This afternoon I joined many others from my church-community to help a friend move to a new apartment. After we had carted the last box, last couch, last bookshelf up two flights of stairs and milled about for some celebratory Little Caesar’s Hot-N-Ready’s to arrive, a teen let out an exclamation of delight and beckoned me over to the bathroom window.
“Look down, you can see the neighbor’s koi.”
I looked down, and from our birds-eye perspective, we could see a beautiful fish pond and porch the neighbors had constructed behind their three flat. We stood, leaning over the bathtub, elbows on the bathroom window sill, watching their orange and gold and white bodies oscillate slowly in the water.
I’ve seen koi before. I’m usually not a big fan. I think of them like I think of goldfish--carp in a cage, bred to be pretty but vulnerable in the bigger fish-eat-fish ocean. But from this perspective, gazing down from thirty feet up, with the Chicago rain falling out of a hard grey sky, these fish were beautiful. A hint of nature among the bricks and concrete.
I enjoyed parts of Frank Viola’s Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian Script. I also was annoyed with parts. The book has its up and downs.
I don’t want to focus on Revise Us Again as a whole. Initially because it feels a bit too scattered to draw out a single guiding thesis (though the theme--or is it a conceit--of revising the scripts we are practiced in in practicing our faith does run constant and true throughout form beginning to end). But more pressingly, I don’t want to give my page by page response to Viola’s book because all my attention is caught by Viola’s Afterword appended to the body of the text.