Archives for December 2008
This segment is on Attachment and Non-attachment and the hidden perils and pearls of each. Master Puppetji has a website too!
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Lovelovelove this profile of raised-Catholic Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“’I heard that Eastwood is saying that this will be his last film as an actor,’ Hoffman said. ‘There’s part of me that feels that way during almost every movie. On “Synecdoche,” I paid a price. I went to the office and punched my card in, and I thought about a lot of things, and some of them involved losing myself. You try to be artful for the film, but it’s hard. I’d finish a scene, walk right off the set, go in the bathroom, close the door and just take some breaths to regain my composure. In the end, I’m grateful to feel something so deeply, and I’m also grateful that it’s over.’ He smiled. ‘And that’s my life.’”
I keep my eyes closed. Do not rush me,
You, fire, power, might, for it is too early.
I have lived through many years and, as if in this half-dream,
I felt I was attaining the moving frontier
Beyond which color and sound come true
And the things of this earth are united.
Do not force me to open my lips.
Let me trust and believe I will attain.
Let me linger here in Mittelbergheim.
I know I should. They are with me,
Autumn and wooden wheels and tobacco hung
Under the eaves. Here and everywhere
Is my homeland, wherever I turn
And in whatever language I would hear
The song of a child, the conversation of lovers.
Happier than anyone, I am to receive
A glance, a smile, a star, silk creased
At the knee. Serene, beholding,
I am to walk on hills in the soft glow of day
Over waters, cities, roads, human customs.
~ Czeslaw Milosz
As part of this year’s Christmas gift exchange,
I wrote this sonnet, Gabrielle, for you,
To tell you that the Bard will rearrange
Your thoughts and fiddle with your point of view.
So you must travel down the road to find
A place to make your travels culminate
In roadtrips of the wheels that turn your mind
And help your heart refuse to hesitate.
The road unravels from your winding heart,
Removes removers from your half-blind eyes,
As if to clear the way to make a start
And take you safely through the land of lies.
.. These lines will burn and leave a trail of ash
.. For you to follow to your Ashland bash.
Dear children! You are running, working, gathering – but without blessing. You are not praying! Today I call you to stop in front of the manger and to meditate on Jesus, Whom I give to you today also, to bless you and to help you to comprehend that, without Him, you have no future. Therefore, little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil. Thank you for having responded to my call.
December 25, 2008 message from Medjugorje
I’ve read and re-read an extremely fine essay on adoption a number of times since it was first published in First Things in 2004. Recently it came over the transom again, and I thought it a fitting piece for Christmas:
About two-and-a-half years ago, my wife and I sat in a lawyer’s office trying not to think too deeply about the decision we were then making: to seek to adopt a child. As we sat there, listening to the litany of options for how to bring home a stranger’s baby, a joke occurred to me. What is the difference between families today and families a century ago? A century ago, to start a family you’d hire a professional to find you a spouse, and by doing what comes naturally you’d make a baby. Today, to start a family you go about doing what comes naturally in hopes of finding a spouse, and then hire a professional to find you a baby.
Well, a few people still do it the old-fashioned way, but I think he makes a good point. What follows is a beautiful reflection on the meaning of fatherhood; read it here.