Adele Gallogly


Leave a comment

Through Ambition’s Tunnel


Photo by Derek KeatsCC BY 2.0 – via Wikimedia Commons

AMBITION: Essays by Members of The Chrysostom Society
edited by Luci Shaw and Jeanne Murray Walker (Cascade Books, 2016).
Review originally published in Christian Courier in July 2016.

I happened to revisit Doris Lessing’s ambition-themed short story “Through the Tunnel” around the time I read Ambition, so it hovered over my experience of the book. Lessing’s story is the tale of a young British boy named Jerry who trains himself to swim through a dangerously narrow passageway. He sees other boys do it first, and does it to be like them – to prove himself worthy of friendship and respect. His eyes and nose bleed and his lungs nearly burst during his triumphant dive. The scene is thrilling, but also frightening. Should Jerry be admired for his risky, pride-led act, or chastised for it?

Ambition’s personal, often lyrical essays also acknowledge that ambition can be viewed as both a virtue and a vice. Its authors belong to The Chrysostom Society, a community named for Early Church Father John Chrysostom. Continue reading


A Poem for the Impatience-Possessed

… from the ever-so-lovely Luci Shaw:

Possess your soul in patience

Own it. Hold your heart the way
you’d hold a live bird–your two hands
laced to latch it in, feeling
its feathery trembling, its fledgling
warmth, its faint anxieties
of protest, its heart stutter
against the palm of one hand, a fidget
in the pull of early light.

Possess it, restless, in
the finger cage of patience. Enfold
this promise with a blue sheen
on its neck, its wings a tremor
of small feathered bones
until morning widens like
a window, and God opens
your fingers and whispers, ‘Fly!’

Photo by Sam Plant (discovered on Twitter via the also-lovely @JenniSimmons)