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Some sounds for dark days, and nights.
Some sounds for dark days, and nights.
Yesterday the kid was watching an episode of the old Ghostbusters cartoon from the 80s, his new favorite on Netflix. The show featured the three Fates, and a journey to the Underworld, crossing the river Styx, etc. I said to him “Did you know this is Greek mythology? These were things the ancient Greeks believed.” He looked at me incredulously for a second and asked “They believed in the Ghostbusters?” 🤦🏻♂️
I had a good Dad laugh.
Hands down my favorite Christmas song of 2018. I passed up this album in favor of Jackie Gleason’s Tis The Season, a purchase I do not regret, but this song is definitely worth the price of the vinyl. I love it when Frank sings melancholy, and this one has that quality in spades. Nostalgia, regret, and loneliness are all wrapped up in that golden bow of his amazing voice, a voice that forces your ears to attention when you hear it, never aging, never dulling, calling your life before your eyes, and all but materializing that glass of whiskey or scotch in your left hand, as your right hand reaches to pull the brim of your fedora down a little more to cover the tears in your eyes. Merry Christmas!Continue Reading »
October, you have been one long, soggy mess. C’est la vie, I suppose. To commemorate what I anticipate to be tonight’s non-event, I have chosen this song to be the official “hold” music of Halloween 2018, to be played in a continuous loop until one metaphorically throws up one’s hands in disgust, and finally gives up the game. To pick it up again next year? Perhaps. But never quite in the same way.
Even if Francis is a liberal, it is far from clear to us that the proper response is liberalism. This, then, is the crux of the problem. Barring the Head of the Church returning, there will be other popes. Perhaps some will be, in the words of the great Louisiana philosopher and theologian I.J. Reilly, good authoritarian popes. Perhaps some will be liberals. However, the anti-liberal position works as well with a good authoritarian pope as it does with a liberal pope. Indeed, it works even better. And it has the advantage of avoiding a perpetual oscillation between ultramontanism and neo-Gallicanism.
The problem with these types of erudite professional religionists is that they often cannot see the truth, because they do not see with the eyes of the spirit. The church is rotting, the flies are gathering, and they argue about whether it is right to criticize the pope.
A song to fit a very particular mood. It’s been a significant week.
From that moment the screaming began that continued for three days, and was so terrible that one could not hear it through two closed doors without horror. At the moment he answered his wife he realized that he was lost, that there was no return, that the end had come, the very end, and his doubts were still unsolved and remained doubts.
“Oh! Oh! Oh!” he cried in various intonations. He had begun by screaming “I won’t!” and continued screaming on the letter “O”.
For three whole days, during which time did not exist for him, he struggled in that black sack into which he was being thrust by an invisible, resistless force. He struggled as a man condemned to death struggles in the hands of the executioner, knowing that he cannot save himself. And every moment he felt that despite all his efforts he was drawing nearer and nearer to what terrified him. He felt that his agony was due to his being thrust into that black hole and still more to his not being able to get right into it. He was hindered from getting into it by his conviction that his life had been a good one. That very justification of his life held him fast and prevented his moving forward, and it caused him most torment of all.
Suddenly some force struck him in the chest and side, making it still harder to breathe, and he fell through the hole and there at the bottom was a light. What had happened to him was like the sensation one sometimes experiences in a railway carriage when one thinks one is going backwards while one is really going forwards and suddenly becomes aware of the real direction.
“Yes, it was not the right thing,” he said to himself, “but that’s no matter. It can be done. But what is the right thing? he asked himself, and suddenly grew quiet.
This occurred at the end of the third day, two hours before his death. Just then his schoolboy son had crept softly in and gone up to the bedside. The dying man was still screaming desperately and waving his arms. His hand fell on the boy’s head, and the boy caught it, pressed it to his lips, and began to cry.
At that very moment Ivan Ilych fell through and caught sight of the light, and it was revealed to him that though his life had not been what it should have been, this could still be rectified. He asked himself, “What is the right thing?” and grew still, listening. Then he felt that someone was kissing his hand. He opened his eyes, looked at his son, and felt sorry for him. His wife came up to him and he glanced at her. She was gazing at him open-mouthed, with undried tears on her nose and cheek and a despairing look on her face. He felt sorry for her too.
“Yes, I am making them wretched,” he thought. “They are sorry, but it will be better for them when I die.” He wished to say this but had not the strength to utter it. “Besides, why speak? I must act,” he thought. with a look at his wife he indicated his son and said: “Take him away…sorry for him…sorry for you too….” He tried to add, “Forgive me,” but said “Forego” and waved his hand, knowing that He whose understanding mattered would understand.
And suddenly it grew clear to him that what had been oppressing him and would not leave him was all dropping away at once from two sides, from ten sides, and from all sides. He was sorry for them, he must act so as not to hurt them: release them and free himself from these sufferings. “How good and how simple!” he thought. “And the pain?” he asked himself. “What has become of it? Where are you, pain?”
He turned his attention to it.
“Yes, here it is. Well, what of it? Let the pain be.”
“And death…where is it?”
He sought his former accustomed fear of death and did not find it. “Where is it? What death?” There was no fear because there was no death.
In place of death there was light.
“So that’s what it is!” he suddenly exclaimed aloud. “What joy!”
To him all this happened in a single instant, and the meaning of that instant did not change. For those present his agony continued for another two hours. Something rattled in his throat, his emaciated body twitched, then the gasping and rattle became less and less frequent.
“It is finished!” said someone near him. He heard these words and repeated them in his soul.
“Death is finished,” he said to himself. “It is no more!”
He drew in a breath, stopped in the midst of a sigh, stretched out, and died.