February 08, 2010

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

It made me think of the bit in The Two Towers where Frodo and Sam are traveling through a blighted landscape toward Mordor, and they see, for a moment, a glimpse of the stars through a tear in the black clouds. That reminder of a beauty and goodness that exists outside the cruelty and ugliness that surrounded them gave them strength and reminded them of their purpose. As I read I thought of the victims of Communism, perhaps shut away for years in prisons, perhaps tortured relentlessly, who might have taken strength from a memory of real beauty that cannot be blotted out by the consuming hardness of their physical surroundings. - Mrs. Darwin

It was the first anniversary of Michael’s death, but what was I going to do? Sit around? No need to do that in order to contemplate – every hour was marked anyway and wouldn’t be denied in my head, even as I argued with myself about the arbitrary nature of “year.”...

The electrician spread out his papers on the kitchen island. He moved some other papers out of the way and said something, and his words confused me at first – I thought he was talking about my house-in-process, but that made no sense at all.

He said, “It’s gonna be so pretty, isn’t it? I can’t wait.”

Then it hit me. What he had picked up and glanced at, a year after, almost to the minute, what had moved him to casually share a spark of faith, was a Mass card sent to me by a friend, a Mass card with a picture of Jesus walking in clouds, clouds with light emanating from them.

I can’t wait.

A year…maybe not so arbirtrary after all. - Amy Welborn

I could never be bored or mentally lazy in his presence. I suspect the same might have been true for the family as they were growing up -- in how many families would it become an annual tradition to read the Christmas story aloud in Greek? - Roz of "In Dwelling" on her father-in-law, recently deceased.

I was on the phone with my mother, who recommended that I see Avatar. Trying to explain my lack of interest in it, I said, “I’m tired of high-tech anti-technology movies!"...Technology is naturally a friend to the artist, because all major advances provide new means of expression. We are taught that the invention of metallurgy was crucial to human culture because of its impact on agriculture and weaponry, but at the time I’m sure people were just as excited about what it did for sculpture and musical instruments. Likewise, intellectuals of all stripes feel the magnetic pull of gadgets. Who has been more enthusiastic about the latest smartphone or online-journaling technology than my neighbors here in the land of books and bureaucrats? And on a larger scale, they feel they are greatly fortunate in having things like modern medical and transport technology, and instinctively want to share the benefits with people in more “backward” parts of the world. Yet the same people who do all this often seem implicitly to accept the idea that technology is ruining the planet. Hence the dreams of the age have been more about returning to Eden than heading toward the Promised Land. - Camassia

[It is an evil] if we do not seek recourse to God with our petitions and prayers and seek comfort from Him, but instead, in a certain downcast and desperate frame of mind, try to escape our awareness of sadness by looking for consolation in sleep. Nor will we find what we are looking for: losing in sleep the consolation we might have obtained from God by staying awake and praying, we feel the weary weight of a troubled mind even during sleep itself, and also we stumble with our eyes closed into temptations and the traps set by the devil. - - St. Thomas More, "The Sadness of Christ"

Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. - Pascal

My claim is that, since some time in the first decades of the twentieth century—after the best work of Edith Wharton and Willa Cather, that is—American novelists have narrowed the idea of sex to genital friction. - Blogger at "A Commonplace Blog"

The stay-at-home mom can exercise the freedoms of the creative class, if we allow ourselves. My room of my own is my head, and I inhabit it with varying degrees of contentment all day every day. All I have to do is put my findings down on paper. I for one am going to quit thinking of myself as a witless nobody confined to a life of vacuums and diapers. I prefer to think of myself as a British aristocrat without the quail eggs and castles. I spent some time with a group of wealthy British Socialists at Oxford, who brazenly proclaimed that their Oxford education was solely for the purpose of finding interesting things to say at dinner parties. So here, my blog is my dinner party. My unfinished graduate degree is a lifetime supply of quail eggs. - Betty Duffy

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