Archive for August, 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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Sandy Denny…

Someone objected when I said that Anne Briggs had the purest voice of the British folk revival; she said that distinction belongs to Sandy Denny. While I am a great fan of Sandy Denny’s I stand by my assertion. But you be the judge; this is a great tune, from her solo career:

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Pax Obama

“Could it be that when Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama leaves office that the defining image of his presidency will have been his use of unmanned drone aircraft and military death squads to achieve the will of the Empire?”


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Anne Briggs…

The purest voice of the British folk revival:

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