Friday, November 25, 2011

Medium: Pencils 6B and 2B

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"It was no accident that at the beginning of this chapter I applied the word 'capital' to the responsibility borne by the cinema author. By pointing up the idea like that -- even if the result is an exaggeration -- I wanted to emphasise the fact that the most convincing of the arts demands a special responsibility on the part of those who work in it: the methods by which cinema affects audiences can be used far more easily and rapidly for their moral decomposition, for the destruction of their spiritual defences, than the means of the old, traditional art forms. Actually providing spiritual weapons, of course, and directing people towards good, must always be difficult...

The director's task is to recreate life: its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of truth he has seen -- even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable..."

--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

Medium: HB Pencil

Medium: B Pencil

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Medium: Pencils 3H, B, HB

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Medium: Pencils, 3H, B and HB

Monday, November 14, 2011

Medium: Pencils B, 2B, 3H and HB

Max Monday

Max Beckmann - Die Landschaft, Cannes

Max Beckmann - Harbor by Bandol (Gray) and Palms

Max Beckmann - Beaulieu

Max Beckmann - Promenade des Anglais à Nice

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B and probably other ones

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Medium: Pencils B, 2B, HB and 3H

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

In the Fourth Age

"I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall [of Sauron], but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless - while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors - like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow - but it would be just that. Not worth doing." --J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #256, Letters of Tolkien

"I have written nothing beyond the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldarion about 100 years after the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the King's Peace would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have little interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable boredom of Men with the good: there would be secret societies practising dark cults, and 'orc-cults' among adolescents.)" --J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #338; Letters of Tolkien

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Departed

After work this evening I went to the cemetery for All Souls' Day and prayed a decade of the rosary in the rain.

All this month is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Isn't it neat how the Church calls them holy souls? They have the hope of the assurance of Heaven. Where there's hope there's ascension; where there's ascension there's holiness.

During work today two great blue herons flew over the hedge above me, side by side, flying low; their masterful wings working in that slow, strong sort of langour that makes me think of the way giant manta rays swim in the ocean.

Nature abounds with signs.

Pray for the holy souls in purgatory. They help us in turn. You know how people make sure to get into a person's intentions when that person has stated he is going on a pilgrimage to a holy place? You know, you're going to the tomb of Padre Pio? Oh, can you remember to pray for ______ when you're there please? We want something of ourselves to go along with them.

The ones in purgatory are on their way to the ultimate Holy of Holies. Wouldn't you want to make sure they have some trinket of your remembrance, that you helped them along the way?

They're going through the gates and you want to leave a note or something in their pockets to take out before the throne of God. Hey, what's this here in my pocket? Oh yeah, it's whatshisname - he helped me here Lord!

Cemeteries are so silent.

"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." --1 Corinthians 2:9

"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." --Steve Jobs' last words

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The origin of Christmas is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The origin of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ - as the origin of Good Friday is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

These are origins that are absolutely historical and absolutely supernatural. They are, in a more real sense, origins that are historical because they are supernatural - being neither merely historical nor merely supernatural. They are origins based in singular events.

Halloween has no such origin. This obvious statement is not made to the severely normal who already know it, but to the professional online Catholic apologists who, in their obsessive eagerness to show through a collation of factoids that Halloween is sooooooooo Catholic, end up doing nothing but make it look like Halloween is the third most important celebration in the Catholic Church after Easter and Christmas. Which, to be even more obvious, does nothing but denigrate Easter and Christmas into relativistic culture pie and culturally relativistic mish-mash. Like, everything's Catholic man; pass the bong.

As they all well understand, it's not even on the Catholic celebration roster. It's just the eve of a feast day - a feast day that used to be regarded with more importance than it is now. In Canada, All Saints Day is not even a holy day of obligation, which is sad.

One could even say that Halloween as we know it does not have an origin in any sense of the word. Definitely not in the sense of having an origin in an event. Certainly not an event as those originating Christmas and Easter; but neither an event that is merely historical, for any event that went into the Halloween weave through the years (such as Guy Fawkes) was no event of origin. It's just this kind of open-ended cultural phenomenon coming together, and yet coming together in no fully realized form or meaning, through strange meeting points in history.

It's more a long mutating string, or coalescing strings, of various practices, from various continents, from various times, all of them purely cultural, without any one event of origin; but the apologists point to them as though it were as definitively - nay, dogmatically - Catholic as the Apostolic line. (And God forbid you apostatize on the dogma of Halloween.) Their final, solid, resounding claim of the Catholic "origin" of Halloween, through pointing to the patchwork of past historical currents, is actually just as tenuous and hybridized today as it was back then.

The so-called puritanical person who suspects Halloween as so much ingratiation towards evil has in fact just as much a say (as much as one may disagree with him), based on the evidence of his eyes, as those who say that Halloween is soooooooo Catholic, without nary a one of them being any less Catholic or any more heretical than the other (though I'll put my money on the latter as the heretic). Why? Because they are both purely cultural appraisals about something that is, in its "origins" (which, again, are not origins really but meeting points between running historical developments), purely cultural.

I have fond memories of Halloween as a kid. I think it's great for kids to dress in costumes and trick-or-treat, and for adults to dress in costumes and to blow off fireworks and to party. Do I feel the need to defend it as being soooooooo Catholic? No. That it is merely All Hallows Eve (which just happens to be very culturally open-ended) is good enough for me. It's also a pretty good way of not becoming attached to it. It seems there are some though, like certain Potterheads, who simply cannot stand it for a second to have their entertainments questioned, even remotely. It's quite sad and pathetic.

At the end of the day there will still be seasoned Veterans who don't like watching war films, and Holocaust survivors who can't stand the sight of firearms, and people who have been awash in the occult, or been in contact with serious demonic infestation, who have reservations about what they see going on on Halloween. The day I would say to any of them that their suspicions make them puritanical and that they are just sooooooooo not Catholic and need to get more with it would be the day you find me at a big jubilant tent revival, jumping around and shouting, "Alleluia! I've seen the light!"

There are some things where it's better to just say that it's fun, and that that is the reason. Let the Catholic cards fall where they may.

Because, as it is, I just don't really believe that the neighbours down the street with their front plastic graveyard sets and polyester spider webs that they purchased at Wal-mart are exercising the same cathartic impulse to face the inevitability of death as those who painted scenes of the dance macabre during the Bubonic Plague. Just a hunch I have.

(But for fun? Good enough for me.)

And because I don't like the dictatorship of relativism that's being pawned off as Catholicism.

Hey, I just said 'Catholicism'!

I deserve a candy bar for that!

Hey! I just said 'candy bar'!

I'm so highfalutin.