Or, from China to Windows. I'll explain in a moment.
I'm sometimes asked: "How can you stand to live in a city as wacky, liberal, tax-happy, sanity-challenged, and anarchist-infested as Eugene, Oregon?" Here are two good reasons:
Translation: Great espresso and excellent bookstores. (Another good reason: it's my wife's hometown. An equally good reason: it's not my hometown.)
The drink is a Full City mocha, purchased at Theo's Coffee Shop, which is above Windows Booksellers, one of the great treasures hidden in downtown Eugene. That's me standing; the man kneeling in humble worship and respectful silence on his knees is my good friend Dr. Anthony "Tony" Clark, looking surprisingly spry and alert for someone who has just flown in from China and was suffering severe jet lag when the picture was taken. Then again, he's probably quite happy to be surrounded by thousands of good books rather than sitting on a cramped plane over the Pacific Ocean. Such is the rejuvenating power of out-of-print books about theology, Church history, Scripture, and philosophy. For example, I'm holding a couple of books by Josef Jungmann, S.J.: The Liturgy of the Word (London, 1966) and The Place of Christ in Liturgical Prayer (New York, 1965). Sure, I'll never read them, but I like the colors; they'll go well with my current office decor. (I also picked up a book on medieval history, a collection of essays on St. Augustine, and a collection of sermons by St. John Chrysostom.)
Tony's wife, Amanda, took the photo on the right, and then posted it on her wonderful "China blog," which she has kept during their four months in China. The stories from their time in the Orient are quite amazing, even stunning; I'll be posting another piece by Tony in the next couple of days (see his first three reports from China below). In the meantime, check out some of his photos on his website, which include pictures of cathedrals and churches, a Marian shrine, and an abandoned Franciscan residence.
• China's Thriving Catholics: A Report From Beijing's South Cathedral | Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D. | August 20, 2008
• China's Struggling Catholics: A Second Report on the Church in Beijing | Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D. | September 13, 2008
• China's Catholics of Guizhou: Three Days with Three Bishops | Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D. | October 3, 2008