words

Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:39 am
clothofdreams: (solitary daisy)
I have ten minutes to spill this out into the internet void. Ready; set; go.

I remember a time when I used them carefully, even in casual emails or letters to friends-- even in some conversations, actually. I found them potent, beautiful creations, and I looked down upon myself for not having mastered them as well as all the 19th-century British authors I idolized. (I later discovered that their mastery of the word was not as impressive as I had believed.) I thought if I could only learn to speak and write beautifully, creatively, and originally, I would somehow elevate myself above all the mediocre minds of this world.

Ha! and Ha! again.

There is nothing creative about pretension. A literary critique I read recently mourned that too many authors are enamored with the imaginative nature of words-- that transient, mystical beauty-- but never manage to truly say anything. Their artistry begins and ends with a well-turned phrase.

(Two minutes...)

The trick of using words well is to communicate some truth so honestly, so freshly, that the reader stops and thinks. It sounds so simple. In many ways it is. It is hard, though, to constantly get at the heart of an issue or ourselves and present it truly on paper.

All that said, I have a question before I fly away. What is the nature of words? Are they creative, descriptive, or both? Be specific in your answer. (That'll turn people off.)

words

Nov. 22nd, 2004 09:39 am
clothofdreams: (solitary daisy)
I have ten minutes to spill this out into the internet void. Ready; set; go.

I remember a time when I used them carefully, even in casual emails or letters to friends-- even in some conversations, actually. I found them potent, beautiful creations, and I looked down upon myself for not having mastered them as well as all the 19th-century British authors I idolized. (I later discovered that their mastery of the word was not as impressive as I had believed.) I thought if I could only learn to speak and write beautifully, creatively, and originally, I would somehow elevate myself above all the mediocre minds of this world.

Ha! and Ha! again.

There is nothing creative about pretension. A literary critique I read recently mourned that too many authors are enamored with the imaginative nature of words-- that transient, mystical beauty-- but never manage to truly say anything. Their artistry begins and ends with a well-turned phrase.

(Two minutes...)

The trick of using words well is to communicate some truth so honestly, so freshly, that the reader stops and thinks. It sounds so simple. In many ways it is. It is hard, though, to constantly get at the heart of an issue or ourselves and present it truly on paper.

All that said, I have a question before I fly away. What is the nature of words? Are they creative, descriptive, or both? Be specific in your answer. (That'll turn people off.)

life

Jul. 30th, 2004 02:03 pm
clothofdreams: (paris)
It is sad that so many Christians have no concept of what it means to live in light of their salvation. Most are certain that there is a distinct disconnect between "this life" and "the next." They believe that the chief end of getting saved is going to heaven; everything else is peripheral. Their songs focus on the sweet hereafter, their "spiritual" conversations on escaping from this world. Their entire worldview, in fact, is founded on the one great hope that when they die everything will be better.

There is nothing wrong with eagerly anticipating eternity with our Savior. Indeed, Scripture instructs us to long for it. However, a fixation with this one aspect of Christianity ignores the work to which we are called upon this earth. Sadly, many Christians would be surprised if told that salvation means and demands more than daydreaming about heaven. Many have no idea what it means to live before the face of God, for their doctrine begins and ends with dying. They often do not even give thought to what eternal life will entail. They only know it will be far better than anything on earth, and that's enough for them.

But it is not good enough, and those who think it is deny that God actively unfolds history today-- now-- here on earth. Godly living begins now, not when we get to heaven. Jesus proclaimed the advent of the Kingdom 2,000 years ago-- have we still not realized the truth?

The truth, you see, is that longing for eternity and subsequently ignoring the tasks and the life set before us is simply unacceptable. I remember once reading the comments of a Puritan (whose name I have long since forgotten) expressing his great displeasure at the attitudes of two friends of his. At a meeting, he recalled, these two friends discussed their impatience to be done with this life so that they could finally experience eternity. The Puritan was indignant. Did these two men seriously wish to immediately enter eternity by shirking their duties on earth? How could they desire such a thing?

This Puritan understood the glory that is living before God, busy about His work. Life is not something to get through so we can get on to the good stuff. This is the good stuff. The Kingdom is here; the Saints fellowship with us; God's countenance shines upon us; there is work to be done. He furthers His Kingdom and we are privileged to take part in its fruition. We do not wish to escape, for this is where He has placed us. Taste, smell, see: His grace is abundant now. If we cannot rejoice in this, we will never rejoice in heaven.

life

Jul. 30th, 2004 02:03 pm
clothofdreams: (paris)
It is sad that so many Christians have no concept of what it means to live in light of their salvation. Most are certain that there is a distinct disconnect between "this life" and "the next." They believe that the chief end of getting saved is going to heaven; everything else is peripheral. Their songs focus on the sweet hereafter, their "spiritual" conversations on escaping from this world. Their entire worldview, in fact, is founded on the one great hope that when they die everything will be better.

There is nothing wrong with eagerly anticipating eternity with our Savior. Indeed, Scripture instructs us to long for it. However, a fixation with this one aspect of Christianity ignores the work to which we are called upon this earth. Sadly, many Christians would be surprised if told that salvation means and demands more than daydreaming about heaven. Many have no idea what it means to live before the face of God, for their doctrine begins and ends with dying. They often do not even give thought to what eternal life will entail. They only know it will be far better than anything on earth, and that's enough for them.

But it is not good enough, and those who think it is deny that God actively unfolds history today-- now-- here on earth. Godly living begins now, not when we get to heaven. Jesus proclaimed the advent of the Kingdom 2,000 years ago-- have we still not realized the truth?

The truth, you see, is that longing for eternity and subsequently ignoring the tasks and the life set before us is simply unacceptable. I remember once reading the comments of a Puritan (whose name I have long since forgotten) expressing his great displeasure at the attitudes of two friends of his. At a meeting, he recalled, these two friends discussed their impatience to be done with this life so that they could finally experience eternity. The Puritan was indignant. Did these two men seriously wish to immediately enter eternity by shirking their duties on earth? How could they desire such a thing?

This Puritan understood the glory that is living before God, busy about His work. Life is not something to get through so we can get on to the good stuff. This is the good stuff. The Kingdom is here; the Saints fellowship with us; God's countenance shines upon us; there is work to be done. He furthers His Kingdom and we are privileged to take part in its fruition. We do not wish to escape, for this is where He has placed us. Taste, smell, see: His grace is abundant now. If we cannot rejoice in this, we will never rejoice in heaven.
clothofdreams: (Default)
The more I read of the modern evangelical's view of Satan and his history, the more I am convinced that this view is grounded not in Scripture, but in Milton. And I'm willing to bet that less than 10% of the modern evangelical population has read even one line of Milton.


"Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
clothofdreams: (Default)
The more I read of the modern evangelical's view of Satan and his history, the more I am convinced that this view is grounded not in Scripture, but in Milton. And I'm willing to bet that less than 10% of the modern evangelical population has read even one line of Milton.


"Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
clothofdreams: (comment)
It is incredible how many people suffer from the delusion that obscure poetry is the most profound. Indeed, the less sense a poem makes, the more profound it is supposed to be. How come they to this conclusion? Do they assume that obscurity opens up the poem to a broader range of subjects, enabling it to contain an infinite number of meanings? Or have they decided that since they cannot make sense of the poem, its meaning must be too complex for them to comprehend?

In any case, it must be stated that Burlap to Cashmere's "Chop Chop", without doubt, proves it all to be nothing but nonsense.
clothofdreams: (comment)
It is incredible how many people suffer from the delusion that obscure poetry is the most profound. Indeed, the less sense a poem makes, the more profound it is supposed to be. How come they to this conclusion? Do they assume that obscurity opens up the poem to a broader range of subjects, enabling it to contain an infinite number of meanings? Or have they decided that since they cannot make sense of the poem, its meaning must be too complex for them to comprehend?

In any case, it must be stated that Burlap to Cashmere's "Chop Chop", without doubt, proves it all to be nothing but nonsense.
clothofdreams: (Default)
I think I have decided that growing up means the redefinition of holidays. As children, these precious days carry a sort of magic with them... something to be anticipated and eagerly devoured upon their arrival. Not only do they mean NO SCHOOL (the ultimate source of childhood joy), but they mean the occurrence of oodles of exciting things that are seemingly scarce in the life of a child.

However...

Once one is grown, holidays take on an entirely new shape. We become keenly aware of their comings and goings, but they carry no especial pleasure for us other than the opportunity to miss work and sleep in. And maybe spend a little time in the garden. We greet them casually, politely grateful for their existence.

Someone tell me, where does the magic of childhood go? Perhaps it buries itself in the land of Pooh and Piglet, of Bartholomew Cubbins, of the Lost Boys, of Jane and Michael Banks, of Tom and Huck, of Mowgli, and of the Parsee Man, waiting patiently to be revisited when small feet run once more across our paths.
clothofdreams: (Default)
I think I have decided that growing up means the redefinition of holidays. As children, these precious days carry a sort of magic with them... something to be anticipated and eagerly devoured upon their arrival. Not only do they mean NO SCHOOL (the ultimate source of childhood joy), but they mean the occurrence of oodles of exciting things that are seemingly scarce in the life of a child.

However...

Once one is grown, holidays take on an entirely new shape. We become keenly aware of their comings and goings, but they carry no especial pleasure for us other than the opportunity to miss work and sleep in. And maybe spend a little time in the garden. We greet them casually, politely grateful for their existence.

Someone tell me, where does the magic of childhood go? Perhaps it buries itself in the land of Pooh and Piglet, of Bartholomew Cubbins, of the Lost Boys, of Jane and Michael Banks, of Tom and Huck, of Mowgli, and of the Parsee Man, waiting patiently to be revisited when small feet run once more across our paths.

simplicity

May. 29th, 2002 09:27 pm
clothofdreams: (Default)
Why is it that the simplest things are often the most beautiful? Take for example the piece I'm listening to right now: "Where Dreams Are Born" from the A.I. soundtrack, sung exquisitely by Barbara Bonney. The melody is so simple, and yet it touches deeply. Why? We put so much effort into creating beautiful things, yet it seems that the least frilly, the least gilded objects are the ones that we consider the most lovely.

Is it that we cannot relate as easily to something so obviously ornate? Is it that we can more easily detect craftsmanship in an object free of busy beauty? Is it that the simple things cause us to feel a sense of peace, calm, and contentment, thus creating in us a pleasure that we then in turn confuse with beauty?

I am inclined to think that at least the last of these is not so. After all, nature itself has a calm simplicity about it, and it was designed by the greatest Artist of all.

Perhaps the most beautiful things of all are those that are outwardly simple, but were complex in creation. Such things as these are profoundly beautiful in the simplest sense.

simplicity

May. 29th, 2002 09:27 pm
clothofdreams: (Default)
Why is it that the simplest things are often the most beautiful? Take for example the piece I'm listening to right now: "Where Dreams Are Born" from the A.I. soundtrack, sung exquisitely by Barbara Bonney. The melody is so simple, and yet it touches deeply. Why? We put so much effort into creating beautiful things, yet it seems that the least frilly, the least gilded objects are the ones that we consider the most lovely.

Is it that we cannot relate as easily to something so obviously ornate? Is it that we can more easily detect craftsmanship in an object free of busy beauty? Is it that the simple things cause us to feel a sense of peace, calm, and contentment, thus creating in us a pleasure that we then in turn confuse with beauty?

I am inclined to think that at least the last of these is not so. After all, nature itself has a calm simplicity about it, and it was designed by the greatest Artist of all.

Perhaps the most beautiful things of all are those that are outwardly simple, but were complex in creation. Such things as these are profoundly beautiful in the simplest sense.

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