Thursday, January 25, 2007

What Is It About Dogs and Jesus?

What do you see? Some folks in Southern California see the face of Jesus in this muddy, claw-scratched doggie door. And it's not just any face of Jesus, but the face from the Shroud of Turin.

This story was reported last week, and I found it on Word is that the two dogs who use this door were soon going to be sent to the pound, but in light of this divine, or at least dirty, intervention, Max and Hercules will remain at home, where they can bark at pool cleaners and mail carriers.

Lots of people have asked me about the cover of Madonna of the Toast, specifically about the face on the toast. Tim Pahs sent me the toast, which he cooked up in a custom-made cast iron pan as an artistic statement about religion's influence on American culture. The face in the pan, and on the book's cover, is Jesus's, and it is from the Shroud of Turin.

One of the many reasons I so enjoyed putting this book together is because all of these visual occurrences make an initial impact, but then set off a chain of events, that in certain instances have incredible lasting power, and become about much more than a recognizable face on a random object. They speak to one another, echo and whisper their secrets that only a select few hear, but we can all see (though sometimes we have to squint).

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