Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Same pencils as the last one I think

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2H, and 6B and might have used B

Saturday, May 25, 2013

2H and might have been HB and 6B

Friday, May 24, 2013

Some time you're going to lose it all

Just watch it

"The first time I entered to show the cave, I had a chance to get in during five days; and it was so powerful that every night I was dreaming of lions. And every day was the same shock for me...after five days I decided not to go back because I needed time just to relax and take time to..."

"To absorb it?"

"To absorb it, yeah, yeah."

"And you dreamt not of paintings of lions, but of real lions."

"Of both. Of both, definitely."

"And you were afraid in your dreams."

"I was not afraid. No, no, I was not afraid. It was more...hmm, a feeling of powerful things, and deep things; a way to understand things which is not a direct way."


"Astonishing on this flute, is that it's pentatonic - and this is the same tonality we are used to here today."

Just finished watching Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Just watch it.

So fascinating. A few of the things said by Herzog and interviewed Experts is...whatever; and Herzog is, as ever, all about the Noble Savage, but whatever; and the commentary Herzog makes towards the end of the documentary with the albino alligators/crocodiles is frankly ridiculous nominalism. But a lot of what is said is also very striking and very deep. Think about a cave painting made around thirty thousand years ago, and that painting was added to by another artist five thousand years later - when it was still prehistory. As Herzog said, we are locked in history; they were not.

What the film documents is amazing. The cave paintings took my breath away. Prehistoric "cave men" were not ooga-booga-club-the-woman-and-drag-her-home "cave men". Clearly they were sophisticated, and the painting they did was not some primitive way of passing time, but was religion, not so much in the sense of art as religious ceremony, but in the sense of what the French man gives testimony to in the above quote about the lions.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HB and 2H and some others

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Man Chant

Been some while since listening me some Corsican. There was an entire album online once. Not now.

The Death that Leads to Life

The greatest labour of one's life will be physical death. Some receive instantaneous death rather than progressive dying. Being alive still on this earth, none of us can say that one is better than the other, though each of us hopes for instantaneous death (unwisely) so as to avoid the suffering which has nothing but ever-approaching death at its end.

For the most part, people are called to die-ing, and not to instantaneous death. Moreover, none of us can count on instantaneous death, and each of us must assume that progressive dying will be in store.

What is certain is that suffering here in this world has infinitely more value for the sanctification of others and ourselves than the suffering in purgatory, which may be longer endurance for those who receive instantaneous death instead of progressive dying.

To the offering of suffering in this world, there is no limit to the love with which it can be offered (and thus the great deeds that occur because of that love), but what we will to limit.

Indeed, suffering for love in this world and the perfect offering of one's death, by the merit of Christ made perfect, one can hope to bypass purgatory and go directly to Heaven - even if the life one has led to that point has been scarlet with sin, and the last minutes of life you have left are but a few.

Ever since John the Baptist’s time, the kingdom of heaven has opened to force; and the forceful are even now making it their prize; whereas all the prophets and the law, before John’s time, could only speak of things that were to come. --Matthew 11:12-13

Of course, the force is in the abandon with which you die to yourself.

This, to repeat, is certain: the greatest labour we will ever have in this world is the labour to which each one of our lives is headed: physical dying.

No morphine can remove this - the separation of the soul from the body, with the entirety of the lifetime you have lived standing out in irremovable relief, each moment standing on its own.

And we are called to leave the manner of our death up to God, whether it be instantaneous or progressive. Also, we are not only to offer our life to God; we are to offer our death to God, and not only when we are dying, but right now.

Have you offered your death to God?

You should.

What if our lives became that very labour, so that physical death itself was the easiest thing, and was no labour at all?

Monday, May 20, 2013

3H and 2B

something or other

Sunday, May 19, 2013


By Pavel Chichikov

Show me my life, I said,
In His hand a silver box,
Can I open it now? I said
It is here, there are no locks

In the palm of His hand it rested
Dull and heavy silver,
The weight of Him had blessed it,
A sign was on the cover

When I tried to lift it
It came not light away,
Be careful child, address it
With words that I shall say

He spoke the words, I listened
And then I tried to speak
What I had heard, repeat it:
Show me the love I seek

Then I looked inside it
And all the life inside
Blazed with love I’d given
                       And all the rest had died 

By Pavel Chichikov

If you can fly show us your wings
Let us see the iridescence,
Sing to us the love of heaven,
Perching on the crescent moon

Your wish is too extravagant
I am the humblest of the shadows,
I am the yellow swallowtail
I bring the angels down to scale

If I would show you how I am
You could not see me from up close,
You would stand back a thousand yards
And then deny me afterwards

But if you feel the brush of wind
Go past you on a summer night,
It is my wing that you will feel
                        But that alone to know I’m real

The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

Oh well

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"A crisis of values that is extremely deep"

"It is quite important to recreate a mechanism where liquidity is separated from large scale financial gambling." 

In other words, money must be issued debt-free (without interest) in the public interest (the common good) and its quantity transparently controlled. This implies that the state's sovereign right must be exercised for this to happen (the government must issue the money to the good produced) and the power taken away from the banks that have enslaved the governments.

"We have basically two levels of decision-making. One is separating liquidity in the banking sector from other kinds of speculative financial activity. This I would do for sure...the second point then is...whether fractional reserve banking itself has value enough to keep it in its current form."

"Really I can only emphasize the palpable anger and vulnerability that's felt right now is very, very high."

"I believe we have a crisis of values that is extremely deep...Because the regulations and the legal structures need reform...But I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now. I'm going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. I'm talking about the human interactions that I have. I've not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably. These people are out to make billions of dollars and nothing should stop them from that. They have no responsibility to pay taxes, they have no responsibility to their clients, they have no responsibility to people's counter-parties in transactions; they are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control - in a quite literal sense. And they have gained the system to a remarkable extent, and they have a docile president, a docile White House, and a docile regulatory system that absolutely cannot find its voice; it's terrified of these companies. If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the U.S. system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I'm afraid to say. Both parties are up to their necks in this. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans; it really doesn't have anything to do with right wing or left wing; the corruption is as far as I can see, everywhere. But what it has led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now, and it's very, very unhealthy. I have waited for five years now to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language, and I've not seen it once. And that is shocking to me."

 --Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University (Bold italics mine)

Friday, May 17, 2013


Hm, very interesting.

Right now - this very second - is before Vatican II.

In a certain sense.

Just a thought.

But wouldn't that be just like Reality, to do that to us?

"I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers - the true Council - but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council in and of itself, and the world perceived the Council through them, through the media. So the immediately efficiently Council that got thorough to the people, was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers evolved within the faith, it was a Council of the faith that sought the intellectus, that sought to understand and try to understand the signs of God at that moment, that tried to meet the challenge of God in this time to find the words for today and tomorrow. So while the whole council - as I said - moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of journalists did not, naturally, take place within the world of faith but within the categories of the media of today, that is outside of the faith, with different hermeneutics. It was a hermeneutic of politics. The media saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of whatever faction best suited their world...

"...the true Council has struggled to materialize, to be realized: the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real strength of the Council was present and slowly it has emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength. And it is our task, in this Year of Faith, starting from this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and Church is really renewed." --Pope Benedict XVI just before becoming Pope Emeritus

"Hoom there, hasty little Hobbit, let me tell you a story now, what's the hasty way of putting it - the Second Vatican Council - do you have some time?"    

Artwork: by Alan Lee

HB, 6B and 2H

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Live Action serves the killing of babies

People who support Live Action's tactics cannot get past diversionary and inconsequential analogies. That much is pretty clear.

It is strange that they cling so hard to these diversionary and inconsequential analogies, because all of their analogies are totally pathetic, and are totally ridiculous. But that's what liars do - they argue with diversions.

Their analogies are also totally discontinuous from one another, being a hodgepodge of what about telling your wife her pants don't make her look fat? to what about the Eucharistic species? to what about telling your kids about Santa Claus? to what about police doing sting operations? and blah, blah, blah. They pick one up, then let it drop, then pick up another. They are not thinking with the Church.

Is Live Action's tactic even saving a life in any remote sense? There's this sentimental assumption that the results of their "stings" will be saved babies. It's total crap. All what they are doing is playing into the full legal standing which the abortion industry wields, and helping to solidify it like cement - nay, helping to pour more cement on the forty foot thick cement foundations.

For they are going after the illegal maneuvers of abortion providers - doing so under the delusion of grandeur that what they are doing will save babies and start a domino effect that will bring the abortion industry all crashing down, like it'll be Abortiongate or something.

They are very much out of touch - like people who think they can build relationships through texting.

So anyways, all that illegal stuff the abortion mills do, or are willing to do - like helping pimps - is bad, but all the legal stuff they do - you know, like killing babies - is alright?

Because that's what you people are saying when you use analogies like drug-busting sting operations and investigating teachers who might be abusing students, etc.

Like I said: playing into the full legal standing which the abortion industry wields.

Monday, May 13, 2013

When we say, "the Virgin Mary"

When we say, "the Virgin Mary", we are ultimately giving glory to God. For being the bearer of Christ she was before, during, and after birth, kept a virgin - by the very Incarnation. This virginity is distinctively miraculous; thus it is forever fiat, forever deferring, and being made manifest and sustained by God, it shows the benignity of God, the transcendence of God, in the very way by which he manifested himself to us; shows how conformity to him gives him glory and that his glory is our salvation; that the means by which He came into our world was not merely a "means", for he is all love.

In the most pivotal event in the history of the world, in which God became incarnate, the virgin and immaculate woman through whom He was made incarnate was kept virginal.

Realize this, and see it right: her virginity, in conjunction with her humility, magnifies the Lord. Thus is the praise-reason we attribute the title virgin to her: it gives glory to God through her. We do not praise her with the title virgin because it causes us to realize the positivity of chastity and its integration of sexuality in the human person, just as we do not praise her with the same title because we believe that sex is dirty. It's precisely because it is something we clearly did not bring about ourselves, though the human race unknowingly participated.

No, it is to give glory to the God who gives us eros in the first place (simply as an integral part of our being, often to be mortified as the means of actually sustaining and stewarding it, and not as an over-heading occupation to which we were meant to blindly cling as some sort of means of "rocket-packing" our way to the "stars").

Through that daughter in whom we see perfect lowliness and perfect exaltation, set apart from the claims, efforts, toils of the loves of man, God grants us freedom from the fever troubles of self-exaltation (so often concomitant with eros), and with its inevitable downfall the despairing fever troubles of impotency and insufficiency, freedom from Aphrodite and Venus - and that freedom is perfectly lowly and perfectly exalted.

And to give glory to God through the Immaculate fills us with joy as we find our place as children of God, as we find ourselves, our true selves, as we were meant to be, if still in the here and now incomplete: it does not begin with sexuality nor does it end with sexuality, this glory to God as his children, to God for whom our mortification is no obstacle to giving his children an entirely new eros; for whom mortification is not just not an obstacle, but the death through which he can redeem. The power is out of our hands, historically once and for all, and God himself can take up his seat in ourselves.

That which is loss is gain, and that which we hold onto is rendered unredeemable by that very clinging and preoccupation. To act and say otherwise is to say that our God is ineffectual at bringing life through death.

Mortification is a radical trust in the new life that God gives. And radical trust is fiat. It begins with filiality.

We see in the virginal conception of Jesus the reality that God is absolute, and absolutely transcendent, whose ways are not our ways; as well as the fullest identification with man ever achievable: showing us man in his perfect fullness, without sin.

So we see the way in which God comes to us - as inscrutable and ineffable. We see in the way in which God comes to us a revelation about who God is - wholly good, wholly benign, wholly transcendent. We see in the revelation of God the closest and most perfect communion: encountering the man, who is fully man, wholly without sin.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Who have you been?

Who are you becoming? Who will you be at last?

Fr. Philip N. Powell has a stirring homily on the Ascension of the Lord.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Drive slow and drive carefully with attention

About two weeks ago on a Sunday there was a vehicle accident not too far from where I live. The first I heard of it was at the beginning of mass when Father informed everyone. He said the family that was killed wasn't expecting to die that day.

A husband and father, who was not involved in the accident but was at home, lost in an instant his entire family. Two women and three children were killed. Thus far it appears a man driving a minivan went through a red light. He was going so fast that the impact sent the car with the family in it flying into a metal lamp pole, shearing the car in two. The impact was so severe that a pair of sunglasses was found imbedded in the metal pole. The minivan that struck the car was located 200 meters away from the point of impact. A man who lives nearby said the sound was like a bomb had gone off.

The man who apparently went through the red light survived, in critical condition obviously. The reasons for the collision have not been ascertained.

Officers and firefighters with decades of experience have said this was the worst they had ever seen. When firefighters break down in tears from having witnessed such a scene it means that there were body parts everywhere - of children.

I guess the point of this post is to say, drive slow; drive defensively; always, no matter what, do the speed limit, in spite of tailgaters; always look left and right at every single intersection, no matter if it's a four way with lights or not; and if you are going through a green light without having to stop, try and be aware of what's there on the left and right of the intersection, which is easier to do if you are driving slow.

And the other point is to say, say a prayer for those involved in the accident and for the bereaved, if you have the mind to. A second of carelessness (though it looks like it very well may have been recklessness) can mean the ending of life.

2H, HB and B pencils

Swimmer and Flyer

"Tell me about swimming, and I shall tell you about flying", the bird sang to the man.

And the man said to the bird, "More - I will tell you how man was made for walking on water."

The bird said, "I always thought you were exceedingly strange creatures; made for something as strange and contradictory to you as walking would be strange and contradictory to the whale who, having walked on land, was then made to fly."

"It is so", said the man. "At first when the Man Catcher took me to the tides, he slung me on his shoulders. They were such big shoulders, and I was but a thin little waif. He swam with me on his shoulders and the water seemed shallow. I was convinced it wasn't all that deep when he took me far from the shore."

"Or rather you did not need to think about it."

"One way of putting it," said the man. "The Man Catcher then unslung me from his shoulders in the water and held me as I learned to swim. The water's depth then started to dawn on me."

"Like the great curve of the earth as you go higher in the air," said the bird.

"Maybe so. But then he let go of me in the water while I was only still learning to swim. I was always thinking I was always learning and therefore never ready to try and do it. There is no ready, really. He let go of me. And I swam. But you know, together with that excitement and confidence of strength, I can't describe how horrible the thought of the deepness of the water was. The water suddenly became very, very deep. And monsters from the darkness below were suddenly, in my mind, free to come up and devour me."

"A horrible thought", said the bird, shuddering.

"Yes. Then when I was most tired - we were so far out from any shore - I started to panic. 'Surely you will carry me on your shoulders, Sir, for there is no way I can make it back to shore!', I said, quite sure that he would not let me drown from losing my strength. But with that, the Man Catcher said, 'Well, if you're tired of swimming then get up and walk!' And I said, 'But how can I possibly start walking on water when I've only just started swimming, and when I am so tired out at that! You're asking too much! How?!' And he answered, 'Just like this!' And with that he climbed out of the water and started walking around on its surface like he was dallying through a quiet meadow. He put his hand out to me. This gesture took away my fears and I took it. Swimming suddenly became a thing of toil - a mean feat. I was walking on water! But you know, I cannot describe how very deep, how bottomless the water then became, with no guard - not even the thinnest glass - against the fathomless abyss yawning directly under my feet. The walking was so simple, but the abyss was at its most real!"

Then the bird sang, "The higher we fly in the air, you know, the more we feel he sustains us, and we become like nothings - nothings sustained and kept from annihilation by him whom you speak of, sustained by his very own being. We seek not to understand ourselves, but only as he understands us."

"Yes," said the man. "When I walked on water, the less I concerned myself with myself, the more I was available - because I was so small, so at times like nothing - for the administration of innumerable riches and for receiving the depths of His love. And by the way, those depths of love made the abyss below my feet something like a puddle - or rather, all the facets of its depths were revealed, even though unseen."

"The earth is revealed to us in like manner. It is then we are usually asked to descend back to it and sing our songs."

"The walking on water", said the man, "was something I thought might be attainable by thinking the waters more and more shallow, and me, more and more practiced, until one day I could just step out and walk. But it was very much the opposite: the water became deeper and deeper, and my knowledge and expertise less and less so."

"It is then heaven is revealed to you in like manner, for the Man Catcher emptied himself to death, abandoned, and you attain the song that is so ancient you have never sung it yet."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Women behave like men and men behave like women

"What is at odds here is the pagan and Christian conceptions of femininity and virginity.  It is the ongoing conflict between light and darkness in Christian Chivalry, between the goddess and the Blessed Mother.  There is, of course, a very legitimate sense in which femininity symbolizes the immanent as opposed to the masculine transcendent.  God is both.  But if he is present to the world it is because he created it from nothing and sustains it in existence, and this means that He is totally other, that is, radically transcendent from that which He creates.  This is why God is a He and not a She. Pantheistic religions, on the other hand, give such high value to the feminine, that is, to the goddess, because for them, the divine is radically immanent.  It is to be identified with creation.  The reading of this immanence leads to the topsy-turviness of radical feminism and the masculine worship of sex.  Either way, women are the losers."

--Fr. Angelo in his post Queen of the May

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dig it

Digging trenches for water drainage today uncovered a wealth of pigments. The backyard of an upscale home is at the top of a forest ravine. You can hear the creek down below; you can catch at times the faint waftings of the skunk cabbages - a wonderful smell.

The strata we uncovered was like a sort of dream: ambers, orange reds, pink purples, honey yellows, deep ochres, russets, deep rusty reds, and each of them in pure solid chunks that would crumble apart in the hands, just waiting to be levigated and ground down and put into labelled glass jars later to be mixed with linseed oil or egg.

The dirt of the top layer onto which we shoveled the strata was a black. With each shovelful we painted that black surface. Along the trenches were the winding mounds of changing hues.

I keep telling myself I will go and collect pigments from the earth.

Anyways, then the Boss hit a glass bottle - the kind of bottle you know is old by the style of it and the fact that it was that deep down in the earth.

Then we hit a plastic children's Scooby-Doo pool.

It had a very 70's vibe to it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013