My house is built on the side of a hill. You walk in the front door and through the loungeroom to the kitchen, where you look out, directly east, across the tops of the trees. In the afternoons, as the sun sets in the west, the house and the trees in our front yard cast shadows over the view from our kitchen. We look out over the dulling colours of the day, waiting as everything visible sinks into dusk.
One time, as I stared out at the fading sky and shadowed trees, a cluster of cockatoos flew past. I caught my breath at their beauty.
I wonder what would happen if we were honest. Really honest.
About how we felt. About how we've failed. About how it feels to fail
and then try pick ourselves back up.
Or, perhaps, to be picked up and held.
Yes - even in our broken, faulty, fumbling state.
If we were honest enough to be like that...
What would happen?
I've been thinking about honesty and failing for a while now.
The Cartographer’s Presence is illustrator Stephen Reed’s authorial debut and I was excited to get a look, and a read, of his new book. As an illustrator, I’ve been following Reed’s work for a while. He’s collaborated with other writers on several book projects over the years including two collaborations with author and storyteller Naomi Reed: (The Zookeeper 2016 and The Conductor 2019) and one with Nicholas R. Lindeback. On This Mountains (Lindeback 2019) is a powerful picture book about the gospel reaching unreached people groups and Stephen’s work is instrumental in communicating the themes contained. This new book, The Cartographer’s Presence, builds on Reed’s gentle and expressive style. The difference here is that for this book, Reed also contributes as author.
Raising Tech-healthy humans was a well deserving shortlisted book in this year’s Australian Christian Book of the Year. Written by productivity consultant Daniel Sih, this book encourages families to pre-empt the screen/tech balance before things get out of hand. It’s not specifically Christian in content (so there’s no Bible references or justifications) but that’s a strength not a flaw because we all know it’s not just Christian families who are struggling with how to set boundaries with their children and devices.
One of the main recommendation points for this book is the extremely practical and honest approach it takes.
The Faithful Spy is an illustrated biography of Dietrich Bonhopeffer for young readers. It is presented in graphic novel format with the illustrations and design work limited to a palate of aqua and red ink. I found this a compelling account of Bonhoeffer’s life and the events of history leading up to, and including, the second world war.
The Penny Drops
In high school I used to write what I'd call 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. I still write these little pieces.
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