Posts by Daniel Murphy

The Making of a True Gentleman

“. . . no man who was not a true gentleman at heart ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner.”–Great Expectations The Metropulos-Alpers production contains the vast Dickensian range: the near-caricature oddities of Wemmick’s Aged Parent and Uncle Pemblechook Bray, alongside the rich light-and-shadow vicissitudes of a Bildungsroman portrait of Pip. Chief protagonist Pip travels a long distance–from a carefree boy to a young man dissatisfied with his life and its common and coarse circumstances and people, eventually becoming a true gentleman. New-to-OSF actor Benjamin Bonenfont portrays Pip with modulated energy and intelligent arc. The making
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More Sinned Against than Sinning

The Haunting Layers of Responsibility in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat Do you remember that last time you were so engrossed in an experience that you forgot everything else—what was happening outside the door of that experience? That’s what happened for me as an audience member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 world premiere production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. Part of the OSF’s ten-year American Revolutions cycle depicting defining moments in U.S. history, culture, and social life, Sweat captures the lives of factory workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, toggling between events in 2000 and 2008—a period during which two young men, Chris and
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Walking…and Listening

I love my music and audiobooks as much as any audiophile, and often an iPod and a long walk are the perfect coupling. I also tend to have a puritanical meme running through my head to the effect that, if I’m going to take the time (out of work) to walk, I’d jolly well better have a destination. The Food Coop. Bloomsbury Books. The Post Office. The Library. Then someone sent me this quote. It not only taught me the origin of the word “saunter,” it also reminded me that the Spiritual and the Beautiful can be as “useful”—lifegiving, even
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Journey Inward 2013

Journey Inward in 2013 Rabbi Benjamin Barnett’s Trustworthy Guide I don’t typically pay much attention to bumper stickers. But, en route to a meeting in Medford Oregon recently I noticed one that caught my eye and imagination: “Promote Spiritual Literacy: Journey Inward.” We all know about “literacy”—the ability to read and write competently. There’s computer literacy, and the more metaphorical emotional literacy. But, “spiritual literacy” caused a little inner jolt. It was suggestive, and impressed me right off as true. And, I sensed, the start of 2013 was a great occasion to make a renewed and a firmer commitment to
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The Divine Imagination in the "Thisness" of Things

Recently, my friend Rabbi Joshua Boettiger (Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon) asked me what I understood by Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar’s notion of “glory.” (Rabbi Joshua is reading von Balthasar’s The Glory of the Lord, volume 1: Seeing the Form.) I described glory, from my limited vantage point, in “Hopkinsian” terms: • the inscape (essential form) and • instress (energy that animates and emanates from the form–its particular “splendor”) I’ve used the words “form” and “force” to capture the intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of the “thisness” of a person and other things in nature–the very “thing” (form)
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Falling with Grace: The Call to Become a True Elder

In this visionary work, Rohr writes about the duties of the first half of life and then charts the adventures of the second half of life where spiritual maturity is the goal. Or to put it another way, the first stage is to create a strong container for identity whereas the second stage is to fill that container with the content of our deepest and fullest self. — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, reviewers of Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life This is not a truth we want to hear, much less heed:  we
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Minutes from the 6-25-12 Forum of ToLG

Original on Google docs: The Tree of Life Guild minutes from June 25, 2012 The Tree of Life Guild   An Arts, Crafts, and Services Community in Ashland, Oregon Building Eternity-in-Time through Lives and Works of Beauty   Forum Minutes:  June 25, 2012 Insights and developments Theme, motif for Idylls Press:  “deep magic in the state of Jefferson” Logo:  Should The Tree of Life Guild logo encompass all of the family enterprises? Principle:  unity in diversity—e.g., all together and each individually.  Implications that we share common vision, values, mission, key common  investments (e.g., website domain and maintenance costs), while each enterprise has
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