There are so many horrific events in the news. What do we do with the tumult of feelings that rushes through us when we hear about them? How do we navigate this world of lightning-fast news and online echo chambers where we can block particular perspectives and opinions? In these charged, gut-wrenching times, how do we process information and determine what course of action might align with our values? In seminary a professor assigned “reaction/response papers.”
U.S. immigration policy has long used the imposition of trauma and the dynamics of fear as weapons.
The current issue of the Century features a remembrance by my mother of my grandfather’s terrifying war experience and its unfolding consequences. Tomorrow the world marks the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, when the world-shaping trauma of the war halted in Europe. My grandfather’s story is only a tiny fragment of the war, his decades of agony only a ripple in its billowing aftershocks. But it is the kind of story that is easily lost as the war recedes from living memory.
In her 11th novel Toni Morrison returns to the foundation of most of her fiction: childhood and its traumatic effects.
I’ve only seen three dead bodies in my life. The first was when I was 12 years old and my grandfather died at age 69. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry. At the funeral home, my sister was brave enough to reach out and touch my grandfather’s hand as it rested on his torso. Back in our seats, I asked her what his skin felt like. “Plastic,” she said.
The books I've read repeatedly are the ones that have probed my heart and expanded my vision.
Kathleen O'Connor's daringly imaginative rereading of Jeremiah reveals a community experiencing the classic accents of trauma.
Via Rose Berger, the summer issue of Portland magazine includes an essay by Portland editor and Century contributor Brian Doyle, in which he quotes at length a conversation with a young U.S. war veteran named Jackie. She paints a striking picture.