When we moved from America to Ireland fourteen years ago, one of the first things we noticed was the architecture. The buildings in Ireland are quite different from the ones we grew up in, all the way up from the thick concrete (or stone) walls to the slate tiles (or rarely, thatch) on the roofs. The unique climate, resources, history, and culture have all helped to shape these buildings. And they have shaped not only the individual buildings, but also the way the buildings relate to each other and the spaces around them. For example, it makes sense that our village is compact enough to walk everywhere when you consider that it was built hundreds of years before cars were invented. We have cars now, but that’s still a great feature—I love being able to walk easily to any building in town. But one of my favourite features of Irish design is not a building at all. It’s not a structure of any kind, and it doesn’t take a degree in architecture or urban planning to understand it, imagine it, or built it. It’s just a bit of grass, and it’s known as “the green.”Continue reading The Green
My Head And The Headlines
Reading the news these days is like watching a train wreck in slow motion—except it’s not a train, it’s the whole world. And like a train wreck, as horrifying as it is to watch, it’s also hard to look away. Every day I want an update on the war in Ukraine and the responses and effects on the rest of the world, and every day I know that the updates are going to make me sad when I see all the needless suffering of so many people who are made in the image of God. Of course, it’s hard to know exactly which updates are the truth and which are exaggerated for effect, or what is being left out, or what is going to happen next, but the general outlines of an unfolding tragedy are clear enough.
The stakes are high. Once again, the world is being shaken. We never even had a chance to catch our breath. The bad news just keeps rolling in every time I refresh the news feed, demanding my attention, shouting about fear and disaster, death and destruction and economic collapse. It’s shocking, worrying, tiring, and anger-inducing, all at the same time, and I don’t want to look away.Continue reading My Head And The Headlines