A Blue You Can Wear

I sat alone, for a few minutes at least, in the unlit and uncovered atrium of a church just south of Nashville. I was tired. Exhausted. Worn out in the way that only those introverts who have spent a long day in the welcoming company of dear friends can understand.

I was at a conference with several other Foundling House editors and writers. We had started the day together by leading a panel discussion on the importance and difficulties of being part of a creative community group. Eager faces looked up at us as we started. Pens were poised over notepads, waiting for us to give a simple, easy-to-follow formula that would generate the community we so desperately crave—a community that I also crave. I only wish it was so simple.

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Figures of Christ – Echoes of the Divine in Literature and Film

The Bible can be understood, in part, as the great overarching narrative of humanity’s relationship with God. It is a story in four acts: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration. Woven throughout the testaments is the figure of Christ.

The figure of Christ, regardless of our understanding or knowledge of the biblical narrative, has permeated the worldview of mankind since well before recorded history. Somehow, deep in the very essence of our being we long for Messiah. We look for Him in nature and in human relationships. We see there merely echoes and fingerprints. Most of all we look for Him in our own narratives, the stories we tell ourselves and each other that help us make sense of the world, and in the stories we create to merely entertain. Joseph Campbell reduces these echoes to single idea, a hero with a thousand faces.

The Foundling House has asked a few of our readers and contributors to share their own favorite Christ figures, or Christ images from literature, film and comics. Here are some of our picks.

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Every Morning Coffee: a review of Every Moment Holy

The holiday season passed with a flurry of shredded wrapping paper, sugar comas, and age-old family traditions. A shiny new year with infinite possibilities and opportunities is spread before us like a banquet. A whole new year, when we can finally do all those things we promise ourselves we are going to do each and every new year, for which we never manage to find the time, of course.

I’m not one of those folks who puts together yearly resolutions I intend to follow through with. It’s simply not my nature. There are times that I do envy those who think that way, but those moments are rare. I enjoy the days as they come, knowing that each day is similar to the last. I have my morning ritual: start the kettle, grind the coffee, fill the French press, wait four minutes then call out “Plunger Boy!” My five-year-old son’s morning is thrown completely out of whack if he doesn’t push the plunger on the French press. Then I go to my office and read the news. All of us have similar rituals, even if they aren’t coffee related.

At the core of what it means to be human is an inherent desire to have order and intentionality in our lives. 

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Sacred Discontent: Behind the Album The Broken Seasons with Adam Whipple

Adam Whipple plays a house show in East Tennessee.

Loyal readers might remember we ran a review from John Barber of Adam Whipple’s new album The Broken Seasons here a few months ago. I would recommend you read it first, then come back and hear from the artist about the philosophy and planning behind the album and the songs. This isn’t meant to be a review, but a conversation that hopefully will give us a glimpse into his creation process. Then click on over to PledgeMusic and help this album drop into a world that needs its honesty. There are only a few days left.

John Palmer Gregg: First. This is an amazing album, and not just a collection of great songs, but it seems well put together. Awesome job man.

Adam Whipple: Thank you!

JPG: Can you briefly describe your songwriting process? Do you start with the lyrics, the music?

AW: I tend to woolgather a lot. Bits of lyrics will come, sometimes verses or choruses or bridges, and I record it or write down a sketch of the melody and let it percolate. The days of entire songs arriving like lightning are either gone or very rare. Sometimes a whole verse or two will show up. That happens a lot when I’m driving, when it’s inconvenient (or illegal?) to write anything down. Once in a while, music comes first, but I get so enamored with music that it often gets hard to see past it. Those times when music arrives first, it seems to open up lyrics that were already there, usually about things I’m dealing with at the time.

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Memory of Flying

I was convinced that it wasn’t entirely impossible. Difficult and miraculous, perhaps, but not impossible. I reasoned that there must be a different way of perceiving the world that would enable a person to leave the ground behind – and fly. So, at around eleven or twelve years old, that is exactly what I did.

I remember it so clearly.

There was a ditch that ran alongside a portion of the long driveway that led to the log cabin I grew up in. An electric barb-wire fence ran down the far side of that ditch. It was a fence and ditch I knew very well. It was the fence I accidently hit with a golf club while trying to perfect my chip shot with fallen hickory nuts that had gathered in the ditch. It was the fence I accidently urinated on – twice, and it was the fence I spectacularly failed to jump over on my metallic red Mongoose BMX bike. I still have scars from that experience wrapping around both legs where the barbs dug into me as I struggled to free myself from the wire. Each surge of electricity running down it caused my muscles to spasm and lock up.

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