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Repaso: January 18, 2013

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1. Writing in the morning
Roxana Robinson shares her morning writing routine in the New Yorker:

On a good day, I’m caught up by something larger than myself, held in the light by some celestial movement. For a brief charged time I may be irradiated, able to cast a shadow version of something I only imagine. The shadow will never be the bright true self that I know exists, but it will be as precise as I can make it, as real, as sharp, as beautiful. I will cast this shadow into the air, where it may never be seen, or where it may be seen at a great distance, and only by one person, someone I will never know. The point is to cast the shadow out into the air. I start in, tapping at the keyboard, setting down words, hoping that the light will catch me up.

2. Whispers of faith in literature
Gregory Wolfe, editor of Image, had a nice piece in the Wall Street Journal late last week:

Today the faith found in literature is more whispered than shouted. Perhaps a new Flannery O’Connor will rise, but meanwhile we might try listening more closely to the still, small voice that is all around us.

3. Fixing (or failing to fix) Haiti 
Last Saturday marked the three year anniversary of the big earthquake in Haiti, and AP reporter Jonathan Katz has an important new book out about what has gone wrong in the recovery process. The Economist also has a piece taking a look at the situation, and it’s not flattering:

Billions of dollars of aid were pledged to Haiti after the earthquake, amid much talk about “building back better” and working with—not around—the government so as not to perpetuate the “Republic of NGOs”. But according to reports from the Centre for Global Development, a Washington think-tank, and the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, many aid pledges were unfulfilled. And in practice, most of the money that was disbursed went to a handful of international bodies, which mainly spent it on temporary relief (tents, shelters, water-tankers and so on) and the salaries of expat staff. Grand schemes to remake Haiti came almost to nought, partly because they lacked local input: outsiders have finally come round to the view of many Haitians that what is most needed is speedy and cheap housing.

4. 125 years of National Geographic
The Big Picture has a collection of photos from National Geographic dating back to the early 1900s to commemorate its 125th anniversary, which was this Sunday.

5. Dynamite
If you haven’t heard Sandra McCracken’s new record Desire Like Dynamite yet, you need to. Read this great interview with her, and watch this acoustic version of one of the new tunes.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Image credit: National Geographic via The Big Picture]

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