“All kinds of things rejoiced my soul in their company–to talk and laugh, and to do other kindnesses; to read pleasant books together; to pass from lightest jesting to talk of the deepest things and back again; to differ without rancor, as persons might differ with themselves, and when most rarely dissension arose, to find our normal agreement all the sweeter for it; to teach each other and to learn from each other. These and such things kindled a flame that fused our very souls together and made us one out of many. – Saint Augustine
“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” – T.S. Eliot
(1) Pink Floyd: The Endless River (COS)
(2) David Gilmour and Nick Mason discuss ‘The Endless River’ – The organ on Autumn 68′ is pretty haunting. It was played by Wright and recorded in 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall. According to Gilmour, they were banned from playing for life (apparently) at the Albert Hall for putting great nails in the stage. I guess the managers have forgiven him because he’s playing there in September.
I’ve written this before but I’m infinitely more happy NOT writing about (or following) politics. On the other hand, I’ve been roused by the gross proliferation of trough-eaters oozing and matriculating from every layer of our spent culture.
On second thought, I’m going back to sleep now. Please wake me when there’s a candidate and party that believes in (1) private property, (2) free markets, (3) the profit and loss system, and (4) limited government.
“One of the major themes of this primary season has been Republican voters angry at their own party in Congress, anger that is both more jarring and more unforgiving in a party whose top-to-bottom strength in Congress and state capitols is the best it has been since the 1920s. At the core of that anger is a sense that the Capitol Hill GOP never seems to get around to doing the things it promises the grassroots even with significant majorities in both Houses of Congress. Meanwhile, voters see Republicans on the Hill trying time and again to cut deals with Democrats to serve the interests of the donor and lobbyist classes, like saving the Export-Import Bank or repealing the medical-device tax. Why, voters want to know, does Obama keep winning? Why don’t the people we elected deliver what they promised, or at least leave some blood on the floor trying?”
“Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t…If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.”
“Gravity keeps everything in its own place. Fire climbs up, while a stone goes down. Elements that are not in their own place are restless until they find it. This applies also to us. My weight is my love; wherever I go, I am driven by it. By the love of God we catch fire ourselves and, by moving up, find our place and our rest.” – St. Augustine
“On earth we are wayfarers, always on the go. This means that we have to keep on moving forward. Therefore be always unhappy about what you are if you want to reach what you are not.” – St. Augustine
(1) China’s Ghost Cities (YouTube)
(3) The Millennial Mindset and America’s Productivity Crisis (Fox Business)
(4) David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock (Official Music Video) (YouTube)
(5) The Most Stunning Stained Glass Windows In The World (Huffington Post)
(1) Yellen’s Job Puzzle: Why Are 20-Somethings Retiring? (Bloomberg)
I’ve been having problems with WordPress for a couple of weeks since a version update. I usually take these technical challenges as a sign to ‘retire’ from blogging and move onto other projects.
(3) Breaking Up? Let an App Do It for You (NY Times)
(4a) A quote from It’s a Wonderful Life:
“You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.” – George Bailey
(5) On the Underground Review with Tom Vasel (YouTube)
(6) **NEW** Star Wars and Fake Nerds
“The present moment is always overflowing with immeasurable riches, far more than you are able to hold. Your faith will measure it out to you: as you believe, so you will receive. Love, too, is also a measure. The more you love the more you will want and the more you will get.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade
I couldn’t make it a full year between retreats and was elated to learn there was an open space for one retreatant during the third week of Advent. This retreat didn’t have the challenge of subarctic temperatures -or- the excitement of my lil’ car being stuck in a snowdrift but it was imbued with a sense of anticipation.
“Filled with joy, she [Mary] regarded everything she had to do or suffer at any moment of her life as a gift from him who showers delights upon those who hunger and thirst only for him and not for the things of the world.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Similar to prior retreats, my overnighter included two books for reading/reflection. The first was Arise from Darkness by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel; the second was Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade. I’ve excerpted a couple of quotes from both.
“In the course of the years one becomes weary of conflict and sorrow. One longs for the fulfillment of the most profound needs of the human heart–for peace from conflict within and without, for a place free of danger and disappointment, for relationships untroubled by change and unmarred by selfishness. One longs to see, at last, the beauty of God, which has summoned us throughout life, shining out here and there. The words of the Psalm take on a poignant meaning as one gets older, “I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house and the place where thy glory dwells” (PS 26:8) – Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.
“To be satisfied with the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will moving through all we have to do and suffer as events crowd in upon us. If we are like this, the liveliness of our faith will compel us to adore God no matter how humiliating the circumstances in which he places us. There is noting which can conceal him from the penetrating gaze of our faith. If our senses insist, “There is no God,” the more closely and firmly do we clasp to us our bunch of myrrh. We are neither astonished nor disgusted by anything.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade
I didn’t take very may photographs during this retreat (the weather was a little uncooperative), but did snap this one of the steeple of the Eucharistic Chapel.
(1) Make Time For It: Meantime X Brompton collaboration (YouTube)
Home-Thoughts, from Abroad
Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on orchard bough
In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Bossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he signs each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
– Robert Browning
(4) A related flea market find (Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market): Transport Through the Ages (A SERIES OF 25, ISSUED BY CLOVER DAIRIES LTD. in 1967)
The world’s greatest liner, the Cunard White Star “Queen Elizabeth.” Gross tonnage is 83,673 tons, and overall length 1,031 ft.
“Instead of eyes that flashed with sudden fury, there was a sensation of churning fires within the eye sockets — eyes that had no pupils. There was no way anyone could communicate with such a being. He was like some alien force that had its own way of seeing, some unknown sensory perception that commanded everything before it…Chernobog was definitely from some other world and projected an unsettling spell over all in his presence.”
(3) Strolling in an Hermès Wanderland (Wallpaper*)
“Walking through the streets of most major cities, it seems that the art of aimlessly wandering is long lost. ‘It’s nice to just sit at a café or on a bench,’ muses Dumas. ‘To watch people and not do anything and watch time go by. I think it has become a luxury today, when everybody’s so busy.’ Dumas refers to a human habit that emerged in post-Industrial Revolution Paris in the nineteenth century, the activity of near non-activity: ‘flâner’. An almost untranslatable French word, it means to wander, to stroll.”
(3a) A related quote from The Heart of our Cities by Victor Gruen:
“The city is the crowded sidewalks, the covered galleries of Italy, the arcades and colonnades, and the people on them and in them, some bustling, some walking for pleasure (spazieren gehen, they call it in Vienna), some engaged in the age-old tradition of the corso or the promenade.”
“An illustration of how this desire for publicity can influence the architect’s work can be found in comparing two air terminal buildings designed by the same architect, the late, extremely gifted Eero Saarinen. One of these buildings, the TWA terminal at Idlewild, New York (now John F. Kennedy International Airport), obviously was based on the client’s desire to outdo all its competitors’ displays of originality and glamour as they are lined up in that “World’s Fair” of air terminal buildings at the International Airport. The result is a tour de force that offers some excitement but little comfort or convenience to the air traveler. The second air terminal building designed by Eero Saarinen is at the Dulles Airport in Washington D.C., and inasmuch as it is one central structure serving all competitive airlines, the desire for advertising was not present. The result is an excellent, handsome structure offering innovations in the transport of the passengers to the plane which will probably pioneer similar arrangements all over the world and which, as far as human users are concerned, will provide quietude, convenience, comfort and “delight.” Yet I will not be surprised if that superior terminal in Washington will create less furor and excitement in our mass communications media and in the architectural press than did the first one.”
I was at NYCC yesterday with my brother and snapped this photo of the orange ninja. It’s his 15th anniversary.
(1a) Orange Ninja Factoid from Naruto: The Official Fanbook
“According to the neighborhood records, Naruto’s hobby is gardening. A little surprising, but possibly he sees himself as a seed that would be a flower…”