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Start of the Christian Church Year

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — the chief benefit of observing a liturgical calendar is found in the subtle modulations in rhythm across the year it affords the observant faithful ]
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In terms of the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches — but not yet, I think, the Orthodox — this is the first Sunday in the season of Advent, a period of expectation of the coming of the Christ Child, and of his Second Coming at the end of days, and marks the start of the liturgical Year in their calendars.

Here’s JS Bach, bringing us a Cantata for the First Sunday in Advent, and thus a fitting opening to the season:

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Zenpundit wishes its Christian readers a Happy New Year!

Sunday surprise, Joni I — frostbite and sunstroke

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — a study in dualities in songs of the wondrous joni m ]
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Okay, let’s start with the source of that supremely compressed universe, frostbite and sunstroke:

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I say, “compressed universe” because those two words represent the two poles of the entire universe from one angle, and wherever two such poles are present, they transcend:

  • breath, death
  • alpha, omega
  • womb, tomb
  • etc
  • Wikipedia:

    The unity of opposites is the central category of dialectics, said to be related to the notion of non-duality in a deep sense

    Heraclitus:

    The road up and the road down are the same

    Nicolas of Cusa [in Joseph Kelly, The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition:

    God is the principle of unity, of identity, bringing together in himself all opposites and then transcending them. He is the opposite of the opposites. He negates the contradictions of the world.

    He is the opposite of the opposites!

    And Wikipedia again:

    Mircea Eliade, a 20th-century historian of religion, used the term extensively in his essays about myth and ritual, describing the coincidentia oppositorum as “the mythical pattern”. Psychiatrist Carl Jung, the philosopher and Islamic Studies professor Henry Corbin as well as Jewish philosophers Gershom Scholem and Abraham Joshua Heschel also used the term.

    That’s pretty much my reading list for eternity, plus or minus Plotinus, Shakespeare and the Upanishads..

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    So, Joni. Singer-writer in a long tradition.. Vic Garbarini, Joni Mitchell is a Nervy Broad:

    For Mitchell, ordinary life is a semioticist’s paradise, a place where coincidence and synchronicity can be the catalysts that reveal glimpses of a deeper pattern, a unity that underlies and ultimately resolves what appear on the surface to be irreconcilable opposites. In Mitchell’s tales of incredible coincidences on steamy streets or chance encounters with affable drunks in hotel lobbies, vital pieces of the puzzle drop into place, and the whole is glimpsed.

    Oh yes, Joni sees both sides now:

    Jesus, take the wheel

    Friday, December 7th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — despair or certain hope? ]
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    Under the headline The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report, we read (upper panel):

    An Urban Dictionary entry captures the sense of helplessness..

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    Carrie Underwood‘s song, from which the phrase “Jesus, take the wheel” is drawn, uses driving too fast and spinning out of control on black ice as its example of a situation where that prayer arises, setting the scene with the despairing line:

    she was running low on faith and gasoline

    In her despair, she finds surrender:

    Jesus, take the wheel
    Take it from my hands
    ‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
    I’m letting go
    So give me one more chance
    And save me from this road I’m on
    Jesus, take the wheel

    The car comes to rest on the shoulder of the road, and —

    And for the first time in a long time
    She bowed her head to pray
    She said I’m sorry for the way
    I’ve been living my life
    I know I’ve got to change
    So from now on tonight

    Jesus, take the wheel..

    Listen:

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    For reasons outside my control, when I first played this song it was followed automatically and much to my surr[prise by this, from Handel, and apt for the season:

    Perhaps there’s an answer here to the White House staffers’ despair — speaking of the Christ child, Handel, quoting Isaiah, instructs us:

    And the government shall be upon his shoulders

    The government..

    Beauty and the Beast

    Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — samson draws honey from a lion, beauty draws a toccata from the great organ of laon cathedral ]
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    Beauty is wrestling the beast:

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    There’s a beast overcome and a treasure drawn forth from it in Judges 14.5-9:

    Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand.. and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating..

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    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz is wrestling the great organ of the Cathedral of Laon, and drawing forth from it the Toccata from Léon Boëllmann‘s Suite Gothique, opus 25:

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    Honey!

    Donne Dylan DoubleQuote

    Monday, November 19th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — on the supposed world-shape — real, imagin’d, or foggy with scattered insights ]
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    Here:

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    Two to my mind great poets of the language on the world-shape.

    The first, John Donne, brilliantly stands astride the ancient metaphysical and modern scientific understandings of world-shape with his stunning, succinct corners of the round earth — he’s familiar to the point of ownership with both traditions, at a time when the ancient was ceding way to the modern..

    The second, Bob Dylan, shuffles anonymously among us at a no less fraught time of anguish as to realities, sings unsure of what’s what or which — a coin toss, a twist of fate..

    bard’s wyrd.


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