• Today is the feast of Saint Clare of Assisi! I like to imagine this portrait, appearing in one of Simone Martini’s frescoes in the lower basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, captures the look Clare would give prelates like Pope Gregory IX when they tried to move her away from a more Franciscan-style rule.

    Saint Clare of Assisi

  • Currently listening: Inside (Deluxe) by Bo Burnham

  • Reviewing my first roll of film photography, and I really like the texture in this one (in both the grain of the film and the splintered trunk).

  • A nice piece by Phil Christman on finding one’s voice. His chief counsel is patience. It takes time to develop a voice, and one’s voice emerges from imitation and modification of other’s voices. Finding your voice also involves figuring out what’s so central to who you are that you can’t bear it being said anything less than perfectly:

    Whatever your deal is, whatever you think is true, whatever is so beautifully right to you that it gets you out of bed in the morning (and if it’s just the scream of your baby that gets you out of bed, that’s still a worldview, because somewhere behind all your exhaustion you believe that that baby is worth raising, you believe it unquestioningly, and if you didn’t you’d quit and fail like lots of parents do)—it’s all been said before, but it’s been said a little bit wrong, because it’s been said by humans. So you dig into your experience and find the examples, the details, the concessions, the stories that will proclaim the thing the way you want it proclaimed.

    When you can do this, you’ve got a voice. 💬

  • Currently reading: On Writing by Stephen King 📚

  • Currently reading: The Married Man by Edmund White 📚

  • Philip Reynolds at the Boston Colloquy for Historical Theology: historical theology is “the study of text and context.” The question, then (as he continued), is what do we bring to that study?

  • Currently reading: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton 📚

  • Currently reading: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben 📚

  • Took my new electric bike for its first ride today

  • The dock behind Fontainebleau Inn on Cayuta Lake

  • Cayuta Lake near Watkins Glen, New York

  • Currently watching: Nope (dir. Jordan Peele, 2022) 📽️

  • Had a great time last night seeing Lucy Dacus and The National. It was, start to finish, one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had. The venue was very well organized, the setting was beatiful, and the crowd was energetic without being obnoxious.

    Lucy Dacus performing “Kissing Lessons.”

    I love how dramatic Matt Berninger is.

    “Conversation 16”, which Aaron Dressner introduced as their “creepy” song. (As Jacqueline pointed out, a Disney villain would approve of the green lighting.)

    He would often stand on one of the stage monitors and just gaze out into the middle distance.

    You can find setlists for Lucy Dacus and The National here and here. 🎵

  • At Ommegang Brewery near Cooperstown, NY, to see Lucy Dacus and The National

  • Some pictures of St. Bonaventure University taken with my Pentax K1000 on (I think) Fujicolor 200. I’m not entirely satisfied with these pictures; the color is a little underwhelming to me, which may be a consequence of either the film itself or the UV filter I’ve used. The color of the sky is especially drab; it should be more blue than gray!

    Friedsam Memorial Library

    Friedsam Memorial Library, where I spend about 3 to 4 hours each weekday reading and researching for my book project. (The other hours of the workday are spent collating notes, tracking down citations, planning the research, etc.)

    St. Joseph Oratory

    The story I’d heard told about St. Joseph’s Oratory is this: when construction on the dining hall was completed, the University used the leftover bricks to build this oratory for the sisters working in the dining hall so they would have a place for quiet and prayer between meals. (I’m not sure that’s true now, given that this webpage reports the oratory as a gift from an Olean resident.) When I was a student here it was mostly empty, though in the years after I graduated one of the friars turned it into a chapel for perpetual eucharistic adoration. I don’t think it serves that role any longer.

    Devereux Hall

    The courtyard of Devereux Hall, the oldest building (I think) on campus. Thomas Merton lived here (though on the other side of the building) when he taught at St. Bonaventure just before joining the Trappists. I love how the building almost entirely consumed with ivy.

    Ivy on Devereux

    A detail of the ivy that hangs from Devereux Hall. This is, I think, my favorite of the set; the colors here (especially the green of the ivy) are more vibrant, and the light dances off the ivy.

    The main quad at St. Bonaventure University

    The main quad.

    And finally, the bell tower and university chapel. The bells are missing (I think they were taken down for some repair).

  • Currently watching: Better Call Saul (2015–2022) 📺 I watched the first two season when they first came out and, though I enjoyed them, just didn’t keep up with it. Now that the show’s finishing its run and it’s gotten consistently good reviews (including from none other than David Bentley Hart), Jacqueline and I are watching it through.

  • Nicholas Roerich’s “St. Francis” (1932)

    St. Francis

  • Today marks the feast of St. Bonaventure, the patron of my alma mater and the university where I teach. Here is a young Bonaventure receiving the Franciscan habit (from none other than St. Francis himself, allegorically if not literally), as imagined by Francisco Herrera the Elder in 1628.

  • Currently listening: Bastille Day by Rush 🎵

  • Currently reading: A Children’s Bible: A Novel by Lydia Millet 📚