human life that we must impress upon children is not that life is hard and death is inevitable and they need to get used to sadness and darkness and make the best of it. The deepest reality is joy. The prize hidden under the scratch-and-win card of life is a beauty so big that no happy ending in a story can even come close to approximating it. War is a horrific stain on the floor of an extravagant ballroom. Tears are temporary; laughter is eternal.
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Least Likely Things...

Alan Jacobs at More Than 95 Theses...
The least likely things in the world are Bach’s B Minor Mass and the Iliad. There are no plausible ways to account for that heart-piercing moment when Hector tries to console his beloved Andromache without denying that he will soon be killed and leave her widowed, after which he bends to pick up his infant son, only for the boy to be terrified by the great plume of his father’s war-helmet. (But whoever Homer was, he wasn’t an aristocrat.)
Read the whole thing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This Morning's Encouragement

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39).