Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ozarks 26-27.6.04: Christianity and Candles


Kats Rest again—the boys, Luke, Colin, and Pat with us. And I have done research and confirmed I’m wrong about Walpurgisnacht. It’s actually May Day eve, I think, so April. So it competes with the Marian cult, the crowning of the Virgin, which sacralizes all those old pagan May customs.

Today would have been Simpson’s 53rd birthday. R.I.P.

Thoreau, Walden, “Solitude”: “I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.”


“I believe that the more one loves, the more one will act; for that love is only a feeling I would never recognize as love . . .” (van Gogh to Theo, May 1883).

Sun just now in the pines atop the hill on the eastern horizon. Cool and clear—amazing for late June. A west wind came yesterday and swept the storms away—or at least the external ones.

There seems always one inside me. I awake at various times, pain and numbness hither and yon . . . .

I seemed at dawn to hear a howling in the woods—wolf? Aren’t they all gone from here (but can they migrate back)? Coyote? Brassie seemed to hear and be disturbed by it.

One faint trickle of sunlight on my journal now. I think of Wilson Bachelor’s eulogy for his sister Sarah, who had been blind and deaf many years, how he says she’d walk into the sun she couldn’t see and say, “Oh, the blessed sunlight!”

Sun now a radiant necklace, jewels of rarest glory, across the neck of the pines. The sky cloudless and cerulean blue except for a trail of airplane smoke streaking down the eastern sky, now illumined by the sun.

Again, the way I sit here and see first one tiny spot, one tree, one tuft of upthrust plants catch fire, makes me feel as if I’m in an inverted bowl. This green glade is the world. The sky’s its bottom.

+ + + + +

“There is commonly sufficient space about us. Our horizon is never quite at our elbows. The thick wood is not just at our door, nor the pond, but somewhat is always clearing, familiar and worn by us, appropriated and fenced in some way, and reclaimed from Nature. For what reason have I this vast range and circuit, some square miles of unfrequented forest, for my privacy, abandoned to me by men?” (Thoreau, Walden, “Solitude”).

+ + + + +

Ah. Blessed sun, now shining directly on my face. Must be about 8:45.

I dreamt somehow of work, the transition, dreams both foreboding and soothing, which I cannot recapture. . . . Of how some of the operators there would go so far as to erase the hard drives of their computers. Thought also of Andrews and his emailing Pelt to call me a perverted little weasel, and to speak of R.’s drinking. And of M.B. Ross and K. Mitchell and L. Chapman when we were in Salt Lake and news of the downsizing broke. What unadmirable human beings.

Thinking also of that catechism for Catholic voters which speaks of abortion as a “non-negotiable,” and Hoefling’s praise of Jugis, who protected Littleton right up to the audits—effectively lying. She also supports Solari in his lies.

Where is the center of moral gravity in such a church? For my money, the bishops’ willingness to lie is much more damaging to the church and morally reprehensible than those who support gay marriage.

This ecclesiology that seeks to turn the R.C. church into a Republican country club, with behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, and strategic lies: it’s utterly despicable. And yet these same folks claim they’re defending tradition.

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