The Islands, and the Glen Workshop 2009

Glen Website AdTwo weeks ago we were in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the wedding of two lovely friends. We had a grand time; highlights include excellent West Indian food on St. Thomas and St. John, ocean kayaking, snorkeling for the first time (and seeing everything from sea turtles to starfish to scary coral formations, schools of baby squid, beautiful tropical fish, and even a five-foot-long barracuda sighting), hanging out with old friends and new, and the wedding itself, which was on the beach just before sunset and truly lovely.

And as you probably know, we were in Santa Fe at the Glen Workshop last week. It’s impossible and probably not advisable to blog the entire experience, as it was packed full and very meaningful. But some highlights:

– The opening night’s reception, which started with a downpour which turned into a double rainbow over the not-far-off mountains.

– Getting to spend time with many friends with whom we’d only had brief or Internet-mediated interaction.

– Spending most mealtimes in the surprisingly good St. John’s College dining hall, getting to know people, laughing, brainstorming, and enjoying a whole lot of coffee.

– Andy Crouch’s seminar on making culture, and its participants.

– Singing together during that seminar.

– Taking a trip downtown to the Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico History Museums.

– A “free day” trip to the International Folk Art Museum, a somewhat bizarre conglomeration of folk art from around the world.

– Lunch at the Blue Corn Cafe twice (YUM), and dinner at Il Piatto on the last evening of the trip.

– The various talks, lectures, and readings, particularly Andy’s Monday night keynote on what keeps us from working, B.H. Fairchild’s reading of poetry mostly from his newest book, Usher, Barry Moser’s knockout discussion of the essence of art, Lauren Winner’s talk on prayer and writing, and Joel Sheesley’s and Lynn Aldrich’s presentations of their work.

– Debbie Blue’s nightly homilies, which served to remind me of how little a positive theology of the body (rather than a negative, what-you-shouldn’t-do theology of the body) has factored into my religious formation, and how much that ought to change.

– The Thomas Parker Society meeting at the Overstreets’ apartment, which once again reminded me that amazing artistic impulses are to be found in the most unlikely places.

– Walking from Christ Church in Santa Fe back to campus and watching the amazing lightning show.

– Over the Rhine’s closing night concert.

And much more I’m not even thinking of. I’m refraining from naming all the wonderful people we met or connected with because I will of course forget someone and I’d feel bad about that. But suffice it to say: a wonderful experience! And if you hunt on Flickr you can find some pictures from other attendees.

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