In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane gives a gripping account of knowing with our bodies (in comparing the writings of French philosopher Merleau-Ponty and Scottish writer Nan Shepherd). [Merleau-Ponty] argued that knowledge is ‘felt’: that our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition. Consciousness, the human body and the phenomenal world are therefore inextricably intertwined. […]
In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane has much to offer regarding the connectedness of place and language. Patrick Kavanagh’s insight that the local parish is our only access point to Aristotelian universals is profound (see last excerpt in this post). To share a frustration, Macfarlane’s claims often exaggerate the powers of language alone to tie our hearts […]
The hardest thing of all to see is what is really there. From J.A. Baker in The Peregrine (1967).
Spells, you know, escape if there’s no one there to watch them. Diana Wynne Jones in House of Many Ways.
They said of Sarah of blessed memory that for sixty years she lived on the bank of a river, and never looked at the water. From The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks by Benedicta Ward. (Compare to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. Both testify to the beauty and power of […]
And then far, far away, from the heart of the forest, they heard a SOUND! At first so faint as to be hardly audible, but growing with each passing moment. Was it the song of some insect in the fern, the wind in the tree tops? Nearer it seemed to come, and then they knew […]
It was this hour by the dying firelight that the gnomes loved more than any other time. It was then they talked of so many things. “Funny how a fire makes you want to stare and stare at it,” said Dodder reflectively, blowing out a cloud of tobacco smoke and watching the glow of the […]
Found in the unfinished novel The Notion Club Papers, this is the “The Death of St. Brendan” by J.R.R. Tolkien: At last out of the deep seas he passed, and mist rolled on the shore; under clouded moon the waves were loud, as the laden ship him bore to Ireland, back to wood and mire, […]
We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why […]
Anamnesis (ἀνάμνησις) is the word that Jesus uses at the Last supper: “Do this in memory of me” (Greek: “τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν”, Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24–25). In episode 7 of the Amon Sûl podcast, Fr. Andrew Damick defines anamnesis as: The invocational memory that brings Christ’s passion and death into […]