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”

his feet moving to the long-ago memory of womb kicks

“The Man Who Was a Lamp” by John Shea: Legend says, the cave of Christmas where the child of light burns in the darkness is hidden in the center of the earth. Access is not easy. You cannot just amble to a mantle, note the craft of the crib child, and return to the partyContinue reading “his feet moving to the long-ago memory of womb kicks”

taught by a Star

This sampling of ancient Christian hymns connected to Mary and the Nativity (and taken from Orthodox service books) represent a remarkable range of theological insights: From the most common megalynarion (used in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom): It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless and theContinue reading “taught by a Star”

you that love the feasts

Glorious Nicholas, the holy preacher of Christ, you are the great and fervent protector of those in danger, those on land and sea, far off or near; for you are a most compassionate and mighty intercessor. Therefore, as we assemble, we cry aloud:// “Pray to the Lord that we may be delivered from all danger!”Continue reading “you that love the feasts”

there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced himContinue reading “there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach”

turn off the limelight

From “The Superstition of School” (1923) by G.K. Chesterton: Education ought to be a searchlight given to a man to explore everything, but very specially the things most distant from himself. Education tends to be a spotlight; which is centered entirely on himself. Some improvement may be made by turning equally vivid and perhaps vulgarContinue reading “turn off the limelight”

broken Hallelujah

A couple lines from Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I heard it recently from a friend and teacher. With several versions during Cohen’s long career and recordings by some 50 artists, the lyrics seem to vary slightly each time. It’s not the laughter of someone who claims to have seen the light No, it’s a cold, andContinue reading “broken Hallelujah”

sounds of the harp

Beowulf, translated by Frederick Rebsamen, lines 99 to 107: They lived brightly   on the benches of Heorot caught up in laughter   till a creature brought them fear in the night   an infernal hall-guest. Grendel circled   sounds of the harp prowled the marshes   moors and ice-streams forests and fens.   He found his home with misshapen monsters   in misery and greed. The Shaper banishedContinue reading “sounds of the harp”