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“Love Yourself”: an Existential Meditation Inspired by Gabriel Marcel

“Love Yourself”: an Existential Meditation Inspired by Gabriel Marcel

“…to have a self, to be a self, is the greatest concession made to man, but at the same time it is eternity’s demand upon him.” – Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death This morning my dearling Carol read to me from a book by William Backus, Christian psychologist and faithful friend until his passing last year. The book’s title, […]

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Women’s History Month

[Published 2006 originally.] Time to celebrate! March is women’s history month. I’d like to list a few women who’ve greatly influenced me in my ongoing journey to become more authentically human. 1. My wife, Carol Elaine. I’d have to write a volume or nothing. 2. My mother, Lucile Hanford Trott, a strong and intelligent woman who gave us poetry, flowers, […]

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“Terrorist,” “Cultist” and Other Terms Used by Terrorists and Cultists

Forgive the wry title. And forgive the rambling, unkempt nature of what follows. But what happened to the word “cult” in the 1980s has now also happened to the word “terrorist.” Religious scholar Gordon Melton, I believe, once defined “cult” this way: “A cult is a religious group that we do not happen to like.” I would suggest this: “A […]

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How an Intellectual Could End Up a Prophet

[This post of mine first appeared on the new Project12 website.] Paul is essentially first and foremost a hero of religion. The theological element in him is secondary. Naivete in him is stronger than reflection; mysticism stronger than dogmatism; Christ means more to him than Christology, God more than the doctrine of God. He is far more a man of […]

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Black Writers Who Mean Something to Me, part 1

The fact that African American history, culture, and especially literature means so much to me can be (and probably should be) cause for suspicion. But rather than in futility attempt to submerge into my own motives (and the motives for those motives, and the motives for the motives of those motives), I’d like to offer some quotes (and maybe, maybe […]

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The Bee in Every Blossom (for Zora Neale Hurston) – Black Writers, part 2

The Bee in Every Blossom (for Zora Neale Hurston) – Black Writers, part 2

I promised I’d try to do better by African American women in the literature department. And in the process, I seem to have rediscovered an incredibly powerful voice that for me may end up a star in my personal galaxy. I’d seen the movie of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and also read various bits of her […]

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Black Writers Who Mean Something to Me, part 3

Black Writers Who Mean Something to Me, part 3

I’m taking my time getting back to the novelists. Today, I’m swinging back to one of, if not the, first African-American poet, Phillis Wheatley. Phillis Wheatley’s name, as with so many slave names, unintentionally mapped her history. Phillis was the name of the slave ship that brought her to America; she was only (according to her eventual owner in a […]

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Lower (for Ralph Ellison) – Black Writers, part 4

Lower (for Ralph Ellison) – Black Writers, part 4

What follows is a brief reflection upon, and poem inspired (mostly) by Ralph Ellison. (Re the poem I also have to thank Toni Morrison for her insightful, if painful, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. It will be obvious to those readers of the latter that I was affected by it even while likely indulging in the […]

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Carol on Being a Breast Cancer Survivor

Carol on Being a Breast Cancer Survivor

[March 2007] (Above: Carol some years back visiting my hometown of Fort Benton, Montana.) March is breast cancer awareness month. That isn’t lost on my wife and I, as we encountered breast cancer. My wife has been in remission for six or seven years, but neither of us will forget that time… ever. Below is an interview I’ve just done […]

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“A Christian Because of Erotic Love”?

“A Christian Because of Erotic Love”?

photo, Jon Trott (c) 2005 Responding to a short paragraph introducing My Scarlet Seven lyric of a few days back (I guess the lyric itself wasn’t worth a comment! Haha), an anonymous poster asked: Can you clarify what you mean by “in fact a Christian because of erotic love” ? I posted the below as a reply there, but then […]

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