Friends, we’re in this for the long haul. From time to time over the coming weeks, I’ll update a list of resources and the like and send it along like last week’s email. But this week, I thought maybe we could all use a moment to look at our souls, our imaginations, our emotions, and breathe deeply of beauty.
Around the Web
Magic and Faith in Onward
I’ve been hearing good things about the movie Onward (coming to Disney+ in April, please check your standard guides for whether it’s right for your family), and my friend Lisa Eldred’s meditation on it is encouraging.
- I went to see Onward the weekend it opened—a two hour respite in what would turn out to be a few crazy weeks. The Tuesday before, an acquaintance lost his home in the Nashville tornadoes. It was a miracle that he and his family survived. The following week, half of my home state of Michigan went into quarantine over Coronavirus.
But I can’t stop thinking about Onward, in spite of life’s craziness—or perhaps because of it.
Flourishing in a Time of Fear
Tim Briggs reminds us that beauty is not an addition to life, but a necessity.
- To pass the time in the midst of a pandemic, I’m reading a fictional story called Station 11. The book “tells the spellbinding story of a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.” It’s been quite good thus far but it’s not for the faint of heart. One line from the book that has stuck with me is the group’s motto: “Survival is insufficient” (a regurgitated line from Star Trek).
Babe Ruth Goes Hunting
On what should be baseball’s Opening Day, Kelly Keller share a tale of family lore.
- One Friday night in November, a shiny black car with New York plates pulled up in front of the Big House on Dawson Road. Four men got out. They were wearing expensive suits topped by long wool coats, and each sported a fedora. As the cases were pulled out and brought up the narrow cement steps into the house, the guests were welcomed inside by the hostess, Annie Armstrong Dawson. She briskly introduced herself to each of the newcomers. “Hello, come in, there’s coffee on the stove. When you’re settled, come downstairs for some pie.” Annie’s Belfast accent was charming, but the men understood that this invitation was more of an instruction.
The Art of Withdrawal
John Hendrix challenges us to keep focused on trust.
- In my primary research and professional activity, I write and illustrate picture books and graphic novels for young people. But for several years, I’ve drawn a side-project comic strip called The Holy Ghost. This little diversion has given me a way to ruminate on ideas in the fictional voices of a little squirrel and a blue ghost (the latter of whom may or may not be one-third of the Trinity).
It has barely been two weeks since my world, like yours, began to slowly contract.
Around the Warren
Helena Sorensen finds a story of life rising up over death.
- It’s family movie night, and Jon is stuck outside, dealing with a troublesome vehicle. The kids and I are sitting on the couch, watching Fantasia 2000. We’re nearing the end. Already, we’ve seen an abstract battle between light and darkness set to the music of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. We’ve watched a humpback whale calf dive and sport through sea and sky to the music of Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome.” A tangle of humorous characters has given us a tour of 1930’s New York City while Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” hurries them along. Donald Duck has loaded the ark to the accompaniment of “Pomp and Circumstance,” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” has rushed by in a blur, on fast-forward.
The Winter King: A Review
Glenn McCarty reviews The Winter King as he nears the end of the season of waiting.
- For those of us in the North, winter is a season of waiting. We dance through December and January, buoyed by the holiday spirit, but by March, the grays and whites of the world start gnawing at us, and we can feel the keen hunger for spring. We are meant to feel this way, I believe. Our hunger reminds us of the feast awaiting us when the seasons turn. Stories that capture this waiting have always called to me, from Dickens to DiCamillo, as they wrap the flesh and bone of story around this innate human yearning for redemption and wholeness.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I’m finding that video chats are my deepest delight these days, and they may well be for you, too. If you’re looking for some video chat activities with extended family or friends, you could play some of these games.
Something to Watch
I grew up on this song, and I didn’t realize until I happened upon this blog post how very much I needed it today. “If life as God intended it is anything, it is a fight for joy.” (The blog post has the lyrics written out, as well.)
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team