Tony Woodlief | Author

Month: November 2010

Cormac McCarthy

“He sat in the dappled light among the stones. A bird sang. Some leaves were falling. He sat with his hands palm up on the grass beside him like a stricken puppet and he thought no thoughts at all.” Suttree, Cormac McCarthy

On the giving of thanks, stomach viruses, and giant Christmas ornaments

Yesterday we cooked and cooked and cooked, and ate and ate and ate, and it was delightful, even the cheesy squash casserole that makes my children instinctively gag just from looking at it. Especially the squash casserole, you little ingrates. My friend Johnny Utah, newly paroled, spent Thanksgiving with us. In order to make up …

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This is why old people are deaf

Me to Isaiah: “Go tell your brothers to put on their pajamas and come down for a story.” Isaiah, without taking a single step: “BRUDDERS!!!! PUT ON YOU PAJAMAS AND COME DOWN FOR A STORY!!!!!!” Oh yeah, definitely getting out the whiskey once everyone’s in bed.


Father Stephen Freeman, of Tennessee, writes about the importance of fasting as Orthodox Christians enter the Nativity Fast. His thoughts are useful for anyone, however, who wants to understand the value of fasting to the Christian. An excerpt: “If we fast but do not forgive our enemies – our fasting is of no use. If …

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Not home

On Sunday nights, after I’ve tucked in the boys, after I’ve packed my bags for another trip, I write each of them a note. I tell Caleb that I love the way he takes care of his younger brothers, or that I love his inquisitive spirit. I tell Eli that I love his perseverance, or …

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Numbness of comfort

“I think it’s because when we are in situations where we cannot depend on anything but God’s provision, some dimension of our humanity comes out that otherwise is hidden in the numbness of comfort.” Peruvian artist Daniel Garcia, in the Spring 2010 issue of Image.