On Friday, I officially turned in my thesis, the labor of love that has taken up much of my head and heart space during these eight months on the Eastern Shore. The piece is entitled "Reweaving: The humanizing virtues of music for the weary and unwoven." The photos below capture some of the key moments in the process of the writing: the Frio River at Laity Lodge, where I attended the retreat entitled "Artists as Caretakers of the Imagination" with Jamie Smith, David Taylor and Isaac Wardell... a lunch at the Academy with painter Mako Fujimura... the fellows and I taking a study break for our first spring dinner... the librewery where we wrestled with words during those final nights of writing...and finally, the finished product. I plan to craft several copies of this little volume and mail them as thanks to the many folks who contributed to my writing.
From the introduction... "The arts, among other forms of discourse, have a unique capacity to help us live well. In the essays that follow, personal narrative weaves through cultural exegesis, aesthetic philosophy and Judeo-Christian theology to make a case for the humanizing virtues of the arts. I am a poet and a folk singer. In order to imagine how these theories and ideals will take root and flourish in my own life, I have focused these essays on the humanizing virtues of music. I hope, though, that this book speaks to craftsmen of all kinds—to novelists and dancers, potters and painters, gardeners and chefs. I hope that it reminds artists of the weighty privilege of our work, and spurs us to be faithful to our craft and faithful to our audience. I hope that it also energizes our friends and neighbors to enable artists to do good work. For it is by this good work that we might be rewoven and made more truly human."