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Sunday, May 22, 2011


Yesterday I spent the long, lovely afternoon out back, listening to sounds: of birds in conversation, of scampering squirrels running along the fence and up tree branches, chattering as they scrambled, of neighbors in back yards with the slow talk of friends, of Katie our beagle-jackrussell barking at everything.  I sat out there with my portable word processor putting together a blog as I took in the sounds, the light and shadow combinations of trees and flowers, of thinking about the Rapture that didn't take place.

Today, as I prepared to transfer it to my computer, nothing was there.  Convinced I had saved it, I determinedly waited for it to write along the screen on Word.  Nothing.  Evidently I failed to complete the "save" process.  We have all, no doubt, had that sick feeling when the words we labored over are lost into thin air.  Don't you just hate it?   So now I will try to recall some of what I wrote:

I noted my sorrow for those who waited with great excitement to be swept up into Heaven.  I was relieved that the only earth tremors occurred as a volcano began erupting up north in one of those Scandinavian countries I think.  I wonder how some would allow one person to persuade them of the final days of the world.  What must have been their longing and hope, to have fallen for such strange predictions?  Experience and history tell us that the many, many predictions of the end of the world, of judgment day, of catastrophes all over the place, never ever happened.  So I am happily trying to spend these days left for me in awareness of the good earth, the beauty of nature, the glory of art in all its forms, and to find ways to share that with others. 

A wonderful resource for me along those lines recently is the new book by Joan Chittister, OSB, as she takes a look at the Rule of Benedict, and what caught my attention was this, from her chapter, "Sacred Art,"
in The Monastery of the Heart, p.99:

It is a love for human community
that puts the eye of the artist
in the service of truth.
Knowing the spiritual squalor
to which the pursuit of anything less than beauty
can lead us,
the artist lives
to stretch our senses
beyond the tendency
to settle for lesser things –
simplistic stories instead of great literature,
bland characters rather than great portraits,
tasteless decorations instead of artistic accessories,
plastic flowerpots instead of pottery.
We could do no better than that, I believe, to make the world around us brighter, more hopeful, and less dreary as we hear the direful news broadcasts of suffering, war, hunger, oppression, and all the ills of this time.  We cannot let our lives be unaware of such as that, but we must remember the beauty -- that is the gift we have all been given, whether we acknowledge it or not.

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