The world is charged with the grandeur of God.It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oilCrushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soilIs bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod..And for all this, nature is never spent;There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;And though the last lights off the black West wentOh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —Because the Holy Ghost over the bentWorld broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings..-Gerard Manley Hopkins…
There is a lot contained in this post, I will only touch on one small aspect, so you should go read it for yourself. Thank you, stephencwinter, for letting me re-blog it!
Reading people have relationships with books over the course of their lives. All people have relationships with stories.
Sometimes, when a child, you like books that, as you grow, you will outgrow (though they may still carry a lovely sheen of nostalgia). Then there are the books, those wonderful books, that grow with you. There are books one has to grow into, and sometimes books that are written “for children” find you later in life and have great impact.
That is, if you let them. Some folks feel, or believe, that “childish” books are unfit for adults, and some dismiss entire genres of story-telling and art because they consider them “juvenile.” They are welcome to their opinions, of course, but I cannot agree.
There is something to be said for growing into books you would not have been able to appreciate as a child, but one shouldn’t, I think, have to grow out of any good book, no matter the genre or the “age bracket” for which it was written. By all means, read and love Tolstoy, but there is no reason to turn your back on A. A. Milne.
Originally posted on Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings:
It is through the intervention of the Ents of Fangorn that victory is won at Helm’s Deep but this frightens the Riders of Rohan more perhaps than did the enemies they faced in the battle. For a kind of disenchantment has been at work among them for a very long time. You may remember that when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli first encountered Eomer and his war band upon the plains of Rohan they met with mistrust and some fear. When Eomer heard that the friends had met Galadriel in Lothlorien he reacted with both wonder but also fearful hostility.
“Then there is a Lady in the Golden Wood, as old tales tell!” he said. “Few escape her nets, they say. These are strange days! But if you have her favour, then you also are net-weavers and sorcerers, maybe.”
Théoden’s reaction to his first encounter with Ents is less hostile, perhaps…
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Alas, I do not think my time will allow me to do advent posts like I did last year. Hopefully next year.
I will try and highlight another carol for Christmas, and here, I will gather together last year’s offerings, and give you a advent calendar (and Tolkien) themed post from Grimmella. I hope you enjoy them!
December 1: O Magnum Mysterium – Nothing says Christmas like 16th Century Latin
December 3: Away in a Manger – probably not the version you know…
December 6: Hearth and Fire – more winter than Christmas, but lovely
December 8: Balulalow – A joyful song from Scotland
December 10: Don Oiche ud ImBethil – Softer, more meditative fare. It gives me chills.
December 13: Cantique de Noel – You may know this as “O Holy Night” but I dare say that it is far more beautiful in French, especially with Joan Baez’s voice
December 15: Beautiful Star of Bethlehem – Twangy country Christmas music, and a fine example
December 17: Brugundian Carol - a softer, more mellow folk carol
December 20: Third Carol for Christmas Day – hauntingly beautiful song from the 1700’s
December 22: Veni, Veni Emmanuel – I love “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in any language, but there is something of crystal-beauty to the words in Latin.
December 24: Go, Tell it on the Mountain – The incomparable Odetta, what more can I say?
December 25: Christmas in the Trenches – And finally, last-year’s Christmas offering. It’s pretty self-explanatory
Peace and love to you all, entering this season, however you do, or don’t, observe it!
Who also happens to be my mother. This is what she had to say, today, about the issue of Racism in the U.S.A.
I am delusional if I think I am in possession of all of the facts about what happened in Ferguson. I am delusional if I think I have a complete understanding of what happened and who was at fault. I am delusional if I think either Michael Brown or Darren Wilson was in complete control of the situation that engulfed them. I am delusional if I deny that both men responded to what they feared the other man might do. I am delusional if I think that fear was not based on racial stereotypes each held of the other. I am delusional if I think that only facts were presented to the grand jury and we have an accurate picture of what actually occurred. I am delusional if I think those who presented evidence to the grand jury did not color their testimony to present themselves in the best light possible. I am delusional if I think eyewitness testimony is the same thing as physical evidence. I am delusional if I think the district attorney acted totally without bias and without regard to his ambitions. I am delusional if I think that there is not a real issue that undergirds this specific event that has everything to do with race and politics and justice in this country.
If you are 100% certain you have an accurate perception on any of these statements, you are truly delusional.
I will add one more statement to the list. I am delusional if I think I am completely rid of personal racism. God knows I have worked to free myself from bias, but latent forms of old habits and thought patterns still ambush me when I least expect it. But I will not excuse it when I see it in myself or in others. We have to do better.
Let no one rest in arrogant complacency that they have clear vision about our national racial divide, as it is reflected in Ferguson or any other flashpoint. Race relations in this country are what they are not just because of what happens or does not happen inside black homes and black communities and black churches. White people contribute daily to the racial divide by ignoring the ways they contribute to racial estrangement and by pretending racism does not touch their lives in any real way. If you deny that “white privilege” and “victim mentality” are not both barriers to racial progress, you are active in your contribution to the problem. We develop two different languages with totally different sets of catch phrases and sound bites when we discuss our views about racial tension. It is almost as if we cannot speak or comprehend a common language. We judge people we do not know and often choose the most negative stereotypes to characterize “them.”
If you really want to feel the pulse of race relations in America, read the trolls’ comments that accompany the major editorial posts from either side of the political divide. FaceBook makes that really easy. You will see the vitriol that poisons both sides of the discussion. People write what they really think/feel in the anonymous rivers of sewage that spew out after a polarizing event like what happened in Ferguson.
Admit the problem is real. Do some soul searching. Then see if you can’t find a way to help us become “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
A while back, I tossed out a list of questions, or more accurately, writing-prompts, and asked for input. I find that my writing benefits from fresh ideas and perspectives (as I suspect everyone’s does) and I was in great need of inspiration.
The responses I got were exactly what I needed, and I have permission to gather them together into one post (some via links) so that I can better share them. I offer my sincere thanks to all my friends who responded. Thank you!
If you enjoyed this, or if you think you want to give it a try, please toss out your own set of prompts. Perhaps we can make a thing of it, a periodic shot of inspiration. Until then, enjoy the following:
In response to (6. What is your favorite ghost/folk/scary story (can be humorous or not)
Our local ghost is named Sukey (rhymes with rookie) Short. She’s the only ghost I believe in.
According to the story Sukey was an old black lady who lived alone. All of her neighbors were afraid of her, believing her to be a witch.
One cold winter evening she must have discovered that the coals in her fire had gone out, so she set out to get some from the people who lived around here, to use to restart her fire. But no one would open the door or give her any. They were afraid she would use them to cast a spell on them. She went from house to house, being turned away at each place. Finally she started walking back home. The road here was being built at the time and she stopped to rest, sitting on the stump of a tree that had just been cut down. Someone found her there the next morning, frozen to death.
Since that time her ghost has haunted this community. These days the story seems in the process of being forgotten but when I was a boy many of the old-timers had stories of having seen her and of the things attributed to her over the years. I saw her once when I was a boy (or saw something that I believed must have been her).
Awesome links through the Artstor Blog. Enjoy!
Sorry for being so quiet, of late. Things have been things, and I haven’t had much inspiration.
However, given the nearness of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a recipe.
Phila Rawling Hach is a living friend of my late Grandfather, and a friend of my parents (I like her, too, but I’ve only met her twice). Her zest for life is greater than pretty much anyone else I have met. Phila loves to cook.
A few years back, the Nashville Retrospect, which is, by the way, a fascinating slice of Nashville history, dug up her pumpkin pie recipe from her cook book Kitchen Kollege.
I thought it looked tasty, and decided to try it. I will never make another kind of pumpkin pie again, if I can help it. The freshness of the flavor, the texture, everything about this pie is fantastic, so here we go:
Unbaked pie shell
1 cup raw, grated pumpkin
2 cups top milk (or half-and-half, if you must)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp mace
3 well-beaten eggs
Beat together eggs, sugar, and spices until smooth. Add milk and pumpkin. Arrange unbaked pie crust in a pie plate, and fill with mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn the oven down to 325 and bake until firm. It will look lighter than most pumpkin pies, so test it with a toothpick.
Grating raw pumpkin by hand is a chore, so if you have a food-processor, you can do that, too. The important thing is to have a good pie-pumpkin, and to have the pumpkin raw when it goes into the pie. That way, all it’s lovely juices stay in the pie.