Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the communists have seized reincarnation....heaven sure to be under siege

Why Reincarnation, Daniele Buetti

China has outlawed Reincarnation in Tibet unless expressly permitted by the Government. The Dali Lama says he will not reincarnate in Tibet in protest to the communist regime. The next Dali Lama could be an American. Interesting.

Also a few more cool light box photos from Daniele Buetti:

What is the Shadow of Presence

Does Time Dance with Memories?

How Could I know the True Nature of Death?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Even Saints, at times, can be atheists

"I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing."

Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco

"'Why are you a nun anyway?...'
'It is for others. Not for us. ... It is our place in the world to believe things no one else takes seriously. To abandon such beliefs completely, the human race would die. ... Hell is when no one believes.'"
White Noise, Don Delillo

If there's one thing that I wished to find out about Blessed Teresa of Calcutta it would be what has been found out to be true, as described in her recently released letters(and here): she had grave doubts about God. Two passages from the letters read thus:

"Where is my faith? Even deep down…
there is nothing but emptiness and darkness...
If there be God — please forgive me."

"As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that
I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.
The tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak."

Upon reading this news three things came to my mind: first St John of the Cross, second the nun at the end of Don Delillo's White Noise, third the parable of the widow's mite.

We know that Saint John of the Cross, doctor of the church, experienced much the same crisis, and even wrote his masterpiece on the topic of the absence of God in those that seek him most, he dubbed it the Dark Night of the Soul.

The quote above is from the atheist nun in Delillo's book, who the main character meets at the end of the novel. It's an odd chapter, wholly devoted to interactions with this nun describing why she continues to be a pious and devoted nun even when she only pretends to believe. It is a very intriguing passage.

Lastly I thought of the widow's mite. Here is Mother Teresa who gave everything she had, and got nothing in return, not even relief. Yet she still kept giving. I read some articles that said something about how this makes her seem "more like us" which is such utter rubbish. Many people, most of the "us" in the idea, believe in God, yet we don't do what Mother Teresa did, yet she abandoned herself for something she could barely, if even fleetingly, believe or feel. This only shows how much she surpassed us, and is such a great model for the Catholic Church in an increasingly nihilist world. We may be in doubt, unable to even fathom a God, yet we wish to believe, we hope to believe, even if the faith never comes, perhaps the hope will be enough.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday's 21-13

Dromedary, Chuck Gumpert

Mysterious Monarch, Chuck Grumpert

"They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD."
from the first reading (Isaiah)

Baby White Dromedary

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Man claims he was made in God's image. After all it could be true."

"I have often said--& will continue to repeat it long after I am dead -- That there is no Truth in Art."

Igor Strawinski, Erik Satie

"Man is as much made to dream as I am to have a wooden leg"
Mammal's Notebook, Erik Satie

The great composer Erik Satie was claimed by all the avant-garde movements of the 18th and 19th century, either as a precursor, cursor, or postcursor. I have long wanted his Mammal's Notebook, but alas it is out of print and copies pricey. But oh serendipity that I should stumble upon a brand new copy from a british bookseller for cheap, less than the original cover. Happy day!!!

He was Catholic, he even started his own movement, being the only member under various pseudonyms, called the Metropolitan Church of Art of Jesus the Conductor, he wrote many epistles as head of this, to all of Catholicity and Catholic Artists, decrying the modern world, and imploring poverty. Speaking of the movement he wrote:

"We shall make of it a refuge where Catholicism, and the Arts which are indissolubly link to it, shall grow and prosper, sheltered from all profanation..."

Erik Satie, Suzanne Valadon

Sunday, August 19, 2007

20-12....not to be misconstrued as a post about the end of he world...

(Korean War Memorial)

“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin.”
from the first reading (Jeremiah)

World on Fire, Kyle Cummings

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing! ...
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division. ”
from the gospel (Luke)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I love The Royal Art Lodge, which consists, currently, of the artists Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama, and Neil Farber. Nearly every one of the paintings and drawings on their site is intriguing, so I just choose a few at seeming randomness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

those assumtive days of summor yore

Assumption of Mary, Francesco Botticini

"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth."
from the first reading (Revelation)

"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
from the Gospel (Luke)

Today is the Assumption of Mary, or if your Eastern it is the Dormition of the Theotokos.

Dormition of the Virgin, Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Sweetest Downfall

Samson, Regina Spektor

I reread the story of Samson a few weeks ago, prompted by the above video. It seems to me that Samson is one of the most lonely and sad characters in the Bible. No one loves him and everyone betrays him. He ends up with his eyes cut out, committing suicide by collapsing a building in on himself. The bit with Delilah is wrenching, why did he tell her, when he knew she would betray him? I suppose there is a spiritual analogy to be made, and a brilliant one at that, but if one simply looks at it from a story perspective: Samson is so sad, desperate, and lonely.

Tonight while I was rereading Rilke's Elegies, a topic for another post, I came across a passage about Samson which reminded me I wanted to post about him...ahhhh serendipity.

"to sit / leaning on future arms and reading of Samson,
how from his mother first nothing, then everything, was born."
The Sixth Duino Elegy

The Binding of Samson, Rembrandt

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Disappointment, Valery Milovic

Adrift among the Days, Valery Milovic

The Mysterious Box, Valery Milovic

"All these died in faith.
They did not receive what had been promised."
from the second reading (Hebrews)

Friday, August 10, 2007

They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty

"A picture is a thousand questions."

Charlie White is a photographer/director who is very reminiscent of H.R. Geiger. Much of his work dances between the sublime and the obscene, a tight rope that is interesting and enlightening if one isn't easily offended. The above ad was for Adidas (all based around colors, this being pink, but they are all interesting), he also has done a music video for Interpol, which can be found here. Below are some of his elaborate photography that takes him months to make.

Loving Kindness



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

and Death spoke to them

The Triumph of Death, Pieter Bruegel

"It was not, after all, so easy to die."
---Book 7

"'Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?'....
'Of course it is happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it isn't real?'"
---Book 7

I think upon conclusion that Harry Potter is a 5000+ page meditation on death and love, and the various aspects therein. Those who have no one, those who have friends, those who try to escape death at all costs, and those who embrace it wholly. And most interestingly those who love even through their hate. All in all it is a fine opus, and shouldn't be so easily written off as twaddle simply because it is readily consumed and labeled children's literature. Time will tell I'm sure, but I believe, especial with what Mrs. Rowling did in the final four books, that this will hold as a semi-classic text. There's much more to be had in what isn't "magical" than what there is in what is, which I believe is Mrs. Rowling's point: the greatest and noblest things have nothing to do with knowledge or power, but rather in self-sacrifice, love, and humility.

Monday, August 06, 2007

another day full of dread....the transfiguration

"a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud."
from the gospel(Luke)


Also today is the anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki. Below is some art from the survivors.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


"Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!

This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart
with which he has labored under the sun?
All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation;
even at night his mind is not at rest.
This also is vanity."
from the first reading (Ecclesiastes)

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