How to Stay Astonished in Five Simple Steps

How's the old Kathy Mattea song go?   "Standing knee deep in a river, and dying of thirst." My wife puts up with me, but it has to be annoying. "Isn't it funny that we ingest food," I say.   Or, "It's so strange that we have these orbs in the front of our heads …

Meditations on Malick’s “The Tree of Life”

I've been hearing about this film for awhile.  "You'll either love it, or hate it," people told me.  A few people who know me pretty well figured it would be my kind of movie.   Anjie travels, and I'd been contemplating watching it without her, but I kept thinking, "No.  I'll wait for her."  So …

The Unmerited Grace of the Work

"At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace.  It is handed to you, but only if you look for it.  You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then--and only then--it is handed to you."  --Annie Dillard, The Writing Life Odd isn't it, that there is work …

Two Pennies Left: Why The “How” of a Thing Matters

FYI, up front, this post is not about flowers.  It is about content and form in art-making, conversation, and relationship.   It's about the connection of human essence and identity to the fundamental, structural realities aesthetic forms demand.   It's about the challenge of creating art wherein form and content create a unity of power …

Focusing Wonder, Narrowing Mystery

Help me out here. The project?  Focusing my blogging, narrowing my subject matter.   Answering the question: what is all this blogging about?  I mean the blogging in the jeffberryman.com world.   If you've been reading my work for awhile, tell me what you think I'm up to. It's not that I don't know...exactly--after all, …