Monday, 23 December 2013

For in the wilderness shall waters break out

Emily Dickinson: "The soul should always stand ajar, ready."
But for what? Revelation? Insight? Peace?
There's so little stillness in life usually.
We're just about ready for Christmas and think about turning off phones and wifi: so much virtual noise and hubbub.
Outside the weather is rough.

Putting material things and basic physical needs aside - food - shelter - warmth - what does everyone yearn for?
Someone - I wish I remember who - said that he never met anyone whose greatest need was not to be loved. Less obliquely: everyone's greatest need is to be loved, however hidden that need may be.
So what could the soul open to? Traditionally - something that sorts things out and makes sense of life. The end of having to organise, make things happen - making things right - the end of a personal attempt to order the chaos. Back to Isaiah:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be unstopped, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened.
Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.....

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy