Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace."
Oscar Wilde

Autumn is truely here. My pots are piling up as I prepare for another sale; the sun is hidden behind the clouds and I am driving away the chill by firing up the kiln again. Today I am putting our life in order - my favourite occupation: cleaning, budgeting, baking, firing, and making long lists of things to do, to throw, to write, to read.

We spent the weekend up at the Common Ground fair, feeling that we somewhat lacked in common ground with many of the fair-goers, and unfortunately with many of our fellow traditional marriage supporters. I would like to like them. I would like them to be kind, loving, thoughtful people, not frustrated reactionaries. I would like the opposition to be the same, I long to discuss with them, but everyone asks first for my position, and then walks away. Whatever happened to discussion? There must be some place between the angry traditionalist and the relativism of the left - but why is it so difficult to find?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"God and other artists are always a little obscure."
~Oscar Wilde

On Saturday my husband and I wandered in the park. It was a cool, autumn day and we kept to the sunny parts - discovering a patch of bright yellow, "butter and eggs" flowers. A small bundle are now brightening up my kitchen window.

Yesterday was the first meeting of our new book club. I've been longing to start one - and it couldn't have gone better. We're reading books with a "Catholic imagination." Our first is The Man Who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. One of the "Catholic" aspects of the novel I'm hoping to bring out is the obvious enjoyment and full participation in the moment that the primary character displays throughout the entire book - no matter the situation.

I'm also currently reading Chesterton's "The Flying Inn," which has the same passionate intensity.

Is anyone reading anything amazingly good? Or absolutely awful?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
Oscar Wilde

Yesterday at the farmer's market I bought snapdragons and chinese lanterns. Now they glow red, orange, yellow, and pink against the walls. This week has been abundantly beautiful. The sky outside is bright blue, the air is cool and autumny. Fresh pots are drying all around the pottery room, on floors and tables - some waiting for handles, some waiting for firing, some just waiting. My music has been folk records and classic rock. When I listen I'm grateful to my parents that the songs I remember from childhood are songs I can still appreciate today - not silly children's songs but the Beatles, Eric Clapton, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and old mix tapes. There are songs I never think of until they come on the radio and then I remember a hot Michigan summer, a long drive, good music for good times.

Right now, I'm listening to John Prine sing "In spite of oursleves." A song my huband is hoping to teach me to sing with him.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This is a fun, funky song we discovered recently:

"I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Our dinners this week have all been along a blue theme - the plates, bowls, cups, and table are blue, while the food is bright - reds and yellows to compliment the blues. Its refreshing, like eating the ocean in Spain, or picking sunflowering in the rain. I love seeing the table laid out in loveliness, with the Icon, the flowers, candles and tea. I love eating beauty.

I've been thinking more about Catholic culture, and how it has lost its way, at least here and now. The problem is that too many Catholics are trying to build a culture that is little more than going to Mass on Sunday and volunteering in the parish. But the culture of Catholicism is so much more than that; it is more than just regular participation in the sacraments, daily prayers, rosaries, and natural family planning.
Catholic culture is more than just theological orthodoxy, in fact, theological orthodoxy, while necessary to Catholic faith, is not necessary to Catholic culture. Catholic culture comes from an imagination formed by the mysteries of the sacraments. It comes from the realization that in a world where God becomes man to dwell among us, all things are possible.

So many American Catholics are trying to build Catholic culture based on the Protestant culture they are surrounded by, making a hybrid culture – which combines varying degrees of Catholic orthodoxy with a Protestant sense of organization and lack of mystery, destroying the Catholicity of the culture altogether. To be truely Catholic we must relearn Catholic culture, and we can’t learn it from our separated brethren. We must learn from our artists, poets, Saints, and philosophers; also from our heritage and our mythology. And we must learn by living. …not talking about the saints in our homes, but talking to the saints; not learning about the artists but by learning to see as our artists saw the world.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"My candle burns at both its ends;
it will not last the night;
but oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
it give a lovely light."

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Even on warm days I can smell the autumn air. Today I biked across town in the hot sun and felt sixteen again - in those early school days, before its cool enough to wear new school clothes, and before the urge to skip has gotten irresistable. Early September always brings me back to high school.

I had a brown dress in high school that I didn't love as much then as I do now, I wish I'd held onto it. If I had, I'd be wearing it today with tights, and cowboy boots. Autumn dresses are ideal, I would like to find a few this season.

We've been out every evening this past week, and our solitude needs to regain its footing. I love going out, but it doesn't refresh me. We are returning to our home for a few days to recover before venturing out again into our social life; and it this recovery I love.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."
Albert Camus

My home glows in honey tones today. I've deep-cleaned the front two rooms, rearranged furniture, and washed every surface with Murphy's oil soap. We have sunlight pouring in from the autumny outdoors and hitting the floor in bright patches. I've changed cloths on the tables and shelves, shaken out curtains, and wiped every window inside and out. I could lie on the warm wood and bask in the beauty of my home, kiss my happy Icons, or wander my lovely rooms rejoicing, but I'm just sitting, drenched in beauty, lost in it.

Sts. Nicholas and George have been moved to the blue wall, below the Trinity - if they, and my husband like the move, they will have a new home there. I think Nicholas likes sharing in the meals.

I never knew that Led Zepplin covered "Babe, I'm gonna leave you" but here it is, playing in the background.