Pete Davis lauds the “long-haulers,” people who long ago ignored the chorus which urges our younger people to “keep your options open,” and to keep building up for your Main Chance in life, the payoff after all that meritocratic, sweaty ladder-climbing.
In “American Divine,” it would seem that the pursuit is not so much a pursuit of divinity but rather the experience of it—the awe, which in this instance is private and individualistic, potentially addictive, and more an expression of personal epiphanies than a community-shared theology.
Those of us committed to the Midwest and its literature can and should mourn the damages done to our region by our habits of transience. But we must also recognize, as these two books help us do, that it is not just the Midwest, but life itself, that is “fluid and impermanent.”
The IE is essentially the 1662 BCP of old, but unlike the Cambridge edition it is not just that and nothing more—it is the 1662 judiciously tweaked and supplemented in a way calculated to attract both newcomers to the BCP and long-time Anglicans.
When our own churches are divided and bubbled up in their own media worlds, unable to agree on basic “facts” related to current events, you know its time to take a more theological approach to this thing we call the “news.” Bilbro’s rich reflection is a fine place to start; let it be read and discussed widely in the families, churches, and neighborhoods that offer us real and lasting alternatives to the silos that so often distract us.
I’m not canceling Whitman. But my own enthusiasm for his poetry is waning. The poet whose daring versification and daring lifestyle were once seen as the epitome of counter-culture has come to seem to me all too mainstream, the very voice of an age of superficial egotism.