Kintsukuroi: A Short Story

PRESCRIPT: This is a short story, the idea for which occurred to me – seemingly out of the blue – almost in its entirety earlier this week. In terms of total writing time, it only took a few hours spread over a couple of days.  For those unfamiliar with the title, “kintsukuroi” is the Japanese art of mending broken pots and bowls, based on the philosophy that they are all the more beautiful for having been broken.  

Kintsikuroi: a short story by Brendan Byrne. © Brendan Byrne 2017. All rights reserved.

He did not know where the idea came from, or when it first occurred to him. He just looked out the window one day and thought: that space needs a bonsai garden. Continue reading “Kintsukuroi: A Short Story”

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Romans 12: 9-21 (indirectly, Matthew 16: 21-28)

Some time ago on social media, I saw a picture of a message board, apparently outside a church, which read: Love your enemies – it messes with their minds. Now, there is a certain amount of both humour and cynicism in this message; but at another level, it actually points us toward not just what some may regard as the counter-intuitive heart of Christian faith, but also Christianity’s movement toward a state of being that is contrary to our nature as humans. Continue reading “Romans 12: 9-21 (indirectly, Matthew 16: 21-28)”

Dead Man Working, Part III

Here is the link to the latest episode of my podcast, Egrasia:

http://ergasia.podbean.com/e/episode-10-dead-man-working-part-iii-exit-strategies/

Or you can check out the podcast from the beginning at:

http://ergasia.podbean.com/

CONTENT ADVISORY/WARNING: This episode includes a discussion of death – specifically suicide – as a response to the traumas of work.  If listening to this discussion will cause problematic thoughts and feelings, please either skip that part of this episode, or skip this episode altogether. Australian listeners requiring support should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. International listeners should contact a qualified medical practitioner or counselling service in their area.

Dead Man Working, Part One

My newly minted podcast, Ergasia: A Podcast of Work, Faith, Theology, and Economics is up and running! I’ve already completed a series on the question of “What Is Work?” and have now started a new series exploring some of the secular critiques of work, as articulated in the book Dead Man Working by Carl Cederstrom and Peter Fleming (Zero Books, 2012).

Here’s a link to the first episode in the series, which you can listen to for free!

http://ergasia.podbean.com/e/episode-8-dead-man-working-part-i-the-world-of-the-living-dead/

Genesis 18: 1-15

The comedian Mel Brooks once famously – or, depending on your point of view, infamously – said: “Tragedy is when I get a cut my finger; comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” Granted that comedy is highly subjective – afterall, one person’s comedy is another person’s insult – and I experienced this subjectivity as a child: my parents, siblings, and I loved the Irish comedian Dave Allen; but my mother’s father thought he was an apostate who should be excommunicated, or worse. Continue reading “Genesis 18: 1-15”