comĀ·monĀ·place book: noun; a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................Life moves pretty fast. It's nice to slow down and think. I can do that here at The Ruff Draft, where I'm recording some of my thoughts, sharing excerpts from what I'm reading, and making connections between the two. I know that poring over a screen is not nearly as satisfying as holding a book and turning pages, but right now, this is all I can offer you. Please make yourself comfortable. ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Observations: Genesis 2

The Bible has found its way back into my hands. Here are my notes for the second chapter of Genesis: The creation account in chapter two is significantly different from the creation account of chapter one. This time around, God creates man before the animals. Before creating the beasts, however, God “planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and…

The Inherent Evil of Identitarianism

In Part II of The New Philistines, Sohrab Ahmari focuses on the summer 2016 special issue of Artforum magazine that was devoted to “Art and Identity.” Wow. It reminded me of a Seinfeld character’s take on “The Kramer”: after calling the subject in the painting “a loathsome, offensive brute,” he said, “but I can’t look away.” Perhaps the most interesting…

On Matters of Death and Life

To the question, “When facing death, what is true silence?” Robert Cardinal Sarah answers, in part: 351. Nowadays Western societies reject death, traumatized by the pain and grieving that accompany it. Modern man would like to be immortal. This denial of the great passage leads to a culture of death that permeates social relations as a whole. Postmodern civilization denies…

In Silence and Prayer

From Robert Cardinal Sarah in The Power of Silence: 344. I had this wonderful, rich experience with Brother Vincent-Marie of the Resurrection, who belonged to the community of canons regular in Lagrasse. Stricken by multiple sclerosis, he gradually lost his faculties of speech and movement. Despite that painful situation, Brother Vincent remained serene, joyful, and patient. All our meetings unfolded…

From Rebellion to Rebellion

This excerpt from The Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah seems timely: 335. Media society moves from sentimental rebellion to moral rebellion, like a desperate Sisyphus figure ceaselessly climbing the mountain. It demands its rebellion, its hatred of what it idiosyncratically defines as unjust and unfair, proud of its correct opinions, which are, however, the most pretentious ideas we…

Does Loudness Have its Place?

The Barnes & Noble store that my daughter works at carried only two copies of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos, even though the company has been harried with requests for the book. Further, those two copies where shelved in the appropriate section, rather than displayed prominently somewhere. So my daughter, who always makes me proud, bought one of the copies and…