To J-Ray and the Life Artist

Dear J-Ray and Mrs. Life Artist Lady, When the two of you mentioned Frederick Buechner within mere hours of each other, I imagined it to be some cosmic coincidence or perhaps some divine affirmation of predestination.  Presbyterians always set you thinking to those kinds of things.

Mrs. Artist, you spoke of him like I speak of Rich, like he could move the moon past Nebraska without orphaning the children of the tide.  J-Ray, you affirmed your man-crush on him, made me question whether you had joined some emergent movement from the west coast (yes, I just wrote that).

It's an affliction, really, this "not until I see the nails" attitude of mine.  I won't say I poo-pooed the two of you, but let's say I had my reservations. I suppose I likewise doubted the likes of Annie Dillard (as I later learned from wikipedia), who claimed that Mr. Buechner was some kind of national treasure.  But in the middle of doubting, J-Ray showed me the empty tomb.

I have read four pages and I must say that if I allowed myself to underline in borrowed books there would not be a single sentence left naked.  Buechner's tone is as Irish as a broad sword, his grammar as southern as sloe gin.  He clearly indicates why I am no great writer.  In fact, I feel like I'm sentence can't put together no more.

I read his opening words and "[t]he whole woods went up in a single vast flame...."  That's how a pulitzer prize finalist should sound.


I'm looking forward to this read, friends.  Many many thanks for the recommendation.