Aug/Sep 1998

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(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Mostly Abstract Musings on Truth and Other Stuff

We're like children growing up in an alcoholic household. We're hungry for trust. We want to believe. We want the truth to be out there. But experience has made us too cynical to believe anything.

Tom Dooley


American Memory and the Dead Man's Underwear

All I can tell you from my experience is that the memory of a man is not altogether physical—it does not remain in his clothes, or at least, in the feel of them against the skin. Who my grandfather was, what he knew and what he had to tell me about family and the continuity of generations and identity, I suppose will have to be found forever elsewhere—if at all.

Stanley Jenkins


Heroic Work in an Unheroic Age

If the hero'’s journey is the tale of the soul’'s journey, we may have a hard time finding its pattern in our working lives. Several problems come together to keep our work from being heroic. One problem is vocation. Heroes have vocations, are called to perform their labors. Another problem is effect. The hero’s work makes a difference. The maiden or the city is saved, the treasure is discovered, the waters are parted. Still another problem is duration. The hero’s work is finished when it’s finished. The dragon stays slain, the curse is lifted, the kingdom is restored.

Paul J. Sampson