It was Christmas and Bobby was a good boy and we worked hard for our money. All of that must mean something. What is the point of a God and His Son if this hardship does not mean anything, you know, the hardship of this life, the grinding of it cannot be pointless, can it?
Until I brushed up against those 300-million-year-old ferns, I thought of coal and pollution and global warming as a single, dense lump of worry, uncomplicated by history or irony.
Near the site of a teahouse for weary travelers in Bashō’s time, now wilderness, something big crashed around in the brambles and vines on a slope, under which I could hear a stream burbling. Then there was birdsong and a light-filled clearing. I did not want to spend the night with my audience.
Today’s Gen Z youth have created a culture of hybridized nostalgia—an aestheticization of past fashions and lifestyles filtered through a modern lens.
When the sacred geometry of the Persian carpet was replaced by tanks, weapons, and bombs, Westerners were fascinated. But how do the women who weave them feel?
Gettysburg: An American Noh, like most Noh, is nearly plotless. It is “about” a veteran, and descendant of Union General Hancock, who travels to Gettysburg National Military Park, where he meets the ghost of Confederate General Armistead.
The faith Willie had in me to protect him from anything untoward, even from being hurt by the elements, mirrors the faith I had in my grandfather to protect me from the street gangs when he took me to a game over fifty years ago.
For six of the seven years we have owned this house, I have told friends I hoped the next hurricane would just wash it off its slab into the sea—after we were safely north, of course.
The suit, with its travels and meanings—an object imbued with memories of love and trauma, a symbol of rupture and connection between self and other, self and personal past, self and national history—represents a fitting way to frame a group of essays about Baldwin and democracy.
With the possible exception of Walt Whitman, no other writer has given the foundational matter of love and democratic life in America such probing attention.