Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
‘El misterio gozoso’
Ayer como el recuerdo de “La visitación” según consta en la historia, en la Biblia cristiana. ¿Con palabras y fases que casi rima, cualquiera de las sucursales más de 20.000 del cristianismo nunca compararía a Elizabeth a Sara? ¿En la vejez? ¿Alguna de las ramas de más de 20.000 comprender mucho acerca de Judá y la división dada, en la historia, con el Reino de Israel? ¿Conectar cualquiera de las sucursales de más de 20.000 el ahorro.. .associated a Judá? Lo más cierto es la lealtad de Judá a Yahvé, después de la destrucción de Israel por los asirios en 721 de c.722, dejando a Judá como reino restante único.
“La visitación” por siglo 17 pintor italiano Mattia Preti.
Ser un compañero, trayendo nueva vida, con Isabel, tan sola. En el “país de la colina”. Tenga en cuenta lo invisible en la historia – Zacarías y José. La tranquilidad en la casa. ¿En su mayoría, Elizabeth necesitaba a alguien para hablar? ¿Conoces la historia del país de la colina en Judá? ¿María incluso sabía Elizabeth estaba embarazada y ella sólo buscaba un lugar para escapar? ¿En el comienzo? Algunos estudiosos se refieren a este período como un reino independiente de Israel, completamente independiente. Tomar, según Wikipedia, el título de “basileus” y expansión en las regiones vecinas de Samaria, Galilea, Iturea, Perea y Idumea.
En toda historia hay tiempo y lugar, como el reino independiente de Israel, en una historia de libertad, justo antes de la llegada de los romanos, con la instalación de Herodes el grande.
Tomar aliento. Dejando. Como Abram, sólo más repentinamente. Motel Dejar ir! Sacrificio. He aquí la conexión de salida para el sacrificio. ¿Le dijo María a su prometido? ¿O sus padres? ¿Que se iba? ¿Qué pasa con la seguridad personal de María y el feto, en el país de la colina? ¿Fue esta la primera? ¿Había sido otra mujer en la historia de la Biblia hebrea en su situación, sólo para perder el feto? María estaba solo, viajando en Judá, bajo el liderazgo de los fariseos, con su constante observancia de los fariseos a las leyes de pureza y tradición. Huy!
Zacarías, un sacerdote en el templo en su ciudad, en Judá. Con esta había protegida estado… en un principio, más cercano a hogar. Con toda la historia, en el país de la colina, llegar con un silencio Zechariah. Cuando visiblemente embarazada, con otras mujeres visiblemente embarazadas, hay una emoción extra cuando faltó su período y quería a un niño. Sólo soltera María no, en este momento de su vida, quiso que un niño o ella habría sido lapidada hasta la muerte! ¿Entusiasmo? ¿Entusiasmo y felicitaciones mutuas? María salió de casa, para mudarse a la casa de Zacarías, un sacerdote, con todo el énfasis a las leyes de pureza y tradición.
Las fechas de vencimiento. María soltera sola. ¿Antes de la visita, fue la salida en la historia, por María, como la llamada de Abram? ¿O más como la salida repentina, como a Jacob? Ahorro o ser guardado, busque el sacrificio en salir, con el sacrificio de un estatus de protección, de la casa. ¿Dejando para el país de la colina, tan pronto como Moisés tenía los esclavos hebreos salir de Egipto, sólo de Judá? Donde prima Isabel vivió con el sacerdote Zechariah. No sólo una herencia pero su sacerdocio dado, basado en su sucursal de las 24 ramas de sacerdocio en su tiempo. [Como lo invisible se hace visible]. Así que ¿Zechariah convertirla?
Hizo la fetos escucha con los oídos pequeños, dispuestos a todas las inquietudes sobre la pureza?
Dado,” dependiendo de lo que no sabe o piensa que lo hace, sobre el misterio en la parte montañosa del sur de Israel. Siempre es lo desconocido de una presente era sobre todo los “givens” nace un niño en. Como los “givens” perdido sabiendo el final de una historia. ¿Cómo Elizabeth incluso sabía que llevaba un hombre? ¿Sobre el Profeta [hombre] y uno para ser proclamado, aún por nacer? Me imagino que [su propio embarazo] es similar a Mary y Elizabeth alegría y entusiasmo,”escribe Colleen Chiacchere en el sitio web de Creighton Online Ministerio que se me hizo difícil su perspectiva. Los fantasmas inquieto, “saltando entre y entre vosotros, los dos fetos juguetón.” ¿
Más como enfermedad de la mañana? Hay esta gran inquietante, con la pérdida del estatus de protección, cuando vives en una ciudad y su propio embarazo se hace más evidente con el tiempo. ¿Alguna vez aprendiste la historia de la tribu de Judá que seguía siendo leal, en primer lugar, a la casa de David, aunque la tribu de Benjamín se uniría a Judá?. Los dos reinos, Judá en el sur e Israel en el norte – según Wikipedia – coexistían incómodamente después de la división. Pero en un principio, de 60 años, los reyes de Judá trataron de restablecer su autoridad sobre el Reino del norte, con la perpetua guerra entre Israel y Judá. Lo que era más verdadera era la lealtad de Judá a Yahvé, después de la destrucción de Israel por los asirios – comparar la cautividad babilónica de la esclavitud egipcia, con el asedio de Jerusalén, incluyendo la destrucción liderada por el rey de Babilonia del primer templo construido en el cuarto hijo de Betsabé [era el undécimo hijo total, como José?] por David , nacido en Jerusalén, dejando a Judá como el único restante Unido en c.722-721. Según Wikipedia.
Hay el tema perdido — el mismo encontrado en el libro del Génesis — de separación mucho más tarde entrar en este reino completamente desarrollado cuando se mide contra el cultural-relacionadas-pero-políticamente-distinto Reino norte de Israel. Con la industria ACEITUNERA allí, en el país de la colina. ¿[El feto], pregunta Colleen Chiacchere en Creighton University Online Ministerio, nadan y se balancean con su voz? ¿Juan y Jesús? ¿Sienten el amor de su hospitalidad? ¿Siquiera sabes la historia, Colleen? ¿Por qué parece tan inevitable comprensión del pasado? ¿Por qué robas el misterio sobre el persistente conflicto poder y dominio compartido en Judá, en tener que elegir entre ser rey y sumo sacerdote? ¿Con la visitación, en el país de la colina, comprender el miedo repentino en tener que elegir, con el sufrimiento por venir? ¿Lo mismo hizo Zechariah incluso saber que María estaba embarazada, cuando llegó?
«¿Sabe él cómo estamos relacionados?»
Madre e hijo. Marido y mujer. Primo a primo. “¿Él sabe? Sobre lo que lleva?”
El Profeta. Preparar el camino. En un lugar con la tumba, así como una inquietante preocupación por pureza.
Después de izquierda Inicio, sería el día María tendría que volver después de la VISITACIóN. ¿Te has sentido la soledad compartida de María con Isabel? Ahorro o siendo salvado, localizar la remontada en la historia… Rodeado por saduceos y fariseos, así como de Zechariah. Y los saduceos no creían en la resurrección. En las historias de reapariciones, en las historias de sacrificio auténtico, con el continuo tema de separación, tenga en cuenta el tema de la competencia entre iglesia y estado por las leyes de pureza. Y María parece estar en violación de las leyes de pureza que Elizabeth seguramente.
La división entre Judá e Israel. El aire en la cima de la montaña. Aire de luz. País de la colina. Antes de la destrucción del templo, uno de los factores que distinguen a los fariseos de otros grupos era su creencia de que todos los judíos debían observar fuera del templo de las leyes de pureza (aplicable para el servicio del templo). Como Josefo, los fariseos consideraban a los expositores más expertos y precisos de la ley judía. Según Wikipedia, “durante el Hasmonean período, los saduceos y los fariseos funcionaban sobre todo como partidos. La principal diferencia era el cumplimiento continuo de los fariseos a las leyes de pureza y las tradiciones del pueblo judío frente a la asimilación. Los fariseos exigieron que el rey Alexander Jannaeus elegir entre ser rey y sumo sacerdote.”
He aquí la visita! En el país de la colina. En el conflicto entre iglesia y estado, la fidelidad de uno al otro, los fariseos exigieron que rey Alexander Jannaeus – el hasmoneo, elegir “entre ser rey y sumo sacerdote.” Según Wikipedia, Alexander Jannaeus echado a un lado abiertamente con los saduceos, al adoptar sus ritos en el templo que causó un alboroto en el templo y condujo a una breve guerra civil que acabó con una represión sangrienta de los fariseos. En su lecho de muerte, Alexander Jannaeus llamó para una reconciliación entre los saduceos y los fariseos; fue sucedido por su viuda, Salomé Alejandra, cuyo hermano era un líder fariseo. En el conflicto entre su hijo primogénito Hircano que buscó el apoyo de fariseo y un hijo menor, Aristóbulo que buscaban el apoyo de los saduceos, la nación fue dibujada dentro, después de 90 días de la regla de Hircano, guerra civil que terminó cuando el general romano Pompeyo capturó Jerusalén en 63 A.C. e inaugurado el período romano de la historia judía, con la infamia de Herodes. Herodes era victorioso en el año 37 AEC. Antígono fue entregado a Antony y ejecutado poco después. Los romanos persuadir a proclamación de Herodes como rey de los judíos, que sobre el final de la regla de los Hasmoneos sobre Judea, según Wikipedia.
Aristóbulo III, nieto de Aristóbulo II a través de s hijo mayor Alexander, brevemente fue hecho sumo sacerdote, pero fue pronto ejecutada, alegado debido a los celos de Herodes. En el año 36 AC. Su hermana Mariamne que estaba casada con Herodes, también fue víctima de los conocidos celos de Herodes, el autoproclamado rey de los judíos. Los hijos de Herodes por Mariamne, IV de Aristóbulo y Alejandro, estaban en su edad adulta, también ejecutada por su padre, según Wikipedia.
¿En historias sobre seguridad nacional, sobre todo los “givens” en Judá, después de las guerras perpetuas sobre pureza, sobre qué lado usted o su familia fueron, se anticiparía a alguna venganza por los vencedores, estos fariseos – en la elección entre ser “Judío” entre un rey y un sumo sacerdote? Así que Hircano II vivió en medio de los judíos babilónicos, que le pagó cada marca de respeto, como él se llevó a cabo por los partos… desde 40 BCE. Para los próximos cuatro años, hasta el 36 a. C., cuando “Herodes, quien temían que Hircano podría inducir los partos que le ayudara a recuperar el trono, lo invitó a regresar a Jerusalén. Los judíos de Babilonia le advirtió en vano. Herodes lo recibieron con cada marca de respeto, le asigna el primer lugar en su mesa y la Presidencia del Consejo de estado, esperando una oportunidad para deshacerse de él. Como el último restante asmonea, Hircano fue un rival demasiado peligroso de Herodes. En el año 30 a. C., acusado de conspirar con el rey de Arabia, Hircano fue condenado y ejecutado,”según Wikipedia. ¿
Hasta qué año María nacieron? Y desde el nacimiento de Zechariah, sus años tenían toda esta historia. El deber como personas de fe no es desconectar del mundo real, el Dios de Abraham, el Dios de Isaac, el Dios de Jacob, de su idea de María y Zacarías — como Colleen Chiacchere hizo ayer en la página web del Ministerio de en línea de Universidad de Creighton. Y salir de casa siempre es el primer sacrificio, aprovechando y enfrentar el gran sacrificio inquietante. Frente a la asimilación, en una sociedad como opresiva. Y la incondicional en esta historia, para aquellos que estén dispuestos a seguir, para empezar, no a convertir en una estatua. Con el comando, “¡ no tengáis miedo!”
Así en su mundo en el tiempo, ¿por qué María? Cómo supo ella que Elizabeth estaba embarazada, excepto de su propia llamada, como la de Abram. ¿O ella sabía? Pero la obediencia, para avanzar, si ella no sabe muy por qué. De lo contrario ….La amenaza era de otra manera en una creencia contradictoria – por aquellos que sabían que era betrothed a usted – entre la cuestión de la fidelidad y la traición, como se ve en el adulterio. ¡ Vaya! Al país de la colina. He aquí – para los relacionados con la pérdida de la independencia en el Reino de Israel, bajo el imperio romano, debajo de Herod el grande – la genealogía! En el conflicto sobre la pertenencia, en una sociedad como opresiva. Nota el conflicto con el poder en la historia, cuando rodeado de tantos de sus parientes, con la idea compartida de independencia y pureza. Pero, ¿cuál es la conexión de la pureza y dependencia – confiando en alguien o algo más para su seguridad? ¿He aquí a la esclava, con el reducido conjunto de circunstancias en la herencia, con… la pérdida de la pureza? Embarazada, viviendo en la casa de un sacerdote, con la tensión entre iglesia y estado. ¿Fueron los fariseos ahora aliados con Herodes, por lo que el Dios de Abraham puede sobrevivir? ¿Era el derecho de nacimiento por Sarah y Abraham se conecte a la pureza? He aquí toda la tensión sobre pureza, paternidad. Como María fue asunta como la información privilegiada, no exterior desafiando la ley de pureza, ¿ella ser apedreada? ¿Y así María saben Zechariah? ¿Era un fariseo? ¿O un saduceo que no creían en la resurrección? Lo que se había convertido en obsesiva a los fariseos, cuando había sólo una manera de pensar, de culto, se convertiría en la amenaza de la condición humana misma, ya sea como la última persona en la tierra — o la primera y sentirse tan solo.
Dios. Las historias. La inmensidad de secretos de la fecundidad de Dios. Gente le gusta leer acerca de ellos mismos, además de conocer qué horrores ocurrió ayer. Historia de cerca, en las noticias. Pero la historia no muy lejos. ¿Escuchaste alguna vez el comando, en el relato de la visitación, dado mucho, con sus propias hijas vírgenes? «¡ Huye por tu vida! No mire detrás de usted, ni parar en cualquier lugar en la llanura; huir a las colinas para no ser arrastrados.” ¿Las colinas guardan a María? Rodeado por la multitud de sus parientes.
¿En el conflicto sobre a quién pertenecería tu hijo, sobre la que se salvaría, con la participación – algunas implicación de personal – con el uso de su fertilidad, en tiempos de la aniquilación que fueron tan personalmente amenazados, de haber sido inmerso en una cultura en este período de gestación, cuando pureza se convirtió, en el conflicto de privada y vida pública, una obsesión mayor que la vida misma? Fariseos, pensando en el método de castigo que dejaron la mayoría de los lectores jadeando! En este increíble relato de la visitación, hay este compañero, Elizabeth también tan solo.
He aquí el llanto mencionado en “La visitación” en un poema de Joyce Rupp, de su libro fuera de lo común:
Elizabeth arrugada y sabia, cansada del niño pataleando dentro (ya un toque de rusticidad en él),
los dos de ustedes, reunidos en la puerta, llorando y riendo al mismo tiempo, cada uno JADEO en la fertilidad.
He aquí, el jadeo, al mismo tiempo. Elizabeth sobre su fecundidad envejecido tanto como Sarah. He aquí al mismo tiempo, un jadeo sobre la pureza inocente de María! ¿En la primera mitad de la vida? ¿En la última mitad del proceso de creación? Traer nueva vida, en el ahorro conectado a Judá, ¿te has sentido el miedo en este momento de la vida, en la creación, para cada mujer? Con todo los “givens” a una mujer embarazada o a un sumo sacerdote — a cualquier creador, con un estatus de protección. Así como Moisés fue tomado en por la hermana del Faraón, María es llevada por Zechariah. En Judá. Lo que siempre fue cierto lo de Judá fue esta lealtad a Yahvé, como iglesia y el estado ahora coexistían incómodamente, el imperio romano. Donde prima Isabel vivió en Judá, con una necesidad basada en edad, mientras que llevar algo, para una esclava. He aquí este misterio gozoso, conectado con el temor de Jehová, temor en este momento de la vida, en la creación, para cada mujer! He aquí que cada mujer, encontrar un lugar seguro, para gestar, aunque al menos el primer trimestre, o el último trimestre, con Dios presente en el mundo, oculta a simple vista, en la casa de un sacerdote. Un hijo de Abraham que había obsesionado sobre pureza, en una obsesión para el nacimiento del derecho, que se convierte de alguna manera conectado al “ahorro”. Así que ¿qué sucede a quienes obsesionan, que no están abiertos a la modificación de sus vidas, sobre todo los “givens” de la creación? Tanto como Sarah, también dejó con saber humano. ¿Estaría allí el final, para lo que creó? ¿O que? En el país de la colina, donde Abraham enterró a Sara. En el país de la colina, en la primera parte del reinado de David, Hebrón alcanzó su cenit que sirve para los primeros siete y medio años de su gobierno como su capital. En el país de la colina, he aquí Judá y la división, en la historia, como el reino restante único, con la esclava quien dice: “mi alma proclama la grandeza del Señor!” En una historia, como el Señor se convierte en mucho más que simplemente mi Dios!
Copyright © paperlessworld.com
POST SCRIPT: Dios. La escritura de correos a las historias, con la inmensidad de la fertilidad del Dios Invisible, casi secreta. Antes del nacimiento. Antes de la separación “dada” de una madre, con la pérdida de este estatus de protección. Como los iniciados se convierten en forasteros. Como las mujeres se convierten en madres, con nueva identidad… da. ¿Siempre busque el ahorro invisible en la historia de la visitación? Antes de la salvación de otros, con el sacrificio para salvar a otros.
Así como el simbolismo de la vida de la remontada en las historias de las víctimas, para Isaac e Ismael después de su viaje al monte Moriah, habría, después de su viaje al país de la colina, María. Con estas reapariciones en el mundo real después de… en el mundo dividido entre iglesia y estado. Viviendo con el menor conjunto de circunstancias en la herencia, de la pureza. ‘Arriba’ y ‘ la siguiente,’ con la pureza todavía en algún lugar. A encontrarse. ¿
Lo hizo Zechariah saben cómo su silencio, impuesta, vino a salvar? ¿Como el período de gestación de su esposa sin duda interrumpió su vida de oración… en el principio? ¿Y entonces su hijo nació para salvar a otros, conectados a un ahorro de la madre de Dios? ¿La parte tranquila de la historia de la visitación fue como Zechariah el misterio en su mudez? Quizás con las palabras iniciales del Salmo 46.
Present arms! Demonstrate your loyalty. If not to the State, to the Spirit of the people of the Land.
Breath-taking. Leaving, again. This child had first been born in a trip to Bethlehem. And now a trip to Jerusalem. Leaving, like Abram, only in response to another Call. Per the Law of the Land, every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord. What did it look like to the neighbors, if you did not present your son to the Temple? After the first Call had been from, ironically, the State. To go to Bethlehem. Behold the connection of leaving to the sacrificial. The next Call was to the Church/Temple. With all of this suddenness, from a perspective of an infant. “Let’s go!” Move. Let go! Sacrifice. Get to Jerusalem . . . with The Urgency, as background. Like another due date. So within a certain number of days, did Joseph and Mary invite any relatives? Like the ones back in Bethlehem? Or did they tell their parents? That they were going?
THE ART is “Simeon’s Song of Praise” by Rembrandt
The PRESENTATION. According to the Law – the Supreme Law – with the concern about purity, and the portals, to let a son in. The barriers were erected with 613 laws. To prove your worth, observing the law of Moses. Within a certain number of days. And so the story as the parents take Jesus to the Temple, to present Him to the Lord, according to the Gospel of Luke. But clearly Jesus would not be an Orthodox Jew, at least in the perspective of all these Gentiles accepted into the Church of the Apostles. So had this been on the 8th day, or the 40th day? What do Christians know about the tradition about the arrival as the day came to purify? What do Roman Catholics know about the significance of the 4th Joyful Mystery, of their rosary? Because hadn’t it been their flight to Egypt, which followed the visit by the Magi? But it is said that even though Herod was looking for the Messiah, according to the Gospel of Matthew, the parents took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. And according to the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph kept his family in Egypt until Herod the Great had died – which was in 4 BCE at the age of seventy. And one of these Evangelist had to be like a second cousin once removed, because both stories could not be right.
Note the TWO in the story, of The PRESENTATION. Simeon was named for the second born son of Jacob and Leah. And to offer a sacrifice, per the Law of the LAND, there were a pair of young pigeons. Now this guy named Simeon – whatever his name had come to mean – was in Jerusalem, waiting. It had been Simeon that the prophet Joseph took hostage so that his brother might return with Benjamin. To Egypt. As if Mary and Joseph had not already had enough displacement if not disruption since the conception of this child, in their lives, behold the mystery connected to the Law and to Simeon who takes the baby into his arms, and shares his God! In his tradition, Simeon felt CALLED to the Second Temple that day. So the old man whose name means “he has heard” disrupts Mary and Joseph, as they tried to fulfill all the prescriptions of the Law. The real meaning in the story is about Jesus’ first time in the Temple, before their RETURN home. From Bethlehem, from Jerusalem. Maybe from Egypt. Until he set eyes on the Messiah, Simeon would not die, he believed, saying: “Now, Master, you can let ‘your servant’ go in peace.” So the significance of this birth is related to his own death? Somehow. Joseph with Simeon who had tried to destroy his brother Joseph, before the first born son of Jacob had saved Joseph. In a family that had obsessed over if not purity, the obsession to the birth right, which becomes somehow connected to “saving.” So Simeon’s presence was to point out to the parents how they would be so personally threatened, from having been immersed into a culture at the end of this gestation period, when purity became, in the conflict of private and public lives, an obsession greater than life itself? Behold the purification? For the Authorities at the Temple. Behold the Temple. And did you ever think of the wisdom of Solomon who built the First Temple, suggesting to resolve an argument over a child, a baby might be split? Locate Abraham in the story of two women who lived in the same house, both of whom had an infant son but one woman claimed that the other, as both claimed to be the mother of the living son, coming to Solomon for a judgment. After accidentally smothering her own son while sleeping, one had exchanged the two children to make it appear that the living child was hers. After some deliberation, the King called for a SWORD to be brought, to him.
Behold this joyful mystery, connected to the Fear of the Lord – a fear at this point of life, in creating, for each parent! With all the concerns over purity? So had Simeon been a Pharisee or a Sadducee who did not believe in Resurrection? What had become obsessive to the Pharisees, when there was only one way to think, to worship, would become the threat of the very same human condition, over purity, as Church and State now co-existed uneasily, within the Roman Empire. Behold Simeon who felt that he could take the baby into his arms? And did you think back to in the story of two women who lived in the same house, both of whom had an infant son but one woman claimed that the other, after accidentally smothering her own son while sleeping, claimed this infant? Though the event had occurred in the First Temple. How did Joseph respond to this Simeon whose name also is connected with the idea of ‘miscegenation’? How exactly was this Simeon God’s servant, telling Mary, “And you yourself a SWORD will pierce,” which left most readers gasping? In this incredible story of The Presentation, there is her companion, Joseph, wondering in the conflict over to whom Your son would belong, over who would be saved, with involvement – some kind of personal involvement – as the formation process of – a “given,” based upon what you don’t know or think that you do, about the MYSTERY – the Messiah begins. So from where did Jesus originate? How do you form a Messiah? As one of us! And what would your child look like to your neighbors, as you returned home?
Consider that first day back home on the job as the parent of a Messiah. With the entire tradition resting upon purity, washing, dinnerware, bloodlines, in this great unsettling Presence … in The Spirit of the Lord. With what you had grown up.
Narrative tension is primarily about withholding information. In any relationship, as your place of birth blinds you to the outside world, with language directed at intimations of attachment, This Spirit from where you come … founded on the back of sacrifice. There is the issue of undivided support as Joseph seems forced to take a vow of chastity, living in the house with Mary and the Son of Man. This theology of Purity, ever since the time of Abraham, with Sarah, his half-sister, passing on something to your first born son. Born into a tradition, of mostly the Sacrifice in the story, with the same kind of dreams as Abraham, as Joseph the prophet. Being somehow saved by giving up something like your own son, with a certain amount of this protected status … in the beginning, closest to home somewhere in Israel. In a story when both Mary and Joseph had the tradition, what has become of the command given to Adam to cleave? “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Though Joseph had, in his calling, representing the entire tradition of the House of David, here he is still cleaving to his perfect wife perhaps out of the prejudice that he had about the outside world. Like Abram.
When you left home for a census, in a certain Call, when your God is not restricted to one place, one land, with borders. And then, from this tradition of a nomad, passing on SAVING, after being saved, uncovering the mystery, through story. Mary and Joseph meeting Magi, and strangers in the Temple who have come looking for their son. In their return to the Promise Land, behold the sacrifice to come, with the fear in the story, as doubt always is at the center of either mystery or faith which moves THESE STORIES beyond the power of imagination.
Locate the personal boundaries in the story, with violations of individual if not communal boundaries in the story of the Presentation. By Simeon, for one. Note the conflict over power in the story, when surrounded by so many of your kinsmen, the very same human condition, whether as the last person on earth — or the first — and feeling so all alone? Behold the need for a coverup, living with exception to these kinsmen, with Mary and all the strangeness of her Virgin birth, through the things not physically shared – the torture of her ability to carry the Living God of Abraham to the next generation through this child.
Behold the Lamb of God, identified by the shepherds, in the beginning of! Behold all the human interest in times of trouble, between Church and State, at about the time Herod the Great has died, after the split in the two kingdoms as the Romans had moved in. Living with the invisible loss of your own language, as PLACE is used against you, after PLACE claims you again as its slave? In the eyes of the Romans, with their Latin, like the English brought their language to Ireland? So how old were, how blind were, how oppressed were the eyes of all? Behold the human meaning in the story about a Messiah in the RETURN home after the first time in the Temple. If you get the small details wrong, with all the fear in the story about power over me involving splits, in the LAND, the bond which came not from suffering but from the sacrifice, you will get the big picture wrong – affecting if not your land and your own displacement, from your place of origin, then at least the life of your son.
Breath-taking! The PRESENTATION. Note the TWO in the story, of The PRESENTATION with a sacrifice of a pair of young pigeons. To offer a sacrifice, per the Law of the LAND, with this sense of urgency, within a certain number of days. There is reference to Egypt in the sacrifice for the redemption of the first born son. “Every firstborn of man among your sons, you shall redeem. And it will come to pass that if your son asks you in the future, saying, ‘What is this?’ you shall say to him, ‘With a mighty hand did God take us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass when Pharaoh was too stubborn to let us out, God slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt.’”
Passover. Why does understanding, about Jesus, Mary and Joseph look so inevitable? Why do you steal the mystery, about the lingering conflict over power and shared dominion, in another story with mystery? Before these young parents finally returned home. Did you ever behold the System Substitutions, by Abraham, by Moses? Note the circumcision, only after Abraham went and fathered a child through his wife’s handmaid. So in the science of consequences, his first born son was a slave. If you did Algebra I. And that led to stories of generations of servants and handmaids and slaves in Egypt. In an apparition, there is suddenly the unexpected, like a banishment, or like an attempt at genuine sacrifice. And with all the unexpected, these stories just seem to be repeating themselves, however with the hovering ghosts of ingratitude toward Hagar, as Sarah at least banished her handmaid and her half-Egyptian son.
What is apparent to me in my religious tradition somehow acquired through Abraham is that every tradition of the Abrahamaic religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – has a need for both a story and a real living human body, in order to pass on the method of prayer. Hagar had conceded forever not only her status but that of her son, but with the far off hope that something would one day change? About her servitude? To connect the dots about Hagar, about intimacy, about unconditional love, to Mary and Joseph, like Abraham has sacrificed his purity in the same way Adam had, to appease Eve. Would Mary sacrifice her purity, like Hagar had her own, to Abraham? For her Masters.
“Mostly they are the same lives. The same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. When we endow our lives with stories. Mostly the same stories, generation after generation. When your relationships at their foundation were so alive, but with a great restlessness. When you prayers were so alive….and you wanted others to then have the same experience. Even sometimes you had to be looking for a place to escape. In a start?
There is always the unknown in the present age about all the “givens” a child had been born into, like the suspense lost when you knew the end of a story. “The givens,” lost like a first born son might think that his inheritance could be. If you ever spent the time to try and see, did you notice a greater suffering as the living VICTIM went missing, for over a number of years, like in the case of Joseph the prophet? With so much emotional attachment … did you note the missing part, like the long-forgotten first born son, Ishmael? When he left the home of Sarah and Abraham. And wasn’t there the fair degree of Fear of the Lord whenever a child went missing? Who could ever forget the firstborn son? In the stories of missing it is the ultimate VICTIM of hood-winking who goes missing. Like first Jacob, from the perspective of Isaac, and then Jacob’s son, Joseph. Behold this birth right, connected to the invisible if not to the missing. With all the Spirituality connected to what first seems missing, for a while – like in response to “Where is the Lamb” question. In these stories of the missing behold Jesus, like the prophet renamed Israel, surrounded by people who he could never really trust – even his eldest son by Leah, who he thought betrayed him. And did you witness in the stories of Jacob & Sons, all of the violence over trying to be One? Again. And so the invisible fear connected to the God of Jacob, so distinct from the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, as Jesus grew up.
“The story begins with Creation which, as we have seen, is the story of the acts of distinguishing one thing from another. It ends by alluding to the most crucial distinction of all …” wrote Daniel Mendelsohn in THE LOST. It was hard enough to be the Son of Man the first time – only the perfect son this time.
Hadn’t it been fear of something that moved people here in the first place? For a place to worship freely? What is most true about the law of Moses and Jewish theology but the portals of life and death – over who belongs. Who is one of us? With all of Abraham’s walking. Using purity as a means to an end. The importance of Movement. Toward a goal. But sacrificing purity one day. But underneath it all, there was still the basic fear. At the portals, with still a concern about purity, and the theology of purity, as you tried to create a normal life, with the blood of the lamb on your thresh-hold that provided a sense of identity, that was connected to having been saved. And now living with all of this purity. Trying to laugh and be normal. After demonstrating your fidelity to your God.
“And at the center of all that drama – for Rashi goes to no little trouble to explain that it does indeed stand in the center – the mysterious and somehow moving symbol in the garden, a tree that represents, I have come to think, both the pleasure and the pain that comes from knowing things. -from Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Lost
Or is it both the pleasure and the pain that comes from knowing God? This is, after all, a love story. Ever since the time of Abraham, the center of all of this drama is love and the children of Abraham dealing with love and sex and fertility. With, according to the Book of Genesis or the Qoran, these relationship stories. And in all of human history, no one has ever told a story without having some kind of agenda — like passing a relationship on, with all of the pleasure and the pain from knowing God or just each other, when love divides. There is the Jewish prayer about survival in the shared belief since Abraham about the sacrifice called The Akedah, involving his son and the future of the world. Were the words heard that day of the Unetaneh Tokef, the prayer about the perils of the year to come – the perils which are all around us, with the perils in my land and the values in this land, as the value of all currency, of the things that help sustain illusion, are threatened? Like Jews in so many places, Christians in Iraq, or Muslims in the United States:
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die…
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low…
Like at the symbolic sacrifice at The Presentation – the Abrahamic concession is that love divides. Joseph and Mary conceded forever not only her status but that affect of sacrifice on her son, like ever since the time of Sarah and her half-brother Abraham. Like what the message about the affect of sacrifice is in The Warning, of Simeon or like heard at the conclusion in the Beautitudes.
This joyful mystery after all is called a love story, about existence. The mystery, like Sarah’s. Like Elizabeth’s. Like Mary’s. These Alumni who feel compelled to demonstrate their love, like Abraham. In the sacrifice. With birth instead of death. On a different end of a sacrifice.
As they left Jerusalem, with an equivalent fear to an over-forty year old Jacob stealing a birthright, did you hear the “piercing” in the cryptic words of the prophet Zachariah: “….and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn.”
How would you reach or teach a child the story of Isaac, with all the waiting by Sarah, with then the sacrifice on Mount Moriah? With the covert sacrifice that the father Abraham would have told no one? Real people wondering, puzzled, with if not doubt, perplexed? Dealing with the Everlasting, since the beginning … and all of the past.
Love? Sacrificing me? In the relationships, in stories about unconditional love, behold the boy Jesus – so much like once the boy Isaac! After the long wait, as seen in the cousin named Elizabeth.
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you….” An 89-year old woman pregnant? Then a virgin birth! Who would believe, when it would come to pass — like THE TRADITION on — that if your son asks you in the future, saying, ‘What is this?’ With speechless hearts and waiting minds,there is this Simeon guy reaching for your infant. . . in the Temple, of all places. After this virgin birth had come between the betrothed couple, what did this man named Simeon represent, to anyone named Joseph? And living in this land, did you ever get the sense, maybe like a newly emancipated adult, about the burden of tradition that so many were giving up, like the separation between Israel and Judah, or between a father and a son? And for those who tried to keep hold of something, there was a feeling that you really could not afford to move, but you could not afford to stay. And who would ever believe a kid whose parents one day told him of his own virgin birth? If he dare tell anyone.
“If anyone wishes to come after me – like I came after Ishmael, as I came after Isaac – he must deny himself … daily. And follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; whoever gives life, sacrifices their life [by giving life], will save it.”
It is all in The Presentation, like my sister once said while reading a book by Martha Stewart. With a certain amount of joy. And in Rembrandt’s “Simeon Song of Praise,” doesn’t the Temple look to be the main character, in The Presentation? Or is it the Light?
Copyright © 2016.
Paying the highest price possible.
Larry Gillick, SJ
The landscape of dating. Over the past 20 years or so, as town centers completely destroyed by bombs in World War II in Eastern Europe have been, over time, stone by stone, restored. In my lifetime, and in the lifetime like the contemporary artist I met, who was three years younger. Her family had left and had spent their time elsewhere during the Reconstruction.
In the sign of the times, the woman still looks like a a cheerful hippie, with a restlessness on display, over time perhaps becoming more visible. Getting perspective from an artist who liked to paint landscapes of the far off, and generally avoided the things up close. The divorced mother, now at war with her son, looking for a lasting relationship, talking with great honesty about her life on Yom Kippur. To me.
After being banished from the territories in the 1980s, with an art degree from the University of Illinois in Champagne, she had gone to San Francisco. She landed in Minnesota in 1982, where she remains. When she married in 1991, she said that she knew on her wedding day she had made the wrong decision. Her marriage lasted until 1997, with six years of marriage counseling. Her husband, she said, was shocked when she asked for a divorce. At the time she had two kids, the youngest having been born in 1994.
Unsettled. To tackle the deeper problems, with perspective, after a deep sleep, of the daughter of Ukrainian Jews who had never returned home to Chicago. The woman who seemed on Yom Kippur to want to come to grips with her sins. The main one concerning that she never really had loved the father of her kids. Perhaps not knowing about “the last clear chance doctrine” to be used in her own defense. On issues of contributory negligence, in her life.
People do not really say, to strangers, what is most true, like this. Living day to day, struggling economically ever since her divorce, making a living as a sign painter. Recognizing all of the restlessness, in her story of detachment. At a time when clearly, with perspective of time, she had not really known herself. THEN the remark of a stranger recognizing her for her modeling for his art class, naked. This was, most likely, no big deal for an art major, though the stranger hovered over our table way too long.
The landscape artist who bared her soul to me in an Irish bar, owned by a Brit, about what she hopes to be building upon. Six years ago she had become Christian, with no mention on how that affected her relationship with her kids. Having gone to Guatemala to build homes, the divorced mother with one daughter away at college, with her church group, in her restlessness. But now at war with her high school age son who lives with her – perhaps playing the game by something other than the official rules – but he would be asked to leave when he turns eighteen.
The divorced mother, hoping to build on a lasting relationship, talking with so much honesty about her life on Yom Kippur. Giving me the once over. Just once, in this Irish bar that was not really Irish, with bagpipe music airing. Despite her claim of being an artist, who now liked to take commercial jobs closer to home but with her free time she likes to paint landscapes of the far off, generally avoiding the things up close. Expecting pain in any relationship, expecting such little joy.
Life in Minnesota. People want to live here; they don’t want to leave. We don’t have high turnover.
After a provided quote from me by another landscape artist –“I have always worked and pulled my hair out simultaneously, but the higher motivation is the sheer pleasure and joy found in the depths of perceptual engagement.” — she then said she did not want to see me again. Perhaps coming to learn, in her continuing education, that that you could not love others, until you settled first upon really a known self, before moving on. After giving me the once over, moving to the the art of loving yourself.
PHOTO COURTESY OF Mediawatch
Who is Kirsten Varley?
Sports. Exercises. Recreation. Leisure. All the pasttimes. How do you spend your time? Outside of work? Wired to be active and engaged, not passive and inert?
In the world of technology, how do you remain engaged in the real world? In what becomes a kind of rote work where people have to get to work at a certain time……do a certain amount of things and then leave at a certain time. Daniel Pink was on NPR discussing his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” He talked about the context of work that makes so many people passive and inert. And he discussed awakening a validated sense of autonomy and purpose at certain companies of its workers. Changing the context of the real sense of workers. The five senses, and their desire to do things because they are fun and interesting. What William Blake described as the inlets of the soul. The five senses which lead us to something.
Daniel Pink said, “ In many ways, it is our context that makes us passive and inert. But if the context is changed, I think all of us can awaken that real sense, that scientifically validated sense, of autonomy and purpose and the desire to do things because they are fun and interesting.”
We are wired to be active and engaged, not passive and inert. In a world seemingly with nothing but reality programming. Where presently no one was reading, either the news or new books. Ask your local bookstore manager. “The Real World” on MTV from the last decade was now reality programming, everywhere. And, for me, not exactly Emmy Award winning stuff. Unscripted. No one was taking the time to write new scripts? I wondered why.
C. Michael Curtis is a writer for the Atlantic Monthly. He put together in 1998 a collection of stories by world reknown writers of English of mainstream fiction in a book titled God: Stories. The short stories were about spiritual experiences, in lives intertwined with religion. “Each of them asks in a voice, however idiosyncratic, where, if anywhere, is God in the life we live. And how is one to tell?”
Unscripted. To try and find God in places where God is not supposed to be. However idiosyncratic, with the five senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste and a sense of touch which lead us to feel something within.
True art is proven over time. Things that have value remain, for all posterity. Art left behind, recorded by how honest the artist was to the idiosyncratic. Not so much to make money, but to survive like others in the community with whom they lived. Not so much to entertain as to call the question in a voice, an idiosyncratic voice, where, if anywhere, God was in the life we live. And so the five senses which lead us to something within.
Copyright © 2013.
donate, if you ever in your life felt chosen.
That abyss. People who once upon a time who had been in the abyss and now spent time pulling others out. In my education, by teachers. Or writers. To use perspective like artists once had in the Renaissance. In the dark, with the use of light. They used shadows to make a point. The conflict, in art. The tension in literature, in life. All great writers wrote about the abyss. To emerge out of the dark
Like a complete unknown, as Bob Dylan wrote when he was at such a young age, I had embarked this week on a work, a book, to address the issues of identity.
Starving artists. It was becoming the theme of my life in 2009. This week I was beginning to write a book about junior year abroad: the radiance of self-discovery of a student. For young men or women in search of answers. Through study. With the need of a young adult to be liberated from the tribal lien, so that religion would not become the source of disdain and aggression.
Issues of identity. Identity is just such a slow process. A lot like education. A lot like a career. Setting off in the real world. And being offered some pay.
The “what am I worth?” question. In this marketplace. Starving artists, starving novelists. Throughout the modern world, individuals and institutions grapple with the ongoing struggle to find out what they were worth. It was all part of the search for identity. In high school Latin class I struggled to learn Latin by translating Homer’s Iliad and then The Odyssey. Never in my lifetime did I think I would return with interest to The Iliad and The Odyssey. To the theme of that abyss. Trying to escape back home.
My desire at the age of 22 was to be in the real world. Was it a waste of time reading? In that first job everyone realizes how little that they know. I was done wasting time contemplating, rather than doing. Until that realization how little I knew.
In a world with so many begging for help, in search of answers. Unconscious in that 4-year island of time called college. Of the gift to be there. Watching so many squander the gift of time.
Trying to escape from the abyss. It was the same story found in myth from every culture throughout the world. The search and trying to escape from the abyss.
Now unless the gifts were shared, everything was squandered. Education was a waste unles passed along.
Presenting in fiction the present day struggle about spiritual quests. Iliads and Odysseys, and the struggle to pass on tradition in the current age. The struggle from generation to generation of off-spring. And to not fall into the abyss.
Starving artists. It was the theme of my life in 2009.
In that other quest for the Living God in a world full of people that seem to have that same ancient fear found in Judaism, where God’s name was seldom sounded, and spelled Y*w*h out of respect if not fear. To avoid the abyss.
That quest for a Living God. And the abyss. Women leading men into an abyss. Men leading women to the abyss. Generation after generation.
I think I had come to some form of acceptance about trying to present in fiction the present day struggle about spiritual quests. Iliads and Odysseys. The struggle to pass along a tradition in the current age. The same struggle from generation to generation, of starving artists to stay out of the abyss.
Woodstock. The musical world was remembering what happened near Woodstock, New York 40 years ago.
I had watched the documentary “Woodstock: Then and Now” last night. And I woke up hearing Van Morrison sing “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
I was in high school 40 years ago. Perhaps I was an idealist at the time, but the world had seemed a lot more equal. Those Woodstock musicians had helped with a sense of vitality to point out a few problems with the world. With the Jimmie Hendrix improvised version of the National Anthem, which had seemed to address a war in Asia, race relations in the United States, or maybe the state of the union between men and women.
There was a lot of soul in the music. The documentary seemed to me to point out in its ending what was missing in the music today, watching kids today try to emulate the past, as they learned to make music. The music today which all looked like a Disney production. To make money.
The vitality of Woodstock: Kids listening to music, shouting “What the hell is wrong with you?” back at their parents. It was the same lyrics they had heard since they had emulated the hairstyle of The Beattles. Educated long-haired kids who had to go back home. Kids who for a longest time had been asked the same question, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Kids who still loved their parents. Despite the world.
I watched the documentary “Woodstock: Then and Now” last night. About songs of protest and songs of love. And I woke up hearing Van Morrison sing “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
Woodstock was all about vitality. About having fun. With little concern for making money. It was about a rain storm that humbled the crowd to equality. It was about a time of innocence. When musical artists were not concerned about impressing the audience as much as each other. Woodstock was about the muse. And about the true meaning of music.
Piecing together fragments. Black Swans. Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Our brains are wired through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. The complex things we don’t and most importantly, can’t know in this world. Narrative tension is primarily about withholding information.
“The Black Swan Test” will help you predict your chances of making money in what many are now reluctantly saying may turn into the Great Depression II. Nassim Taleb, an options trader, mathematics professor, and author of The Black Swan says, “Black Swans are rare events, with three defining characteristics: The event is highly improbable and unpredictable. It will have “massive consequences.” And afterward experts invent reasons why it was predictable, not random. Taleb also implies a fourth characteristic. There are “two kinds of these rare events: the narrated Black Swans that are present in current discourse and you are likely to hear about on television. And those which nobody talks about … that you feel ashamed discussing in public because they do not seem plausible.”
Last night there was the Rick Steeve’s show on PBS about his trip to Florence, Italy. It is my favorite city in the world. One November day I got to view one of Michelangelo’s Pieta in a building located behind the Duomo. I got to view the The Pieta Bandini, Michelangelo’s final Pieta alone in the Duomo Museum, with a security guard. And with the one young woman who came through in the 45 minutes I was there, who had stopped in for maybe 5 minutes. God is dead in the Pieta Bandini. This was said to be a self-portrait of Michelangelo. That Joseph of Arimethea likeness. At one point, it is said, the 80-year old artist had wanted to destroy this piece of marble. And he did.
This was a piece of sculpture that he had worked on toward the end of his life. Intending it as his own funerary monument. Eight years. It took him that long to discover an impurity in the marble? Eight years of tireless work, working between 1547 and 1553 on a piece of marble to depict the end scene when God in Jesus of Nazareth was dead, until finally discovering a flaw. Marriages ended in less time these days.
Wired for narrative. Michelangelo had once written this line from Dante’s Divine Comedy on a drawing for a pietà. “One does not think how much blood it costs.”
So what had he set out to say in this piece of art? Why this moment in history? When Michelangelo was an old man himself. This was going to be his closing argument? Why this moment in history at the end of Michelangelo’s own life? Why this scene? Wired for narrative. Was this a glimpse into the way Michelangelo prayed? At the end of his own life?
The Pieta Bandini: unfinished, like Michelangelo himself? And the artist tried to abandon the sculpture. This self-portrait. And it seemed appropriate, since 24 of 42 pieces of Michelangelo’s work are said to be unfinished. All of the figures looked unfinished to me, except that of Jesus of Nazareth and that of Joseph of Arimethea, in this self-portrait. It is said that the chisel marks demonstrate the unfinished nature of the work.
A real self-portrait. When most of the sculpture conveys a reality, you can get up close and see the size of the hand of Joseph of Arimethea on the posterior aspect of the sculpture, in perspective, bigger in size than any human hand. Then there is the size of Mary Magdalene. She is a midget, for all practical purposes. And until the next chapter of this story, for all practical purposes, she had been. In the life of the Messiah. Sorry, Dan Brown.
Joseph of Arimethea in the sculpture appears as large as Jesus. The blasphemy of self-importance, as he is larger than the two Marys, the Madonna and Magdalen. Jesus is no doubt dead. And Joseph of Arimethea is left to provide most of the support to the body. Speaking of support of the body, it was ironically the broken leg of the marble which had caused Michelangelo to destroy his work.
Feeling isolated? Alone? With a hood on like a modern urban gangster. Had he really worked this piece of rock before he smashed it in 1555, because one leg of Jesus had broken off and because the block of marble was defective? Or was he questioning how he had spent his life? In this self-portrait?
The blasphemy of self-importance. The broken. The defect in the marble. God. His son. Ever since reading that Jack Miles’ book, I have thought of the growth of God over time. What has He learned with each generation of people? It is taught that God had no beginning. And Jack Miles had written about the years that God had spent in solitude. Alone. God, dealing with His greatness. Alone.
At the end of his life, so the Messiah. Pretty much alone. Except for these people depicted by Michelangelo. This masterpiece says a lot to me about those creatures formed in his image and likeness. About all of us.
Alone. Michelangelo? Broken? The inward signs of our addictions. That no one else really knows.
The movement in the story. Fragmented into solitude until we were all estranged, to different degrees. A Broken People. All of Christianity. This fragmented Christianity.
The broken. The printing press and the Gutenberg Bible. The type writers. As more and more people became aware of God. And thought that they knew Him. Better than the next guy or gal. And so the 10,000 or 20,000 different denominations of Christianity began. Just like the different denominations of Judaism. With a lot more fragmentations.
Piecing together fragments. Our brains were wired for narrative. Black Swans were not supposed to appear. Rare events. This focus on only the now. “The Black Swan Test” amidst these economic times. One definition of “depression” involves the loss of vitality. The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality. And so in this economy, as in the broken religions of the world, our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty, through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature. When you are depressed, the past and the future are absorbed entirely by the present. Depression was nothing except a mourning for our past.
Art that stayed with us. Like the marble. The stress. The defenses. The reaction. The broken fragmentations.
Art that stayed with us. The outward signs that were not one day events. The nuptials. The ordained. Those signs which kept bringing meaning, day after day. The confirmed. The forgiven. The Word. The ongoing sacraments. When economies were shattered.
Art. The outward signs which strengthen us in holiness. The broken art. Kyrie eléison. The Word, the bread, the sacraments.
The blasphemy of self-importance, in the present time. But when I was all that was left. When Jesus was no longer visible to half the world. To feed the hungry. To clothe the naked. And to heal the sick. The blasphemy of self-importance. When Joseph in the sculpture appears as large as Jesus, when he is left to provide most of the support to the body. But in old age, with a loss of vitality.
Looking for the outward signs. In art which unite us all again.
Our brains are wired for narrative. The complex thing I can’t seem to know in this world. Not in 5 minutes or 45 minutes, in the Duomo Museum. Piecing together broken fragments. Rare events.
To miss the reality in the present. Today. Piecing together fragments. Missing the black swan. You feel ashamed discussing the black swan in public, because black swans just did not happen in the real world. Of business.
The blasphemy of self-importance. An artist wanting to destroy his own creation. The symbolism in trying to destroy self-portraits. Hoping for perfection when there was no such human thing. When masterpieces seemed to make no real difference. After pouring 8 years into one. Or thirty-three.
The reality of Michelangelo. Coming to realize, in the art, the godliness of a Messiah. In the narrative tension of economic chaos. In panics. In the reality of a piece of art. Powerless in the end. With some unknown student piecing together broken fragments. Like Joseph of Arimathea. Recognizing the Masterpiece.
I wasn’t gonna look at that Rick Steeve show last night. I had already been there. I had thought I had seen all that. The complex thing we don’t and most importantly, can’t know in this world. Piecing together fragments of some kind of sacred monument. If there ever had been a black swan. Someone had gone ahead and pieced together the broken fragments, so that this Pieta was still viewable.
Google ads suck.
Technorati: “Remember all that talk about living in a time when paper no longer mattered? In our on-demand digital world, a majority of us are growing more comfortable at managing and receiving our personal data online. Not to mention that the omnipresent Cloud is making it easier than ever before to locate all of your data in one secure, encrypted, and centralized depot.
New problems arise, however, with all of the merchants you do business with and having to keep track of all of your electronic bills and transactions via the merchant’s website.
In the beginning of God’s creating the skies and the heaven – when the skies had been shapeless and formless, and darkness had been on the face of the deep, the earth was a formless wasteland. And darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
A formless wasteland. That well could be the first line in a story about any human’s faith struggle. Like most people, I struggle to grow in my faith. Being part of the real community here on earth has helped me tremendously.
I was picking out a book for a 3-year old. I considered buying a book about the stories of the Bible. I found myself wondering about the author who was a complete stranger, interpreting the stories. Somewhere in the formation process you entrusted to a stranger the passing on the meaning of these stories.
We have lived through an age when video has replaced the written word as a media of significant communicating. Movies. Video stores. Academy Awards.
It was Academy Awards month. And an audience was essential. An essential necessary part, if an actor, was to have some kind of following. Press releases. Interested people. Some kind of an audience was essential if life was to have meaning.
Academy Awards. The movies of 2008. Stories with relevance. Stories with relevance, or just false substitutes in the modern age? Where Broadway was slowly dying due to the cost, what was the Academy doing to preserve the story-telling role? And what would the economic downturn do to the movie industry?
Passing along the stories. For all of the 3-year-olds of the world.
Evening came, and morning followed—that first day. And then the day after.
It is language and story that connect us through the language arts, in the beginning. With all the light that you cannot see, in the beginning, God’s Spirit was hovering?
Compare. Contrast. Tell a story, from the beginning. “In the beginning of God’s creating, when darkness had been on the face of the deep, when the skies had been shapeless and formless,” does a blind woman/man have five senses? How do I know what you can see? How do I know what you can hear? As a child?
Do as I say and live! How do you sense that God‘s spirit was hovering, in the beginning of God’s creating, as I cannot see without light? In the beginning of God’s creating the skies and the heaven, as darkness had been on the face of the deep, God‘s spirit was hovering. But what of the other senses – touch, sound, smell, in the ordering? Fully formed, without gradually coming to know the unknown? In the story of Firsts, compare Eve and Adam to me – only created, without progressive growth. So This One Law.
“Trust me, as your Creator. Ask Adam. He knows me!”
To know someone look, at where they go! Given everything at once, including the one commandment. If the audio-visual senses did not come before taste, how is taste connected to hunger and thirst? Did you ever note when you were born perfect, the missing pain . . . or the missing sacrifice, without a need for God?
And what of their art of language, without any stories of their own, without any body, except Adam’s story about the Tree of Knowledge? How had Adam and Eve ever learned to pray, when they had it all? When I seem so perfect, why do I need to abide by the Command. The conflict over the one Law and the fairness of the Law? And though all of Creation had been described as good – mostly separated – what of Evil? Who even comprehended Evil. In the world?
With a desire to see her own Creator, Eve ate the apple? In that there had been no direct contact with God and Eve until after, God did not even know Eve’s name? Until now. Yes, to know someone, in the ordering, look at where they go!
After! Given life by Someone! So how does a Creator ever know what the created can see? In the story of Firsts, theirs is the first of many stories about refugees, as Civil War follows Independence, with no right to be there! Land transfers? In a tradition of revolt, stand up to own this place, or LEAVE! Liberation from the Law of their Land, but not in the end from their God. Fancy ideas, with vitality drained, about living above the law, on the Earth, when you thought God knew you …and would remember you.
I was about to write something about “mystery” that I felt upon rising, before the muse had vanished like a Saturday cloud. Then the frame print in the living room fell to the floor, scattering glass through the room. There were mundane things to address, shattered glass. The mystery that I had in mind was not heard or seen, but felt.
Two years ago I went to an art exhibit on Russia. “Miriskusstva: Russia’s Age of Elegance.” I bought a coffee mug there that I saw this morning for the first time since the purchase.
Russia. About 6 years ago I sat down to write a historic novel. I never quite reached the end. The story was set in Russia at the time of its conversion from communism to capitalism. It was a time when oligarchs took over and vied for power with the government, as Russia opened up to the media. It was the wild wild west, an era of scarce jobs, of power plays between the Russian Mafia, of massive fluctuations in currency value, of new political parties moving in to fill the void of the past. The culmination of the story was to be the day in August 1998 when all these investment bankers fled, when the Russian government defaulted on more than $40 billion in government-backed securities. It was a time of panic. That panic has seemed much more real in the current financial times. And in all of my reading there always was reference to the mystery of the Russian soul. What it meant? In a nation where there was so little religious practice. A son or daughter did not get admitted to Moscow State University, the Harvard of the East, unless they had connections to the Party. Public policy was party members could not be seen in Orthodox churches. Yet there always was reference to the mystery of the Russian soul.
Last night there were two shows on public television. The first show was “God On Trial.” Set in Auschwitz, one prisoner declares that God should be put on trial for letting his people down. Another prisoner, a rabbi, explains that challenging God is not without precedent and he proceeds to set about establishing a rabbinical court, which requires three judges. To hear lines expressed in a concentration camp, “God is here suffering with us. He is here in the suffering.” At the time, who believed that goodness would win out? Where does all this evil, all this goodness come? “Let there be something that they cannot take away from you. Do not let them take your God.” (See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/godontrial/watch.html)
Last night there was a second show on public television about a Philadelphia artist who was contacted and offered the chance to spend a summer in the Irish town of Ballycastle to paint the landscape. Stuart Shils was his name. He actually could stay as long as he wanted. So the invitation stated. The message that an artist creates and sends out to various parts of the world in art was a sense of that mystery about a place. He went to Ireland. What the TV show showed as well as what the artist expressed were comments of the ever changing landscape. The light. The changing light as the clouds moved over head. I listened to this Philadelphia painter, this Jew, talk about the land here around Ballycastle which grabbed hold of his soul, and express what it brought out of him. He felt connected to this part of the world that he never imagined existed. And he saw something in the people there that he felt in his own people, a pain inherited from the past. In 1975 Jill Urich put together Ireland: A Terrible Beauty, about the same time her husband, Leon, was writing the historic novel, Trinity. Painters saw what Jill Urich tried to capture in photos of the Irish landscape. Ireland: A Terrible Beauty could just as well be a title all about God’s mystery.
Mystery. The mystery of creation was as deep as the ocean. The degree of His mystery was every bit as comparable to His power and might. Sometimes shattered. In Auschwitz. In Russia. In Ireland. Or here in my living room. Mystery, as powerful as the Irish sky, in a Ballycastle that regularly had world famous people drawn to its neighborhood.
Mystery. I lived in a town where gusset plates held together bridges every day and no one gave them a first much less second thought, until they no longer worked. Or did, prior to August 1, 2007. Bridges for the most part could be ignored at speed of 55 miles per hour or more, the way most of us lived life once we acquired driver’s licenses. It was not always so in this world.
Mystery. It was everywhere. There was mystery. Suffering taught something mysterious. Pain was inherited from the past. In the guy in the wheel chair. Or on all matters of health, physical, mental, fiscal, spiritual. There was mystery in the caring. The different degree of the caring in each human. And the degree of this caring about someone was the mystery.
Pain was inherited from the past. Suffering taught something mysterious. In this show about the artist in Ireland, Stuart Shils made reference to the Midrash, and the importance to him attending a showing to hear the commentary on his own art. And the Midrash, he said, was the commentary on the Torah. What did people say about the work? In a sense, the mystery of life was the commentary here on creation. The degree of caring. You and I were the Midrash.
That tree outside my bedroom window was turning a glorious red. And it only became evident, was witnessed, in the morning. Births. Joy. Deaths. Fear. Why?
Sunrise. Sunset. Asian markets. Highs and lows. Spring. Autumn. The gods of government trying to control everything, even things that cannot be controlled. Global warming. Market meltdowns.
Eyes: Just walking views. Where did you go? What did you see? Today! Imagine life without vision of this world which changes each day.
The age of 18—the O. Henry story. Hunting. Survival. Intertwined with the 18-year old near the end of formation when attractions are there…..wine, women. Jobs. Drawn to someone after you are formed. The excitement. The wonder. To never lose the sense of excitement of a child over the world. Whether it was nature or the the things associated with the animal kingdom.
“You bear witness.” You carry your witness from one generation to the next. What did you see?
Sunrise. Sunset. The beginning. The end.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega.” God was there. Always.