Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

A book by an American scholar of Japanese literature briefly discusses one of the anecdotes of The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko, a classic which dates back to the fourteenth century. The scholar, Linda Chance, offers the following translation: A priest of the Ninnaji, regretting that he had not paid his respects at Iwashimizu [a Shinto shrine […]

ZiR
Categories: Review | 1 Comment
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Sacrificio di Isacco (The Sacrifice of Isaac), 1603. In the collection of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Twenty-Three Ways (and Counting) of Looking at the Bible By Martin Green Review of Reading Genesis: Beginnings, edited by Beth Kissileff (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2016)   Beth Kissileff’s recent anthology Reading Genesis: Beginnings presents twenty-three ways of looking at the first book of the Hebrew Bible. Well, perhaps not twenty-three distinct ways of reading Scripture, but […]

Review
Magritte, L'Oasis (The Oasis), 1925-1927

Let the broken glass and the china lie out on the lawn and be tangled over with grass and wild berries.   Listening (had there been any one to listen) from the upper rooms of the empty house only gigantic chaos streaked with lightning could have been heard tumbling and tossing, as the winds and […]

ZiR
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Seeking Spirituality in a Secular World   An article in the New York Times about people who enjoyed a religious experience in a gym led me to think about the range of human quests for some sort of spiritual connection, and beyond that what such a spiritual connection might mean. The Times article, “When Some […]

ZiR

The recent documentary about the Black Panthers called attention, among other things, to that group’s ten-point platform, which included such demands as “We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings” and “We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role In The Present-Day Society.” The Panthers were not a terrorist […]

ZiLL
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The same day when little ghosts and goblins haunt the neighborhoods, the Protestant world commemorates Reformation Day. The rest of the world may not celebrate, but it should take note of an event that started a process that shaped the Western world. On 31 October 1517 in the tiny German university town of Wittenberg, population about […]

ZiR
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | 5 Comments

Deviating somewhat from my typical weekly fare, I am reading a piece in The New Yorker by physicist Lawrence Krauss that offers a scientist’s view of the Kim Davis saga and the concept of “religious freedom.” Davis, of course, is the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for five days following her refusal to provide gay couples […]

ZiR

1 A man seen on a Sunday—a very hot and humid Sunday. He’s slight, middle-aged, not quite shabbily dressed. He’s standing under a highway underpass, one of the hundreds if not thousands of highway underpasses in Connecticut. (And may I say, too, that Connecticut is one of the worst states to try to drive through. […]

ZiLL
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

As someone who writes quite a bit about religion from philosophical and literary — not to say, religious — points of view, I was not surprised but piqued by a Sunday opinion piece in the New York Times. Here is T. M. Luhrmann, a Stanford anthropologist who writes regularly for the Times on religion. Here she reports […]

ZiR

Since this is the last Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a poem with a spiritual dimension. But, as the piece I selected is particularly Californian in its brand of spirituality, it is playful, mystical and non-denominational. Indeed, it might even be considered hippie-ish. It is an easy  poem to keep in one’s head […]

ZiR

My father usually invited an oirech (a poor person) from among those who had lined up at the door of the Beit HaMidrash to join us for [a Sabbath] meal. These were itinerant beggars, of whom there were, unfortunately, many in Poland. I was fascinated by these vagabonds who lived at the margin of our […]

ZiR

Recent Comments

Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

My father usually invited an oirech (a poor person) from among those who had lined up at the door of the Beit HaMidrash to join us for [a Sabbath] meal. These were itinerant beggars, of whom there were, unfortunately, many in Poland. I was fascinated by these vagabonds who lived at the margin of our […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

My father usually invited an oirech (a poor person) from among those who had lined up at the door of the Beit HaMidrash to join us for [a Sabbath] meal. These were itinerant beggars, of whom there were, unfortunately, many in Poland. I was fascinated by these vagabonds who lived at the margin of our […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

My father usually invited an oirech (a poor person) from among those who had lined up at the door of the Beit HaMidrash to join us for [a Sabbath] meal. These were itinerant beggars, of whom there were, unfortunately, many in Poland. I was fascinated by these vagabonds who lived at the margin of our […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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