Archive for October, 2004

The Idea of Autumn

I am currently re-reading a lot of C.S. Lewis in preparation for my talk sometime in the spring at the Theosophical Society, and I came across this lovely and haunting tidbit from his autobiography, Surprised by Joy:

"The second glimpse came through Squirrel Nutkin; through it only, though I loved all the Beatrix Potter books………It troubled me with what I can only describe as the Idea of Autumn. It sounds fantastic to say that one can be enamoured of a season, but that is something like what happened; and, as before, the experience was one of intense desire. And one went back to the book, not to gratify the desire (that was impossible — how can one possess Autumn?) but to reawake it."

Lewis here is describing a series of experiences that he would later understand as an engagement with the Numenous. This intense and fleeting contact with the Divine, these moments of naked Mind, would come to personify him, set him on a course that would lead to the creation of some of the most important and beloved published works of the twentieth century.

"The reader who finds these three episodes of no interest need read this book no further, for in a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else."


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Hideous Beastie

An actual email exchange between me and the Professor, about our impending annual trip to the UK over Thanksgiving:

Check this out. We could go to St. James Garlickhythe and hear services from the 1662 Prayer Book, the words GOD WROTE DOWN ON THE PAGE.

Oh yes let’s! Plus the church looks be-yoo-tiful.


Well, maybe not. Sunday services are at 10:30 am. You’d have to SCRAPE your tiny head out of bed to get there and you know what you’re like in the morning.


Well, yes. Yes I do.



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Fighting Dirty

So I’m watching the debates as I am typing this. I’ve always much preferred the Vice Presidential candidates sparring more than the Presidential candidates sparring because I feel both parties are a lot freer to be bold in their statements and more honest (if such a concept could be viewed on a sliding scale) in their rebuttals. This debate is certainly bearing up my assumptions.

John Edwards is holding his own admirably against an older and supremely (perhaps blindly) confident Dick Cheney, and he’s doing it in the cutest Southern accent. (Not exactly the most serious observation, but I am typing this without backspacing because I want to record my thoughts as they occur. Also I have a chicken roasting in the oven. Ohhhhh damn it smells delicous).

Anyway, Dick Cheney is a formidable debate opponent. He projects utter calm, total confidence, and spills out facts, voting records, and anecdotes with astonishing organisation. He also answers questions fairly thoroughly. However, he appears to me to be avoiding some of the most sensitive questions by towing the party line and repeating phrases like “weapons of mass destruction” and “safer for democracy” when ALL OF US KNOW that Iraq is the hugest damn senseless waste of life and international relations disaster I’ve seen (in my lifetime anyway). Edwards is doing a fine job of reminding us of this and presenting substantive information about the big business-government connections occurring under the present administration in large part due to Dick Cheney.

I know these issues are immensely complex, both in terms of being a politician attempting to get shit done and in terms of the intensely tangled and dispersed problem of terrorist violence, particularly in the Middle East. Sometimes it worries me that at the end of the day I always vote with only a dim grasp of not only what is going on but who I think is going to fix it best.

At any rate, the personal attacks are beginning to get interesting. These guys look like scrapping 3-year olds, so I’m going to end this post. I must say do feel a little sorry for the Vice Presidential candidates because they have to pour a ton of energy into essentially going to bat for someone else. In this regard alone I feel sorry for Dick Cheney. Imagine having to go to bat for George Bush to save your own job even if you personally think he is an idiot or making bad decisions.

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