Nunc Dimittis

The torch that lights my vigil flickers low
As well my soul might, sixty years alone…



Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all…”
-TS Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

One of the most frustrating aspects of living in our American culture…


Now lies the earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

So much of societal interaction (regardless of the society) is taken up in the establishment of validity…


Wild flight on flight against the fading dawn
The flames’ red wings soar upward duskily.
This is the funeral pyre and Troy is dead
That sparkled so the day I saw it first,
And darkened slowly after. I am she
Who loves all beauty — yet I wither it.
“Helen of Troy,” Sara Teasdale

When it first comes to my mind, worship always seems to me a singularly religious concept…


“Why did I dream that sleep o’er-power’d me
In midst of all this heaven?
Why not see, Far off, the shadows of his pinions dark,
And stare them from me? But no, like a spark
That needs must die, although its little beam
Reflects upon a diamond, my sweet dream
Fell into nothing…”
Endymion, John Keats

Last time we probed the inability of hope to deliver for us…


So spake she, and straightway he started out of slumber and was adread, and turned his eyes away when he beheld the neck and fair eyes of Aphrodite.  His goodly face he veiled again in a cloak, and imploring her, he spoke winged words:  “Even so soon as my eyes first beheld thee, Goddess, I knew thee for divine: but not sooth didst thou speak to me.  But by Zeus of the Ægis I implore thee, suffer me not to live a strengthless shadow among men, but pity me: for no man lives in strength that has couched with immortal Goddesses.”
-The Homeric Hymns, translation by Andrew Lang

I was wondering this morning how it is that sin is both accepted and forbidden in the Christian life…