Monday, March 26, 2007

Good Morning, Grand Inquisitor

For the secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for. . . . Instead of taking men’s freedom from them, Thou didst make it greater than ever! . . . Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering. . . . Instead of taking possession of men’s freedom, Thou didst increase it, and burdened the spiritual kingdom of mankind with its sufferings for ever. (Brothers Karamazov V:V "The Grand Inquisitor." Pasted from <>)

Brothers K was sitting on the bar in the kitchen this morning. I read less than a page before leaving for work, amazed at the sense it made, both on a comprehension and cosmic level. Reading slowly and small gives me more than enough to act on in a day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

. . . and replenish

Yesterday (3/21) was J.S. Bach's birthday. His production is amazing. Why did Bach work so hard and write so much? Perhaps the answer is as reductive as it is practical: he had to support a family. If I am not mistaken, even though half of his children died as babies, between his two marriages he fathered 20 children. Having or the prospect of having children certainly puts one in a responsible position.

Motherhood necessitates invention.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hard Words, Soft Music

Weird Al's "Ebay" couples ultra-mellow music with witty social commentary; what a pleasant paring--how Horation. Compare "Stars" in Les Miserables; Javert's words are hateful while his tune ranges from gentle to inspiring.

In the former case, the gentleness invites us to listen, think, and draw our own conclusion about the lyrics. The latter case perhaps illustrates that if one says the wrong things in the right way, they may seem so reasonable and acceptable that one reinforces one's deception and self-deception.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

not far behind

Spring will astronomically happen to my hemisphere in just a few weeks. My girls are signed up for city soccer, set to start around the same time; let's hope the snow melts.

With spring will come the blossoming of the trees. Why should I love that old trees, crusty barked, fungus and moss barked (this is not ugliness; it is another form of a life grown upon a life), many rings within them, bring out blossoms that, piled with blossoms from younger trees, would be as fresh?

I think of biblical mothers like Sarah and Elizabeth whose babies were utterly young; Isaac wasn't aged at birth; he was as infant as a son born to a younger woman.

Maternity aside, as long as life exists, it can be a fruitful tension between a body that is growing older, a spirit that is ageless, and an agency that can think, speak, and act, renewing (replenishing) the self and the world. Does this reality--if it is a reality--have root in the sustaining paradox of St. Augustine's "love ever ancient, love ever new?"