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9/16/2005

Farewell to Mars Hill Review

One of my simple pleasures is checking our mailbox to see what awaits inside. I could do without bills but with a childlike spirit I always hope to find goodies. After the chaos-that-is-work yesterday (we are having a big sale at the bookstore) I intentionally waited 'til around 7:30 pm to walk to our mailbox during my favorite part of every day which is dusk. I could get drunk on a dusk sky forever; in fact, I often hope the atmosphere of eternity is the particular lavender-periwinkle shade of dusk. I walked to our mailbox a little breathless of the beauty. I wished I was in mountains so I could walk for literal hours. I noticed a shy moon rising over rooftops. I walked under my favorite tree, mailed a birthday card to my aunt Pat, soaked in the Houston heat, and peeked in our mailbox. I turned on my heel back home and inhaled peaceful quiet. The pool was gently swaying alone. I looked at the electric wires behind our apartments and remembered this postcard by Penelope. My mind was swirling with thought upon thought as the silence drew me into a meditative state. One of my thoughts was, "My God, the heavens really do declare the glory of God." The other was of the incarnational aspect of art - a painting, poem, novel, song, what have you - each medium is able to capture the humble glory of life or even the grim evil. I put this book on my shelf at work today for that very reason: some of the images gave me a sick, disturbed punch in my gut yet I realized those artists captured evil in their art. Jesus is Light, He is Truth, and He does reign, hallelujah. But for now pesky evil exists and is part of reality. I suppose it bothers me that some Christians are not willing to look evil and fear in their ugly faces. I, too, tend toward the cowardly but silly me, Jesus is my shelter and He humbly came to Earth to redeem and make new all that is evil, dark, and repulsive. I think good art will often have to acknowledge darkness and as an aspiring writer I cannot pretend it is nonexistent.

Two journals I subscribe to are examples of the above-mentioned goodies: Mars Hill Review and Image. Lo and behold, Mars Hill Review was inside our mailbox! My excitement fused with slow sadness as I read the letter enclosed with the journal. The letter said this is the last issue of Mars Hill Review. Such events happen but oh, what a bummer. Mars Hill Review has "attempted to reveal Christ in the unexpected places of contemporary culture" and I believe they succeeded. I will miss their pages something fierce. I pray the same fate does not strike Image! I think a large part of my weekend will be pouring over the pages of this last Mars Hill Review. I raise my wine glass to them this night.

1 comment:

queen kitty ann said...

While reading this piece, I felt I was in Houston, praying for fall and cooler weather while breathing in a slight smell of chlorine which reminds me that another summer is saying good-bye. It is sad to hear about Mars Hill's last issue. This last one is a treasure, so enjoy it. The art book looks intriguing so you must let me see it on our next visit to Houston.