a ruin—but an entire ruin

From my daughter Nessa this evening: “I just reread my, so far, favorite scene in Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë: Descending the laurel-walk, I faced the wreck of the chestnut tree…. The cloven halves were not broken from each other, for the firm base and strong roots kept them unsundered below…. They might be saidContinue reading “a ruin—but an entire ruin”

Thou hast broken open the all-devouring belly of Hell and snatched me out

Here are a few of the many hymns from last night with the start of Lazarus Saturday. Toward the end, several of them break into the voice of Lazarus himself or of Hell itself. Calling Lazarus from the tomb, immediately Thou hast raised him; but Hell below lamented bitterly, and groaning, trembled at Thy power,Continue reading “Thou hast broken open the all-devouring belly of Hell and snatched me out”

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe

From John Muir: Nature Writings (an anthology): When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendlyContinue reading “we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”

On Life and Motherhood

Life (that is the quality of being alive) is so easily seen in all aspects of creation, and this kind of seeing may be far more reliable than we know. Rocks and landscapes live lives of great loveliness, depth, and mystery. After all, the Spirit, the Giver of Life, broods over all that “is not”Continue reading “On Life and Motherhood”

to believe in a spiritually living creation that is full of spiritual life

Here is my own transcription from a part of the Crackers & Grape Juice podcast by Jason Micheli “Episode 147 – David Bentley Hart: The Gloves Come Off” posted on April 13, 2018. [22:55] Hart: [N.T. Wright is] so hostile to the fact of the first century being Jewish and Greek at once (and Persian).Continue reading “to believe in a spiritually living creation that is full of spiritual life”

all these things are alive in their essence

Supreme and fiery force who has kindled all sparks of life and breathed forth none of death, …fiery life of the divine substance, you blaze above the beauty of the fields, shine in the waters, and burn in the sun, moon, and stars. You, the fiery force, lie hidden in these things, and they flameContinue reading “all these things are alive in their essence”

let it all turn into talk

The hills on our side of the river were green, and on the other side they were blue. They got bluer farther away. Uncle Burley said hills always looked blue when you were far away from them. That was a pretty color for hills; the little houses and barns and fields looked so neat andContinue reading “let it all turn into talk”

Light within light

The moon looks wonderful in this warm evening light, just as a candle flame looks beautiful in the light of morning. Light within light. It seems like a metaphor for something. So much does. Ralph Waldo Emerson is excellent on this point. It seems to me to be a metaphor for the human soul, theContinue reading “Light within light”

the world was created for my sake

“Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe.” (From the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.) The entire surrounding passage is noteworthy: How are witnesses inspired with awe in capital cases? They are brought in and admonished as follows: In case you may want to offer testimony that is only conjecture or hearsay or secondhand evidence, evenContinue reading “the world was created for my sake”

each stitch was such a ponderous ritual that he couldn’t bear to watch

Various passages from The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel by Michel Faber: Overall, though, he had to admit that the scenery here was less beautiful than he’d seen in, well, quite a few other places. He had expected mind-boggling landscapes, canyons shrouded in swirling mists, tropical swamps teeming with exotic new wildlife. ItContinue reading “each stitch was such a ponderous ritual that he couldn’t bear to watch”