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    Christmas: So Much More Than Celebrating a Birthday

    Because I’m gearing up to co-teach a grad course in Medieval Spirituality and Art, I have spent a total of about four weeks in Italy in the past year. And something I discovered as I worked to increase my visual literacy by “reading” cathedral art was that artistic depictions of “Madonna and child” are not just mother-child manger-ish scenes intended to remind us of Jesus’s birth, or even over-elevations of Mary. Rather, for mostly-illiterate audiences such art was originally designed to depict the incarnation of Christ: God came in the flesh! I overheard someone talking today about how the point of Christmas is to mark the beginning of the best…

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    Memoir-Life with a New Baby…When You Are Near Death in a Coma

    "After waking from a two-month coma after childbirth I struggled to discover what had happened, love my child, and rediscover who I was. I awoke to a baby I didn’t know and a body I didn’t recognize. I faced a life and self I didn’t know how to put back together. " So begins Lindsey O'Connor's new book, The Long Awakening, a personal memoir of near-death in the midst of giving life.   Ove ten years previous, at an author’s conference in Atlanta, Ga, right in the middle of ONE BIG PAJAMA PARTY,  Lindsey had begun to cramp badly. In a book on the friendships of women I wrote about what…