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Archive for August 26th, 2011

An Icon and a Request

 

This is my most recent icon. I have written before of my struggles painting, and how I have been diagnosed with a cataract in my left eye, which makes fine brushwork difficult. I continue to paint, but it is work now, rather than a joy.

I am scheduled to have the cataract removed September 20, and ask your prayers for a successful outcome. In fact, I ask your prayers for much more. I don’t have a hurricane bearing down on me, like so many people I love on the East Coast, but plenty is going wrong: various physical affilictions, automobile breakdown, with no money for repairs, baby William is sick, etc. I am feeling discouraged and overwhelmed….

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Eden Decayed

I have finished Rob Young’s book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music. While it is full of new information and certainly interesting to anyone who likes the music, the second half of the book becomes a sort of chronicle of the descent of the British counterculture into paganism. As I read I started feeling sick, the sort of spiritual nausea I once felt when I became critical of the counterculture in the early 70s.

Now, a Catholic does not simplistically condemn everything that existed before Christ; paganism possessed both light and shadow, and the Church has always been intent on building on what good there was in human culture, the things that pointed to Christ or were at least harmless.

But it is quite another thing when those whose roots are Christian turn toward paganism as a form of rejecting their faith. Young seems sympathetic to this, and while I understand the appeal of “earth religion” and pantheism to those raised in an artificial environment, it is in the end a descent into darkness and, ultimately, despair.

Here, Pentangle sings a Yorkshire hymn about the Last Things; it is a cautionary tune to anyone enamoured with paganism:

Here is a discussion of the tune, with lyrics: http://www.duntemann.com/likewakepage.htm

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