Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christ in the howling wilderness

You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.

-- Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Monday, June 29, 2009

All curves and sweet intoxication

I am besotted.
As soaked with love
as a wine-steeped pear;
drenched red
with heady sweetness
and the desire
to be consumed.

--Chantelle Franc

"The Cloud of Unknowing" on Sensuality

From Chapter 66:

Before ere man sinned was the Sensuality so obedient unto the Will, unto the which it is as it were servant, that it ministered never unto it any unordained liking or grumbling in any bodily creature, or any ghostly feigning of liking or misliking made by any ghostly enemy in the bodily wits. But now it is not so: for unless it be ruled by grace in the Will, for to suffer meekly and in measure the pain of the original sin, the which it feeleth in absence of needful comforts and in presence of speedful discomforts, and thereto also for to restrain it from lust in presence of needful comforts, and from lusty plesaunce in the absence of speedful discomforts: else will it wretchedly and wantonly welter, as a swine in the mire, in the wealths of this world and the foul flesh so much that all our living shall be more beastly and fleshly, than either manly or ghostly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three classes of men

"There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain."


Monday, June 22, 2009

Love you Janis

On Saturday night I went to see a local production of "Love, Janis". It was unbelievable (in a good way).

First off, I confess that I've always been a Joplinaphobe, lumping her in with Hendrix and a few of their contemporaries who's psychedelically strident style always made me feel too high with no way to come down.

(And not in a good way.)

I was born a few years to late to get the whole hippy thing. Not to mention that when buzzed I preferred either the humorous (ala Zappa) or the trippy mellow (ala Pink Floyd). I just never understood the screaming, jangling, psychodelic vibe. My nerves couldn't take it.

But I digress.

Given my predilections and prejudices, I never knew that Janis was rich, and soulful, and bluesy. Not sure how I could have not known it, but I didn't. I also didn't know she had a southern dialect. Or that 27 is so desperately young an age at which to die.

Her story in this show, told through real letters to her family, song, and snippets from interviews with the media, portrays a hungry heart. A heart which yearned the way this blog yearns. It presented one talented girl's search to fill that hunger in all the wrong ways. The beauty of her soul shone through and all you wanted to do was save her.

All I wanted to do was save her.

To show her He who loves her. He who is all in all.

I wonder if she is in heaven? If she is, I imagine that she may be one of the specially beloved ones; she was so very, very hungry.

I'm going to buy some of her music. And perhaps add her to my list of souls I request to pray for me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shakespeare on love (11)

Why, how know you that I am in love?

Marry, by these special marks: first, you have learn'd, like
Sir Proteus, to wreath your arms like a malcontent; to relish a
love-song, like a robin redbreast; to walk alone, like one that
had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his
A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam;
to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears
robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When will our eyes meet?

Warning: TOTALLY hokey music alert!

This morning I woke up with Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England" (aka "when will I hold you again") running through my head.

I know, I know...

(I don't even dare tell you the little ditty that I couldn't ditch while showering on Tuesday.)

I'm not sure where either of them came from, but I can at least make some kind of a connection for today's version.

Last night's class centered around the "irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired" (as Frost put it.) We are born with the longing for completion as a central part of our being.

"Weekend in New England" was popular when I was a teenybopper, with no experience of love. I'd never had a boyfriend, and had no idea of what the pain of separation felt like.

But something in my soul sang along with this song and knew it to be true. I felt the longing, the yearning, the loss. And the ache it created in my heart was somehow also a pleasure.

Here are the lyrics, for your delectation.

Last night I waved goodbye
Now it seems years
I'm back in the city
Where nothing is clear
But thoughts of me holding you
Bringing us near
And tell me

When will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you again?

Time in New England
Took me away
To long, rocky beaches
And you by the bay
We started a story
Whose end must now wait
And tell me

When will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you again?

I feel the change coming
I feel the wind blow
I feel brave and daring
I feel my blood flow

With you, I could bring out
All the love that I have
With you, there's a heaven
So earth ain't so bad
And tell me

When will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you . . .

Naked confession time: sometimes I channel Dolly Parton. You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl. The occasional taste of Barry Manilow gives me the same kind of trashy pleasure that Spam does.

There; I've said it.

Once in a while, I actually eat spam.

And I like it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scent of love

I am focusing on the Song of Songs in this week's Love Letters from Home class, and because of it am increasingly interested in scent.

I find myself wanting to smell the scent of love. I want to breathe deeply of his scent, and see how it varies from beard to nape, from throat to wrist.

I imagine his fingertips to smell faintly of copper and salt.

In the fulfillment of time, will there be sweat?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Missing you

I have been soooo busy lately that I haven't made time to post! Preparing for and teaching the Love Letters from Home series is consuming my mental and time bandwidth, amongst other adventures. Two more sessions to go. This coming week will center around what the Song of Songs tells us, along with the concept of desire as an experience of God. The series will culminate with the annunciation and the Eucharist as consummation of the wedding feast.

But I miss this place!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hunger for truth

Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

-- Nadine Gordimer

Friday, June 5, 2009

On the Lady from The Great Divorce

"...only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face."

"...there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life."

"...her beauty brightened so that I could hardly see anything else,"

"...the invitation to all joy, singing out of her whole being like a bird's song on an April evening, seemed to me such that no creature could resist it."

"Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives."

"Love shone not from her face only, but from all her limbs, as if it were some liquid in which she had just been bathing."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Soul sick

I had a close encounter with man's inhumanity toward man a little while ago, in the form of a skinny white high school senior who had been jumped by 4 big gangsta punks. We just missed the actual beating by a minute or two. I came across him while driving my son and a classmate home. (I drive the other child each afternoon because 2 years ago he had also been jumped walking home in the same area.)

We stopped and I tried to run interference between a teacher at the school who tried to contact the boy's parents, the police, and ambulance personnel.

The boy will probably be fine.

The blood he was spitting was probably from his mouth rather than from an internal injury.

My soul is sick.

I'm not sure who I hurt more for; the boy who was kicked and beaten, or the 4 boys who did it.

So little time

So much to say, so little time...

Beloved reader, please pray for me.