I have long been a reader, commenter, and fellow obsessor over at the Notre Dame blog, One Foot Down. As such, it’s been exciting recently to get the chance to do some writing for the site. Though the team faltered earlier than expected — in the Sweet 16 after earning a well-deserved #1-seed — I enjoyed following the Notre Dame women’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament. The articles are linked for you below:
A huge thanks to a friend of mine who recently pointed me to Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and his Gay Son. And to Zeal Books, too, for taking the risk of publishing this brief, dual memoir. It’s a beautiful book, one that tells the best kind of story. I can only hope that droves of both Christians and members of the LBGTQ community will read and learn it, as it’s the best attempt I’ve seen of taking both of these “sides” seriously, of seeing the kind of nuance and complexity that the issues the book brings up deserve. Along with the publisher, I also suspect that the book will make both communities uncomfortable, and that the discomfort could be productive if handled well. I won’t be able to fully replicate the book’s beauty and usefulness here, but I’ll try my best to give you a glimpse of what I read and heard.
If I have a least favorite question in the English language, it might be: “Are you a Christian?” It’s a question that gets thrown pretty quickly in the direction of any artist or thinker or politician that shows an openness toward or seriousness about God or spirituality. My dislike of the question is first of all about what the question does. What I mean is, asking it is often a way to peg people as in-or-out, loveable-or-dismissible. Unfortunately this question gets asked in this way by many who believe, some who don’t, and probably everywhere in-between. But it seems to me that if these kinds of distinctions and categories have to be made, perhaps it might be best to let God be the One to make them.
Like many writers in my generation, several years ago I began making my way as a writer by starting a blog. It seems to me that the advantage of a blog has always been that it bypasses the traditional barriers to publication. When you write and publish on a blog, you don’t need some other person to validate your work, to say you’re good enough for people to read your stuff. You get to decide that, and then if you’re lucky, the readers show up. There are, of course, some real disadvantages to blogs, and I don’t want to pretend that isn’t true, but those problems deserve to be pitted up against the good things about them.
I enjoyed interacting with and writing for Big Car (“bringing art to people and people to art”) this past fall and summer, particularly around some of their creative placemaking experiments in Indianapolis’s Monument Circle.
From the writings of Wendell Berry, to working in a city-planning office in Anderson, Indiana, to spending some time with Big Car, I suppose it’s no accident that I flock toward conversations about thoughtful and playful engagements with place. Here are the articles I wrote: