Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Tree

In the evening we light the twenty or so candles on the Christmas tree and sit there in long periods of silence.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

At Midnight Mass

The priest stood there and read In Praise of Christmas Eve by Thomas a Kempis, composed in the year 1395. I was impressed. It was the joy that went out from the words. And perhaps the way the priest delivered them, obviously stirred. It was an overwhelming gladness that sprang from the realization of what happened at the stable in Bethlehem. You could literally feel the enthusiasm of Thomas a Kempis. He was so full of rejoicing that he could hold no more and had to pass it on to his listeners.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Deep Snow

The little Christmas tree I have set up on our terrace outside the dining room is covered and weighted down with snow. The tiny lights have to reflect from deep under the snow and the tree is leaning precariously. There are a few suet feeders on the tree like Christmas decorations that attract the goldfinches, titmice and now and then chickadees. How sparingly they feast.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

As If He Were Still There

Made my way back to Tom's house this morning. Delivered a note of sympathy from my wife. Told Alice how much I admired her loving perseverence during the long ordeal. A short embrace. Then I went to the cemetery and stood looking at the pile of earth with flowers on it. Numb.

Monday, December 12, 2005

From Tamara Deuel ~

Dear Charles,
It is hard for me to express the feelings I have when reading your poem because it is very emotional for me. A deep and incredible poem. Thank you sending it to me. I think that you . . .
I am sending you two of my pictures. They are not the latest but I wanted you to see them.
You are blessed,
Tamara

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Advent Music

Bach's Cantata for the third Sunday in Advent concerns the intense longing of an individual soul for the coming of Christ, quite in keeping with the Advent theme. That strong mystical German tradition: very personal emotions expressed in words we are not accustomed to hearing, but striking and captivating, especially when accompanied by the ingenious scores Bach has created. I am no longer "distracted" by the artistry but am moved by the strong religious impact. Every moment with J. S. Bach is a wonderous gift.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Tree

Bought a Christmas tree today. All the while thinking about living simply in a society that has everything. Almost any object that one can imagine is available and can be had. Living in such a society poses its own problems: the desire to have is one, dissatisfaction not to have is another. To be satisfied with owning little is an ideal to keep striving for because it frees me from so many things that clutter up my life.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hubris ~ Knowing Oneself

When studying Greek tragedy I remember our professor telling us how the playwrights used hubris [arrogance, pride] in their plays to demonstate how a protagonist who displayed hubris could be led to his own downfall. The Gods would show their disfavor by allowing him to have even more success, then when he felt himself to have achieved everything he wanted they would let him fall and drive him headlong into on into his own undoing.