Posts tagged "family"

Summer Vacay: Where is Mom’s Coffin?

Summer Vacay: Where is Mom’s Coffin?

Officially speaking, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying tells the story of Bundren family traveling to bury their mother, Addie. Quickly in the narrative she dies. Children and husband must fulfill last request to take Mom’s body on a 40-mile trek in a wagon to be buried in Jefferson, Mississippi. Written in 1930, it dances the line between modern and post-modern literature. Different characters’ voices take over each chapter, and as the book progresses, the reader is given a complex, dark, and intimate narrative.

Unofficially, I believe it is a book written about a mother who simply wanted her family to…

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Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Three Verses Sixteen and Seventeen

Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Three Verses Sixteen and Seventeen

June 9 in the Mockingbird Devotional comes from David Zahl.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV)

There’s a classic New Yorker cartoon of a woman sitting in a therapist’s office, and the caption reads, “First, I did things for my parents’ approval, then I did things for my parents’ disapproval, and now…

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The Virtue of Just Showing Up (at the Hospital)

The Virtue of Just Showing Up (at the Hospital)

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my personal favorite book of the year, which actually came out in 2012, was Tim Kreider’s We Learn Nothing. A collection of essays on everything from Busyness and Friendship to Identity and Politics and Family to Death and Books (sometimes in the same paragraph), it’s as funny as anything I’ve ever read, grounded in personal experience (much of which is anything but funny), and unified by Kreider’s unwavering knack for gazing behind the curtain of everyday life (esp his own). If I had to describe his perspective, I’d borrow a phrase from…

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Start-Up, Stay-at-Home Visionary: Solace for the Perfect Mom

Start-Up, Stay-at-Home Visionary: Solace for the Perfect Mom

The New York Times Magazine’s cover piece for this past week is a rejoinder to one from 2003, about mothers “opting out” of ambitious, lucrative career fields, to become stay-at-home mothers. This time, ten years later, Judith Warner catches up with and spotlights three women in particular who want a way back into their careers, and the picture given is definitely (and mercifully) mixed. Of the three women, one is divorced and living in a condo, one is living her dream as the CEO of her own non-profit, and another just lost her new job, worrying how the kids will…

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A Generational Reckoning: My Kindergartner, the Technophile

A Generational Reckoning: My Kindergartner, the Technophile

Have you been taught, by a small child, how to play Angry Birds? Were you amazed–kind of creeped out?–to see how they maneuvered the slingshot, how deftly they manipulated those pig structures?

The New York Times Magazine just published this from fiction writer Steve Almond, about the perils latent in the swift currents of a technological upbringing. Unlike most articles of this type, Almond isn’t retrograde. In seeing his small children carry newfangled conveniences and distractions into their household, he doesn’t call forth his own childhood as the golden age, but as the age to blame. He calls his 20s his…

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Looking Tobey Maguire Dead in the Eye: Heroes and Villains and Brothers

Looking Tobey Maguire Dead in the Eye: Heroes and Villains and Brothers

The latest installment of our “Mockingbird at the Movies” column comes to us from Addie Jenkins:

“Grace knows I would do anything to get back to her.”

These are the first words spoken by Captain Sam Cahill, played by Tobey Maguire in the 2009 wartime psychological drama, Brothers. Though referring to his wife, the line might also strike a chord in grace-parched hearts, or with those held captive by law for God knows how long, be it martial or spiritual. Based on a 2005 Danish film by the same name, Jim Sheridan’s adaptation drops its viewers into the pit of the painfully…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Junebug

Mockingbird at the Movies: Junebug

A reflection/review from Mbird friend Russ Masterson (with maybe a little help from DZ). If you haven’t grabbed Russ’ new e-book 40 Days Without Food, what’s stopping you?

While attending the Mockingbird Conference in NYC last spring, a fellow attendee rattled off all the under-the-radar movies he thought I should see. I remembered a few and added Junebug to my Netflix queue that night. A few months later the DVD arrived, only to be placed in our cabinet and forgotten for another month. Then, last weekend, we dusted it off and hit play.

The film begins with soft-spoken George (Alessandro Nivola) meeting…

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2011 NYC Conference Book Table

2011 NYC Conference Book Table

Recordings will all be available on Monday (on the new site!). Until then, here’s this year’s book table, with a couple of embarrassing omissions rectified. Every year it’s a little different, depending on speaker and theme, but overall, it’s safe to say that it doubles as something of a “Mockingbird Reading List.” Enjoy:

NON-FICTION

Alcoholics Anonymous – Big Book (little version)Bayer, Oswald – Justification and SanctificationBrewer, Todd & Zahl, David – The Gospel According to PixarBrooks, David – The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and AchievementCapon, Robert Farrar – Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables…

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Sexting and Identity

Sexting and Identity

In the looking-for-love-in-all-wrong-places department, a rich article was released on Sunday about the growing presence of “sexting” amongst teenagers across the nation, and the implications it has not only on law and justice, but social development, popular culture, and the modern family. An article written with an arresting understanding that things don’t come from nowhere, it sympathetically centers on Margarite as the confluence of teenage identity crisis, which basically comes down to social-relational confusion and basic, human love-hunger. 

Adults face a hard truth. For teenagers, who have ready access to technology and are growing up in a culture that celebrates…

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Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

A moderately interesting look at 4-hour phenomenon Tim Ferriss in the NY Times. One gets the sense that although there’s clearly some energy here – it’s hard not to respect someone who goes to such lengths – all the optimization and efficiency talk is actually code for self-justification (and a very inflated anthropology). It sounds as though Ferris has simply replaced his own identity-driven obsession with business with a similar one with self – which strikes this blogger as different versions of the same thing. Plus, does anyone else think that the urgency/anxiety about time is a tad contradictory? Meaning,…

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Part X and the Death and Resurrection of Hollywood

Part X and the Death and Resurrection of Hollywood

Lots of interesting connections and disconnections to be found in the New Yorker profile of Barry Michels, therapist to the stars. Michels is an interesting conglomeration of Jungian psychoanalyst, self-help guru, and Alcoholic Anonymous-style breakdown-inducing tough love. You have to slog through a fair amount of nonsense, but the stuff about judgment as it relates to creativity is particularly relevant, not to mention Michels’ insights at the end about death and rebirth. One can’t help but wonder how much Michels picked up from close family friend Rod Serling?! ht RJH:

One recent afternoon, Michels put on his glasses, pulled out a…

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Why I Am Coming to NYC

Why I Am Coming to NYC

Each year it seems like such an undertaking: spending money on travel for myself that could have been used for a family vacation; enduring crowded flights and dreary layovers; trudging to and fro on subway lines and unfamiliar avenues, a stranger in a strange land – all to spend a few fleeting days at a religious conference. Is it worth it, you may ask? Well, I wrote what follows after last year’s conference, and it sums up the reason why I intend to make this annual pilgrimage to New York City as long as there is a Mockingbird…

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