I finished “The Lost Painting” on Friday. Toby, are you still reading it? (Good to hear the design stuff is keeping you busy by the way). The book follows the discovery of a Caravaggio painting entitled “The Taking of Christ” (among other names). It was a great escape every night from the hectic pace of my day. I kind of miss the book now that it is done, which is written as non-fiction, for a number of reasons.

I had a funny relationship with the painting. When the first articles came out about its discovery, I was at KCAI and I remember speaking with one of the art history professors there about what the painting would be worth, were the monks who owned it to put it up for sale.
Then, years later, I managed to see the work at the National Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.The book also goes somewhat into the details of restoring a painting, which was another stroll down memory lane, and it was interesting to see how accurate Harr was in conveying the details of the process.

Peters, the Nonviolent Communication book came in the mail the other day. I have started it but am digesting chapters at a time – partly because I want to make sure I am reflecting on what he’s saying – partly because I’m reading several other books concurrently. It is written in a very accessible style though; so I’m sure I can finish by the lake if you are planning on being there.

My other books are: Merwin’s prose pieces I already mentioned, the de Chardin book which I also mentioned earlier (the man who coined the phrase “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and was a strong influence on both F. O’ Connor and Walker Percy and who is quoted in Peters NVC book twice), and Lawrence Weschler’s new book, “Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences”, which is art criticism. “Out Stealing Horses” is still in the mail, and I ordered a copy of “The Moral Animal” too. So it seems our online discussion has left me both emotionally and financially broke.

J.E., I watched the two films at work when I should have been grading. I liked them both, but felt the first one was more challenging, the second more stylish.

Of course, I’m also reading “Flotsom”, this year’s Cladecott winner that I bought a copy of because Eliot loved the library’s copy so much. It’s a great piece of work.

I just finished my most recent painting going in a show at the library this summer, which may be quite bad because it’s fairly personal. I’ll try to post it when I can get a photo.

Recently, Sara and I took a few young kids to hear the “Women Speak” tour from Partners for Peace. It was our second time to hear the tour, which features three different women every year – one Israeli woman, one Palestian Christian, and one Palestinian Muslim. They talk about the history and the on-going problems in the West Bank and surrounding area. I have found both tours to be quite informative both factually and anecdotally (is that a word?).