Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ladder of Divine Ascent

The 12th century Ladder of Divine Ascent icon (St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt).
Via Wikipedia, where you may read much more about this icon, including what each rung of the ladder represents.

For me, I'm just fascinated by the imagery and surrounding elements ... demons pulling people off the ladder, the people on earth and in heaven all praying for those on the ladder. It is not only beautiful but makes us dig deeper, which is the point in the first place.

I am very tired of this Government, which I have never seen ...

I am very tired of this Government, which I have never seen, and which is always insisting that I must do disagreeable things, and does no good to anybody.
Naomi Novik, Throne of Jade
Spoken by a dragon but applies equally well to regular human beings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

White-backed Woodpecker

White-backed Woodpecker, taken by Remo Savisaar

Homage as an act of self-realization

It is "meet and just" to do homage to Him who is the supreme greatness and glory; at the same time this act of homage is an act of self-realization for him who performs it. Man's real world is, as it were, above him. Praising God means ascending into that homeland of our spirit where, it might be said, we truly live.

Therefore we should practice giving praise to God. This discipline widens and edifies the spirit. The whole day assumes a different character. ...
Romano Guardini, The Art of Praying
I love this book and have been reading it (for the 3rd time, maybe?) very slowly as a devotional. The sections are very short so it is perfect, especially when I need that extra push to stop and pray (which is practically always, let's be honest). Taking this bit to heart yesterday changed my day, just as Guardini said.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Julie taps a message in Morse Code about where the bad guys are meeting. Scott thought she was asking for bourbon.


A police officer has infiltrated a Triad, and a Triad member has infiltrated the police. A tense game of cat and mouse arises when each is assigned to find out who the other is.

We're discussing Infernal Affairs (2002) in Episode 195 of A Good Story is Hard to Find. Join us!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Devoting life to proving there is no purpose

Those who devote their lives to the purpose of proving that there is no purpose, constitute an interesting subject for study.
A. N. Whitehead, The Function of Reason

Fog

Taken by Scott Danielson
I feel as if this would have been more appropriate for Halloween but I love the atmosphere no matter when it was taken.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Well Said: "... and yet she was a happy woman."

Miss Bates…had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavour to make a small income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman, and a woman whom no one named without good-will. It was her own universal goodwill and contented temper which worked such wonders. She loved every body, was interested in every body’s happiness and quick-sighted to every body’s merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbours and friends, and a home that wanted for nothing. The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to every body and a mine of felicity to herself.
Jane Austen, Emma
Would that I could do as well as Miss Bates under similar circumstances. She would have driven me just as crazy as she drove Emma with her non-stop twittering. But it helped keep everyone around her both kind in return and generous against her poverty and need. And gave them an excellent example for their own lives.

Library Cat

Library Cat, Belinda DelPesco
Belinda says:
My trusty studio assistant, Scout. He’s all about being helpful, especially if you need things like fur in the paint, shoe laces untied while carving details on a block, paint brushes scattered to the floor, or a lap warmer.
She's always got interesting information about how each piece was created. Click on the link to go to Belinda's blog.

Hannah & Rose discuss ambiguous hallucinations, parenting tips ...

... and why vampires are more modest than werewolves as they watch The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009).

All on More is More, the bad movie podcast.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Great First Line: Take My Camel

"Take my camel, dear," said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.
Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond
This first line has made me try several times to read the book but, alas, I've just never been able to stick with it. That line though is so evocative. I can just see Aunt Dot and that camel! I believe she has a parasol.

Camel and Rider

Unglazed camel and Sogdian rider, taken by I, Sailko
I love the realism in this with the camel trying to bite the rider and the rider's arm out to protect the child behind him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Birch Forest

Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest, 1903
via Arts Everyday Living

The bitterness of boyish distresses lies in the fact that we do not know that they are small.

The bitterness of boyish distresses does not lie in the fact that they are large; it lies in the fact that we do not know that they are small. About any early disaster there is a dreadful finality; a lost child can suffer like a lost soul.

It is currently said that hope goes with youth, and lends to youth its wings of a butterfly; but I fancy that hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth. Youth is pre-eminently the period in which a man can be lyric, fanatical, poetic; but youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged; God has kept that good wine until now. it is from the backs of the elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst. There is nothing that so much mystifies the young as the consistent frivolity of the old. They have discovered their indestructibility. They are in their second and clearer childhood, and there is a meaning in the merriment of their eyes. They have seen the end of the End of the World.
G.K. Chesterton, Dickens