After graduating from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2005 and working as a religion reporter in his late 20s, Joseph Orso met his wife and walked away from climbing the career ladder. They now live in an old log house they rebuilt in rural, southwest Wisconsin, where they homeschool their two children, don’t have electricity or plumbing in their house, and live on land with Joseph’s mother. After a decade hiatus from writing, he launched a Substack in late summer 2023, which you can find at https://oarandumbrella.substack.com/
Unaware, we can stand in a museum, in a temple of modernity that extracts life from all other temples. We can gaze into the vengeful gift of a god while that god stands right behind us, unseen, not believed in, multiplying his box of miseries into every pocket in the museum and beyond.
On this year’s Feast of the Nativity of the Light in Our World in the Age of the Machine, my prayer is this: may our ceremonies not be one dimensional, but simple and complex constellations of God who dwells among us in so many ways, within layer upon layer of reality, not comprehensible but fully experienceable, beyond our categories of thought but within the bodies of Creation.
My point is not to get lost in conventional debate here. But seeking to heal from the culture war, I want to uncover the bodies of my neighbors, which industrial stories kick in the face, deform, and then at election time bury beneath the red-blue map. Aligned with my neighbors, I want to stand in a place off that map, outside those stories.