|AUTUMN: WINDSHIELD WIPER #7|
From Fr. Patrick Beno of St. Agnes parish in Green Bay, Wisconsin, whose book club is discussing Shirt of Flame:
"P.S. Ever listen to the music of Beirut? ( a band led by a young fella named Zach Condon.)
It's wonderful stuff."
From a happily-married father of six in the mid-West:
"I found that your story speaks to me about Hope in a very profound way."
From Fr. Seán MacGiollarnath of Dublin, Ireland:
"May Jesus enlighten you, may he give you his Spirit, may he enable
you to be and to do at each moment what’s most pleasing to him: in a
word, let him live in you. I ask him this for you, for everyone. Let’s
ask together, for every human being, what we ask for ourselves.
(Blessed Charles de Foucauld)."
From faithful reader/commenter Tom DeFreitas:
"I spent a wee bit of last night rereading part of De Profundis, Oscar Wilde's prison letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, when what, to my wondering eyes should appear, but this sentence:
The martyr in his 'shirt of flame' may be looking on the face of God, but to him who is piling the faggots or loosening the logs for the blast the whole scene is no more than the slaying of an ox is to the butcher, or the felling of a tree to the charcoal burner in the forest, or the fall of a flower to one who is mowing down the grass with a scythe.
This, from 1897, decades before T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets!
And the phrase 'shirt of flame' carries a footnote to the effect that Oscar Wilde might be remembering a line from the Scottish dramatist Alexander Smith: "Like a pale martyr in his shirt of fire."
It wouldn't surprise me if Saint John of the Cross had something somewhere about a camisa del fuego! Or if Dante had someone wearing a camicia della fiamma! (or, del fuoco ...)
At any rate, I thought you'd appreciate a bit of the history of the provenance of this compelling and very poetic image!"
And from a 55-year-old friend who is dying, and in agony, from treatment for 4th-stage lung cancer: "I'm sad, but why should I be given more than anyone else? And I've been given so much"...
Such are the music-lovers, thinkers, word-smiths, pray-ers, and giants who walk among us.
|STILL LIFE: PERSIMMON, PEAR, WALNUTS, |
AND MUMMIFIED POMEGRANATE