Thursday, 31 May 2012

You Can Run, But You Can Never Hide...

A beautiful day calls for time outside, and I answered that call in multiple ways.  I weeded different gardens, mowed lawns, and picked roses that smelled ever-so-sweet.

After lunch, I felt I needed to be outside again, and it was time to bike to the library.  It was so pleasant, not too warm or cold, and the air smelled very fresh.  After browsing biographies of old actors (Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Jimmy Stewart and others) for about an hour, I checked out my books and went on my way again, in order to escape something that was bothering me.

Crossing the busy main street, I decided to read a book by the Mississippi River (read a book sitting near the river, not written by the river).  I was so excited to delve into the wonderful pages and travel to another world for a few moments.  At first, I wanted to read on some steps, but they were marked off with yellow caution tape, probably because of the rainfall/water gauge levels.

But alas, (I will restrain from divulging all details while being over-dramatic), the very element I was attempting to escape found me. And I was not even trying to let it.

I fought it, by the river, sitting very distractedly, while reading my book.  I was glad when I looked at my iPod and found it was time for me to cook supper.

On the ride home I thought about this little happening (how even though I tried to flee from something, it was where I fled to) and was struck with the realisation that has actually struck me more than once:  Running from situations, no matter how trivial they may be, will not mend anything.

Running is always an option, but hiding is not a best friend.  It is too often that we should be fighting instead of running.

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Swing

It may seem trivial, but has anyone ever noticed what fun a person has when he or she sits and swings up and down?  Stevenson captured the feeling in his poem "The Swing".  Swinging is so close to flying: What's not to like?  
After moving and settling down, a swing is put up: It is a marker, a small monument, that this is home.  
                                         The Swing
                                                                By Robert Louis Stevenson

                                                     How do you like to go up in a swing, 
                                                               Up in the air so blue?
                                                     Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
                                                                Ever a child can do!

                                                         Up in the air and over the wall, 
                                                               Till I can see so wide, 
                                                      Rivers and trees and cattle and all, 
                                                               Over the country side --
                                                      Till I look down on the garden green, 
                                                           Down on the roof so brown --
                                                         Up in the air I go flying again,
                                                             Up in the air and down!


Stevenson, Robert Louis, and Tasha Tudor. A Child's Garden of Verses. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. Print.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

scones et thé

Scones and teatime!  (Camillia sisnensis, for those who prefer Latin, and apologies; no pictures of tea...)

Raspberry Blueberry Almond
(One could almost call in the Minnesota fruit swirly tornado...)

Oh how lovely.  The swing made it in.  Just perfect.  I loved how they turned out, and that the colors retained their individuality!  No blob of running colors.  Simply swirls.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Phantom or Raoul? Eros or...

I do not understand why some elements are torturous for some and a source of pure energy and excitement for others. Especially those that are unpredictable and outrageously burdensome. Perhaps I can understand, somewhat, as I know people who think writing, for any reason, is outrageously burdensome, while it gives me a source of excitement.

If anyone has ever read, heard, or listened to The Phantom of the Opera, he or she is most likely to wonder what happened to Christine Daae at the end of the adventure in the Paris Opera house.

Because I love Sarah Brightman's voice, Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, and even the movie version of Miss Daae, I decided I should read the book. And I did. What was strange, however, was that while I looked at it from a Christian worldview the entire time, I was on Raoul's side only the first three quarters of Leroux's novel.  Another book, however, helped me discover the truth and message of the real Phantom.

The last quarter I was won over by the Phantom. Even though I did not want to be. Leroux even blatantly stated “...why is it that we all cheer on the Phantom...?” (My quoting is not exact, but pretty close: I'll find citing later).

So I actually thought about it for three days. And nights. Okay, I did get sleep, but I was really wondering why I had, for the majority of the book, rooted for the decent fellow, only to switch my loyalty to the dark mystery.

When I finished The Phantom of the Opera to the last triumphant chords of “Destiny” on the Prince of Persia soundtrack, I wondered: What had swayed my mind from Raoul's side to that of the Phantom?

Thanks to C. S. Lewis, all my problems involving the Opera Ghost dissolved. When about twenty minutes of light remained in the sky, I ran outside and swung while finishing Chapter Two of Lewis' The Four Loves. Reading jovially, I was caught unawares by a passage I did not understand at first. (Lewis' book includes six chapters; an introduction, and a chapter on each of the following; Likings and Loves for the Sub-Human, On Affection, On Friendship, On Eros, and On Charity).

The end of the second chapter read:
[affection]...can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection...Here it will be enough to say that Heavenly Society is also an earthly society. Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and then use then to justify the most abominable means (Lewis, 49).

I realized that the only reason I had turned from Raoul's side to that of O.G. was because of my sinful love for man; loving your fellow man is not wrong, but when it is loved to the extent of twisting what is right, it is not. Love merely for the fallen man is sin nature, and is natural, it just must be beaten down.

So. The Phantom. Bad or not? The fact that he was disfigured did not make him bad, nor did his surroundings or environment stamp evil upon him. He chose to do what he wished.

But then how could he love? The fact that he died from a broken heart – does that not mean he had feelings, love, life?


But...he was still wrong. That one love, nay, obsession over his own love for Christine and her voice does not, and will never, erase all the wrongs he did before. This is Eros love. “It's all for love, it must be right.”


That's what's wrong with The Notebook, The Phantom, The Iliad, Anna Karenina, Tristan and Isolde, and many, many other “great works”. It's all for love. So it's okay. No one else matters except us. It would be better to die together than spend the rest of our lives apart. We love.

Eros is not the ultimate evil except when it becomes a total god, as in the aforementioned works.

Eros is scary. It makes you change your mind. The Phantom may not seem that bad until you notice that his name is Erik (which is a little too close to Eros). Loving someone does not erase bad deeds (or worse, what could be about to be done). Unless that someone is God, and you love his grace that washes sin away, love can't erase evil. Only God's love can cover a multitude of sins.

Christine should have quit, run away, started a new life, and married the Persian.

Monday, 21 May 2012

prima scripta

Hullo every wonderful person who tripped (I hope you're not hurt) and came across this blog!
On to explaining in tenebris lumen eius canit: I studied Latin like crazy this past school year for PSEO credit, and I decided (since I actually knew what it meant) that I would write about me.  And God.  And life.  Because that is what goes on, right?
You thought I'd just tell you what my title meant.  Oh no.  If I were as mean as I make myself to be, I would make you translate and parse and decline each and every word until you deciphered it.  But that's not what I'm here for.  At least not what God put me for.  I sing of his light in the darkness.