A Blogger’s Book

I enjoy blogs which chronicle how the commonplace resonates with the eternal. One of my favorite authors in this regard, Amy Welborn, has recently published Wish You Were Here: Travels through Loss and Hope, the story of her trip to Sicily with three of her children after her husband, Mike Dubruiel, died suddenly. Readers of her blog, Charlotte was Both, will appreciate in this longer format a style which is both understated and sophisticated in its exploration of our life in Christ and in the Church. Here are two separate paragraphs from chapter 8 when they were touring Monreale, an ancient crossroads:

And this is why I needed a guide, I see. No matter how much I had read, I wouldn’t be able to make sense of this on my own. Without someone to help me figure it out, I would just be passing through. I needed someone who had been here before. I was glad for it.

Describing the architectural complexity of the town’s duomo, Welborn reflects that structure in her grammar:

Like so many churches I have encountered in Italy, the duomo’s largely unadorned facade of reddish stone Romanesque towers that don’t even match each other, and what strikes me as an afterthought of a white arched portico that clashes with both of them, barely hints at what’s inside. As we step through the doors from the piazza, we all, including Jacqueline, cross ourselves with the holy water at the door; and although I have read about what we would see and examined pictures, none of that really prepares me, because real life is more than pictures, is more than words on a page.

While it may not suit elementary writing standards, the first sentence of that paragraph is wonderful. Such little gems are scattered throughout Wish You Were Here, which talks of very serious matters in a light and understated manner.

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