As their point of departure the five artists took (St.) Thomas More’s “Utopia,” (1516), “a truly golden little book,” as he described it, about a mythical ideal island. (The Huntington owns a first edition, complete with map). A satire of politics, society and religion, More considered such perpetually relevant topics as the tendency of kings to start war, squander money, and create poverty in the working classes due to greed.
The reason why we are where we are this Christmas, in this house, family, office, workroom, hospital, or camp, is because it is here in this place that Christ wants to be born, from here that he wants his life to begin again in the world…We did not choose this place–Christ has chosen it. We did not choose these people—Christ has chosen them.”
–Caryll Houselander, “The Mother of Christ”
Oh the season of Advent has been deep. I find I’m spent. Not from buying presents, eating, or showing off/arguing/sniping on social media. Rather from the deep prayer of the last four weeks… “The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light.” And then the Gospel today, the beginning of John: “The true […]
“But it is in the old story that all the beasts can talk in the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the morning (though there are very few folk that can hear them, or know what it is that they say).When the Cathedral clock struck twelve there was an answer—like an echo of […]
I’ve been going over my posts from the last ten years. This was first published on December 24, 2013. I liked it so much I’m giving it another go. Wishing you all the joys of this wondrous season. From a reader: Heather, Painted some snow-filled pots two days ago in my icy backyard. Beforehand I […]
From an interview in Insight, the magazine of The Sisters of Life, with Dr. Michael J. Brescia, Executive Medical Director and co-founder of Calvary Hospital, to talk about his experiences at the Catholic palliative care facility and hospice in the Bronx. I heard that you were responsible for a famous invention. I joined the VA hospital in […]
From top to bottom, the event, atmosphere, and zeitgeist were quintessential LA. The setting: a balmy 67 degrees. The rink, at 532 S. Olive Street: surrounded by palm trees and skyscrapers. The main sponsor: Bai, an antioxidant infusion drink. Another sponsor: the North American tour of Disney’s “Frozen: The Broadway Musical.”
Artist Anne-Elizabeth Sobieski’s family lost their Pasadena home to fire when she was 17. “I was frozen. I don’t know how much time went by. We just watched as the roof fell in, and one by one, every room burned.”
Ever since, she’s had a special heart for firefighters. So perhaps it was only fitting that she was chosen by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture (formerly the LA County Arts Commission) to design the fused glass panels for the newly built Santa Clarita Fire Station 104.
Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Sriracha sauce is a crown jewel of Southern California foodie culture. You’ve seen the plastic bottles. They’re filled with bright red sauce, emblazoned with a rooster, stamped with text in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese, and topped by a green squirt cap. For many, this blazing […]
I always laugh when people say “I hope you enjoyed your retreat!” or “your vacation!” I do enjoy it, all of it, but my life and my travel are almost militarily disciplined and at all times retain a pilgrimage aspect. I often fast in my way, I always walk miles. This last trip to NYC […]
I haven’t much checked in as of late. This is in large part because I have many PROJECTS. One: I am making a will! That’s right: getting “my affairs” in order, a task upon which I’ve been procrastinating for probably five years. So the ball is rolling. That feels good. It’s a lot of work. […]
I’m no unalloyed fan of Camille Paglia. Her embrace of the New Age and desire to be a man leave me cold. On the other hand, I’m totally on board with her disdain for political-correctness-gone-awry and her recognition that without religion civilization is doomed. I just came across a wonderful piece by Emily Esfahani Smith–“The […]