Frayed and Faded Fabric

Frayed and Faded Fabric

Petroleum, Montana – a town whose star athlete suffocated in its iconic grain elevator 20 years before – now struggles to keep a facade of occupancy; the tin-foiled windows of the houses, wind-battered and snow-sunken, hide both humans and their ghosts. Mary Crampton, well-acquainted with death as the embalmer for her father’s funeral business, finds that most often she cannot speak to her neighbours until that moment their final stillness shoves its way into her basement.

Family Matters

Family Matters

Suzette and Alex Jenson live in an upscale Pittsburgh suburb, she a devoted stay-at-home mom and he the growing star of an environmentally conscious architectural development firm. Their lives now orbit around the small ambivalent moon of their adorable, mysteriously troubled seven-year-old daughter, Hanna, a selective mute.

Gut Wrenching

Gut Wrenching

Acts 1:18 recounts Judas’ death as follows: he bought a field, and “there he fell headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, the Field of Blood.” From the ground contaminated with Abel’s murdered blood to the perils and promises of blood transfusion and today’s fascination with personalized blood tests, the liquid that suffuses us continues to dredge an ever-deepening river in our collective imaginations.

Knit Together
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Knit Together

Our bodies renew themselves with no input from our (conscious) minds: for example, the lining of our intestines replaces itself about every five days. In contrast, the endothelial cells of the heart, located inside blood vessels, power on for six years at a stretch. Transformation at such incremental scales hinges on one molecule that literally undergirds our physical and social identities: this is, of course, DNA.

Sow the earth
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Sow the earth

Vacant lots remind us, bluntly, of what happens when humans transform landscapes and then neglect them. In ecological terms, these environments have undergone significant long-term disturbance: forests razed, prairies plowed up, wetlands drained to make smooth canvases for industrial and urban activity. Once industry leaves, cities depopulate or factories close, the buildings that replaced the trees face their own moments of destruction, but the ground remains.