Archive for January, 2014

January 21, 2014

circling round you

Then someone gave the great command
All things paired off for the dance
The great to small the small to grand…
The hawk around the field mouse
The love around a lover’s mouth…
The angels round their crowded pins
The amber-waved electrons spin
In planetary transits
Round the ones they’re bound to…
The ghost around the one it haunts
The want around the thing it wants…
Love or gravity or law
Whatever name it’s got it’s got me
Circling round you

From Josh Ritter’s song “Orbital” from his album So Runs the World Away. (I realized that I already posted some lines from this song a while back.)

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January 12, 2014

lowering his beak in a gesture of reverence

In desperation, since knocking wasn’t working, he began to kick the door and bang his head against it. Then a beautiful girl came to the window, her hair sky-blue, her face white as a waxen image. Her eyes were closed and her hands were folded across her chest, and without moving her lips she said, in a tiny voice that seemed to come from the world beyond, “There is no one in this house. They are all dead.”
“Open the door yourself, at least!” begged Pinocchio, weeping.
“I too am dead.”
“Dead? But then what are you doing there at the window?”
“I am waiting for the coffin to come and carry me away.” As soon as she had uttered those words, the girl disappeared, and the window closed again without a sound.
“Oh, Beautiful Girl with Sky-Blue Hair,” yelled Pinocchio, “for pity’s sake open the door! Have mercy on a poor boy chased by murd—”
But he was unable to finish the word, for he felt himself being seized by the neck, and he heard two familiar voices growl menacingly: “You won’t get away again!”

…When the Beautiful Girl with Sky-Blue Hair came to her window again, she was moved to pity by the sight of that poor wretch, dangling by his neck, dancing a jig with the north wind. She brought her hands together three times, making three soft claps. Her signal was followed by a great beating of wings, as an enormous falcon hurtled down from the sky and landed on the windowsill. “What is your command, my lovely Fairy?” said the Falcon, lowering his beak in a gesture of reverence. (For it just so happens that the Girl with Sky-Blue Hair was nothing other than the kindest of fairies, one who had dwelt in and around that forest for more than a thousand years.)
“Do you see that puppet dangling from a branch of the Big Oak?”
“I see him.”
“Now then: fly to him at once, use your powerful beak to tear apart the knot that keeps him suspended in the air, and lay him out gently on the grass, there at the foot of the tree.”

From Geoffrey Brock’s translation of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (1826–1890).

January 1, 2014

you cannot visit the child without visiting the mother

From G.K. Chesterton in The Everlasting Man:

Here begins, it is needless to say, another mighty influence for the humanisation of Christendom. If the world wanted what is called a non-controversial aspect of Christianity, it would probably select Christmas. Yet it is obviously bound up with what is supposed to be a controversial aspect (I could never at any stage of my opinions imagine why); the respect paid to the Blessed Virgin. When I was a boy a more Puritan generation objected to a statue upon my parish church representing the Virgin and Child. After much controversy, they compromised by taking away the Child. One would think that this was even more corrupted with Mariolatry, unless the mother was counted less dangerous when deprived of a sort of weapon. But the practical difficulty is also a parable. You cannot chip away the statue of a mother from all round that of a new-born child. You can not suspend the new-born child in mid-air; indeed you cannot really have a statue of a new-born child at all. Similarly, you cannot suspend the idea of a new-born child in the void or think of him without thinking of his mother. You cannot visit the child without visiting the mother; you cannot in common human life approach the child except through the mother. If we are to think of Christ in this aspect at all, the other idea follows as it is followed in history. We must either leave Christ out of Christmas, or Christmas out of Christ, or we must admit, if only as we admit it in an old picture, that those holy heads are too near together for the haloes not to mingle and cross.

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