The encounter that most decisively shaped my teaching occurred during my very first year in the classroom. I was fresh out of graduate study at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the lines of my life, as the psalmist says, had fallen in pleasant places.
Most people, on some level, love movies. Yet as both a Christian and a filmmaker, I’m persuaded that Christians have not excelled at filmmaking because they haven’t really loved the cinema. They may love the power of cinema. They may appreciate the social impact of cinema.
As I emerged from the dairy aisle in the neighborhood supermarket and turned toward the bagels, I spotted my old friend Terry Regan over near the soups. He saw me at the same time and we started toward each other. I hadn’t seen Terry for nearly a year and he looked slimmer. Good for him, I thought; he needed to trim down a little.
The first thing that strikes us about Lucille Clifton’s poetry is what is missing: capitalization, punctuation, long and plentiful lines. We see a poetry so pared down that its spaces take on substance, become a shaping presence as much as the words themselves.
When former secretary of State Madeleine Albright was fielding questions about Afghanistan recently, one inquirer asked about the role of women in Islam, citing the miserable treatment of females in Afghanistan. Albright’s response was less interesting than the assumptions of the questioner, who was clearly expressing the opinion of many Americans.