I was looking at poet Michael Robbins blog yesterday. He linked in a review he has written recently of Molly Worthen’s Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelism. I wouldn’t have clicked through to read it except that his link was
The Worst Thing About Conservative Evangelicals Is That They Encourage Clowns Like Richard Dawkins to which he charming appended a comment that it was “not the title I would have given the piece.”
Anyway, about halfway through he mentions that he is reading a book I am reading, The Secular Age by Charles Taylor and then quotes from it.
I was surprised to receive a Facebooger message from Yun Kim (pictured above) yesterday thanking me for my “beautiful write-up”in TAO (“The American Organist”) in my review of her presentation/recital. I bewilderedly picked up a copy of TAO laying around and lo and behold there it was under the Chapter News reports. How about that? I would link it in for you but The American Guild of Organists seems to be living in the 19th century and doesn’t make it’s stuff available online. When I see organizations doing this, I figure they are hurrying themselves into irrelevance.
If one completely restricts access these days, I figure it won’t be too long until you and your ideas wither from lack of interest since there are tons of people in line to connect while you are dithering. – Jupe
I love quoting myself. Especially when I just made up the quote.
Finally, some poetry.
I was reading Wendell Berry yesterday (thank you Mark for the beautiful collection of his poetry you gave me for Xmas!). I ran across this.
If we have become a people incapable
of thought, then the brute-thought
of mere power and mere greed
will think for us.
If we have become incapable
of denying ourselves anything,
then all that we have
will be taken from us.
If we have no compassion,
we will suffer alone, we will suffer
alone the destruction of ourselves.
These are merely the laws of this world
as known to Shakespeare, as known to Milton.
When we cease from human thought,
a low and effective cunning
stirs in the most inhuman minds.
-Wendell Berry, This Day:Collected and New Sabbath Poems, p. 273
I know I am getting old and I say so,
but I don’t think of myself as an old man.
I think of myself as a young man
with unforeseen debilities. Time is neither
young or old, but simply new, always
counting, the only apocalypse. And the clouds
—no mere measure or geometry, no cubism,
can account for clouds, or satisfactorily, for bodies.
There is no science for this, or art either.
Even the old body is new—who has known it
before?—and no sooner new than gone, to be
replaced by a body yet older and again new.
The clouds are rarely absent from our sky
in this humid valley, and there is a sycamore
that I watch as, growing on the riverbank,
It forecloses the horizon, like the years
of an old man. And you, who are as old
almost, as I am, I love as I loved you
young, except that, old, I am astonished
at such a possibility, and am duly grateful.
-Wendell Berry, This Day:Collected and New Sabbath Poems, p. 267
Then for some reason (possibly still pondering yesterday’s blog ideas) I wrote these two poems.
I think of you as I wipe my ass.
You were a mess, but that’s not why.
I remember sitting on your back porch
looking over the stagnant man made lake.
You bitched. You complained about people
who use too much toilet paper.
“Why can’t they use less?”
A few years later you were at my door.
Begging for some cash
to buy your pissed off wife
a birthday present.
Pissed off with good reason.
I gave you all I had,
thought it was mostly change.
I think of you when I use my french press.
“I could never do that,” you said.
I know myself too well.”
Now you are gone from life.
You got angry at me
stood up and walked away.
I still think of you
and wonder how you’re doing.
I showed them to Eileen. She reminded me she “doesn’t like poetry,” but she still smiled.
Post Blog note: Eileen had to go to work today, so I have spent the last hour digging out the car. I am cold.