Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

“ Oh blessed rage for order…The maker’s rage to order words of the sea…”   ~ Wallace Stevens One of Augustine of Hippo’s ways of understanding the human heart sounds paradoxical at first: a man can walk around the earth, but he cannot ever circumscribe his own heart. Rather than debate whether or not this is the case, I am going to take this as … Continue reading Gregory Alan Isakov and Rainer Maria Rilke on the Quiet Things of Life

The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

Throughout my academic career, I have viewed writing as a means by which I can paraphrase, convey, and analyze other people’s ideas. I never attempted poetry or creative prose, or anything outside of academic essays for that matter, because the thought that those styles of writing were something I could do or something worthwhile had never even crossed my mind. As a writer, I was … Continue reading The Writer as Artist: On Transience and the Joy of Words

All Goodbyes Are Temporary

One of my favorite places in the world is a little donut shop in Coldwater named Dutch Uncle. By any ordinary standards it isn’t a very nice establishment: The bathroom door only sort-of closes, they serve water in sketchy styrofoam cups (which they have to go back into the kitchen to get because the soda fountain is broken), they only take cash, and the benches … Continue reading All Goodbyes Are Temporary

The Missing Dictionary Entry

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrasal verb “to miss out (on)” is an American colloquialism that arose in the early twentieth century. This meaning of “being deprived of an experience or opportunity” is a relatively new meaning for “miss” in our language; a word that actually dates back to Old English. Originally, “miss” meant “to go wrong, to make a mistake,” which has … Continue reading The Missing Dictionary Entry

“Take Me to Church”: Hozier and Man’s Innate Religious Impulse

Perhaps pagan, apparently agnostic, undeniably unchristian—whatever category you apply, Hozier’s music is fundamentally religious. Rather than divorcing faith from art,  Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who performs under the stage name Hozier, brings religion to center stage. He wrestles with God in both of his albums, inviting his audience to actively contemplate the afterlife and critically analyze the nature of worship alongside him. His disdain for institutionalized Christianity, … Continue reading “Take Me to Church”: Hozier and Man’s Innate Religious Impulse

Imitation, Graced: Ovid on Fine Art

… for earth without heaven cannot find the path of its orbit, nor the influences that give it fruitfulness. —A.G. Sertillanges, O.P., The Intellectual Life     Have you ever wondered what art actually is? Our instinctive answer might be something like “self-expression;” and according to our venerable OED, we’d be on the right track: Art, it says, is the “expression or application of creative skill … Continue reading Imitation, Graced: Ovid on Fine Art

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The Risky Business of Loving

And now I’m terrified of loving ‘Coz I’m terrified of pain And of missing out on human things By cowering away ~ (Gang of Youths, Go Farther In Lightness, “Fear and Trembling”) I stumbled across these lyrics over Christmas break and was immediately struck by the struggle expressed here and its relevance to the human condition. Here the singer, David Le’aupepe, vocalizes his deep fear … Continue reading The Risky Business of Loving

Making Shelfspace for the YA Genre

Young people of the twenty-first century do not just play video games and sit on their phones and engage in debauchery—they also read. Some quick Google searches show that an estimated 447 million copies of books in the Harry Potter series have been sold as of 2016. Similarly, about 120 million copies of the Twilight saga, and 65 million copies of The Hunger Games. This … Continue reading Making Shelfspace for the YA Genre

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A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies

You can find plenty of common, scholarly reasons to study history in textbook introductions, education philosophy books, or in the classroom on the first day of a history class. However, these were not the reasons that prompted me to declare a history major my freshman year. What motivated me was an idealism which claimed that if we could just understand history and teach it correctly, … Continue reading A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies