Unseen Seen, Big Small

Where's the Spirit? A weekly collection of content from the wonderful world wide web that challenges us to explore the role of spirituality in society.

Pick up a book?
Three reviews that made us want to go to the bookstore

Sometimes there are book reviews that catch the eye in just a way that motivates a trip to the store. For Where’s the Spirit this week, we offer you three reviews recently caught our attention, and we (or one of us) might be going to the store today:


Dear Diary, I Hate You
Reflections on journals in an age of overshare
Essay and Review by Alice Gregory

Gregory reflects about the practice of journaling as she takes us into the world of Sarah Manguso through the pages of Manguso’s new memoir, Ongoingness, which is extrapolated from more than 800,000 words written and kept in a daily journal. We are left intrigued as Gregory concludes her review, stating, “In her almost psychedelic musings on time and what it means to preserve one’s own life, [Manguso] has managed to transcribe an entirely interior world.” We’re curious...


Kent Russell’s ‘I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son’
Review by Ben Greenman
The New York Times

“A book of essays can be a constellation. Individual pieces shine like stars, but to see the whole project as a unified thing requires a mythology. You need faith to make out a shape around all those dots of light, to believe in the bear or the swan.” This is how Greenman begins his review of Kent Russell’s debut book of essays that explore manhood and what it means to see and be seen. In Russell’s words, “This bantam privilege — knowing you’ve been given leave to see without fear of being seen — it’s the absolute best feeling in the world. Until the day it’s not.”


Enormous Smallness: The Sweet Illustrated Story of E. E. Cummings and His Creative Bravery
Review by Maria Popova
Brain Pickings

Maria Popova weaves together a reflection and overview of the children’s book, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings by poet, Matthew Burgess, and illustrator, Kris Di Giacomo. To bring the gifts of poetry and self exploration to children is something of beauty. We think this book may offer a tool. Popova writes:

“Burgess captures this spirit with quiet elegance, weaving one of Cummings’s poems into the story:

‘But no matter what the world was giving or taking,
E. E. went right on dreaming and making.
For inside, he knew his poems were new and true.

love is a place

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds

His poems were his way
of saying YES.’"