From Dante's Inferno, Canto XXXIV: "‘Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni’ Towards us; therefore look in front of thee,” My Master said, “if thou discernest him.” As, when there breathes a heavy fog, or when Our hemisphere is darkening into night, Appears far off a mill the wind is turning, Methought that such a building then I saw; … Continue reading Dante’s Judas
Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky once wrote, “Beauty at low temperatures is beauty.” His point was simple enough. If one can find beauty in the harsh barrenness of low temperatures, then something must be truly beautiful, for only beauty can counterbalance the immense discomfort of frigidness and thus be called truly beautiful.
I am not an economist, though for a period I did fancy pursuing that profession. Providence intervened, however, and rescued me from a life of spreadsheets, pie charts, and uninteresting-but-important-sounding conversations. This is not to say that I do not value certain of the laws of economics. Quite the contrary, there are two that I … Continue reading Strength and Silence
What does it say when the most popular course at one of the world's most prestigious universities is a psychology course on the good life? Can happiness be learned? Or should modern notions of happiness be *un*learned?
I do not remember much from my brief stint in an admittedly liberal seminary, but one thing I do remember was a professor who mentioned only in passing how ancient men were truly terrified of the darkness. Every night was a testing point of the strength of his soul. This comment was made only in a thrown away manner, but it stuck with me all this time.
Several years ago while visiting friends who lived at the time in Hot Springs, Arkansas, nurses both, we found ourselves taking a stroll down the quaint Bath House Row. In the course of our meanderings we found ourselves involved in a conversation regarding the matter of assisted suicide, personified by the then recent case of … Continue reading The Good Death
Today we continue our month long celebration of the poetic work of Professor Tolkien. We have looked at a somewhat random assortment of his shorter poems, and we have also had the sheer enchanting joy of reading the sublime madness of Tom Bombadil. Today, the theme is honor and lament. An astute reader of Tolkien … Continue reading Tolkien: Deep Roots Are Not Reached by the Frost