Friday, 2 July 2010

Best Poem Ever.

What difference does eternal life make? Why does knowing Jesus transform the (often) difficult drudgery of this lifetime? How does the hope of the resurrection comfort? Read this and then enjoy this most excellent poem, and be comforted.
(Oh, and don't mind GMH; he makes up words. Extremely cool words. My advice is to say them out loud if you don't 'get' them).

That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows ' flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs ' they throng;
they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, '
wherever an elm arches,
Shivelights and shadowtackle in long '
lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous '
ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare
Of yestertempest’s creases;
in pool and rut peel parches
Squandering ooze to squeezed '
dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches
Squadroned masks and manmarks '
treadmire toil there
Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, '
nature’s bonfire burns on.
But quench her bonniest, dearest '
to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
Man, how fast his firedint, '
his mark on mind, is gone!
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
Drowned. O pity and indig '
nation! Manshape, that shone
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, '
death blots black out; nor mark
Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time '
beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam.
Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.

(Gerard Manley Hopkins)

(My apologies for multiple postings... I hope I've gotten the formatting right this time!)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

An attempted collect on the regulation of bodily functions

This is published over here, at my husband's suggestion. Here's the unedited 'original' with photos. Enjoy.


Because people like me do actually pray, often with some fervour, about the bodily functions of children for whom they are responsible. That's right. We pray about the absence, presence, frequency, infrequency, texture, colour and quantity of poo. Mostly because such things can flag a problem in young children, especially when they are only a few weeks old; at least that's why I pray about such things. Others may have different reasons.

Because praying about such things is completely natural for a Christian. Not only is God interested in the 'small' things in our lives, but he is eminently competent to resolve such issues, having made us and therefore capable of 'regulating' us, and/or of giving us wisdom to know when to go for medical help. Unlike some medical professionals, he never communicates that we've wasted his precious time by mentioning to him our concerns. Even about poo.

Because collects rock and I would love to be able to write them.

Because if Cranmer had had the leisure, and wasn't busy trying to manage a certain megalomaniac monarch in amongst reforming England, he may well have extended his prayer book to include miscellaneous prayers for more occasions. And maybe he'd have included a prayer about such matters.

Because Cranmer's collects always seem to both demonstrate the utter validity of our prayers for earthly concerns, and yet prompt us to think too about things from an eternal perspective. So, even though I haven't really prayed the collect below, the exercise of writing it has helped me to remember there are more significant things to desire and pray for in my boys than merely the regulation of their bodily functions, as important as that might be for their health. More significant are the kind of people they are and are becoming and that they so 'pass through things temporal that they finally lose not things eternal'.

Because when I'm sleep deprived I become (even more) eccentric.

Almighty God, the giver of all life, who has formed and known us from our our earliest moment, grant we beseech thee, the proper regulation of bodily functions in this thy little one. In your mercy, so prosper his life that he may grow in strength and wisdom and may by your grace know you, whom to know is life eternal, through Christ Jesus our Lord and for his glory.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity

O God, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man's understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The superiority of black puddings to speech

'I suppose one reason why we are seldom able to comfort our neighbours with our words is that our goodwill gets adulterated, in spite of ourselves, before it can pass out lips. We can send black puddings and pettitoes without giving them a flavour of our own egoism: but language is a stream that is is almost sure to smack of a mingled soil. There was a fair proportion of kindness in Raveloe; but it was often of a beery and bungling sort...'

(from Chapter 10, Silas Marner by George Eliot)