To See Over the Mountains

“In every friendship hearts grow and entwine themselves together, so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That is why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.”

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

It is always painful in some measure to leave a person you love. I’ve been repeatedly reminded of this fact today, and in reflecting on the words of this holy man, was reminded of something that I was told by an instructor in August 2018 while out in the mountains.

“Think of how Mary felt on Calvary, how much she was hurt. She knows more than anyone what pain separation from a loved one can be.”

There are times when it is impossible to understand why God directs or permits circumstances – at least in the more immediate sense. His Will is nothing but the good of each individual, the ultimate end for which He designed us. A temporary distancing and hurt can, if we so permit, be to guide us away from a permanent hell and closer to the resurrection.
He never takes away something permanently, we just have to be patient and trust Him.

. . . Usually easier to say than to act upon, isn’t it?

One can’t see what is beyond the mountain without first climbing it (or going around, but that’s a much longer journey). In some cases, one can literally see over the mountains while taking the first step upwards.
That’s what I saw over the mountains.

A Muted World: Thoughts

The sunrise never came. Snow above, underfoot, in the air – everything crystallized, cold, solid. Whispers of wind swirled spark’ling silver in the dusky dawn. The only fragments of the past were threadlike thoughts, twined within the breeze, remnants of yesterday’s time – The cries of a silenced world. You might have heard them if you weren’t quiet enough.

Is winter a time of death? Gloom and melancholy?
I think it is rather a time of silence and rest, made so that men must let Creation rest.

Noise runs rampant today, unbridled and coarse. Silence brings about reflection and the world fears to know itself lest it know the Truth. Our race prefers the cold groan of ice to the still of a summer evening, a bleak sky to the stars; To be blind than realize ourselves to be wrong, and be deafened by our machinations rather than hear the loving whisper of God.

There was a time when the world was ice to the core. It froze when the first father chose wrongly, and has only been thawing slowly for two millennia. Each time mankind challenges God, the chilling frost of Hell blows louder in acclamation. Evil does not realize (or proudly denies) that God can force Hell’s fires against the ice and turn the kingdom of rebels against itself to destruction.

Though sometimes painful and bleak, wintertime is a beautiful thing. Within the lack of colour and life, quiet and cold, shimmers anticipation of Life, warmth, and until then, a comforting of silence in a muted world.

A Poem…Five Years Ago

A pearled orb of sunlit stone,
On a course encompassing the world,
The lesser light to rule the night,
Across the sky since dawn of time,
On unceasing voyages has been hurled.

Like each of us, the moon can shine,
But it has a darker side:
Cold and dark, a frozen plain,
A broken surface, strewn with faults,
If not concealed: this lack of light,
Would any ever see by night?

O’er countless generations it carefully,
Makes sure its dark side is never seen.
It shines brighter than any star,
Yet does not boast, knowing it’s gleam
Like all gifts was given by God,
And if it has no light to shed,
It simply is not seen.

I can not help but wistfully,
Think of what our lives could be,
If we’d take an example from the Moon;
Never let others, our dark side see.

Silent Lightning

Silence is a wonderful thing. A friend is a treasure from God. Time is mysterious, and darkness beautiful.

Is the last of the four surprising to be in such a list? I’ve written of time (or Not-Time) before. This is slightly different.
Many people associate darkness with things Not-Good. Maybe that’s because they can’t see what’s in it, and know that (worse), many think that they can’t be seen in it – the former is strange to me and the latter false in more than one way.

Earlier this evening I sat under a tree with a cup of tea, Another, and God. The sun had suffocated beneath piling clouds, or fallen down a mountain. I don’t know which. The day ended as timeless Evening crept forward to stealthily morph into Night.

We left the tree after a bit, walked somewhere down a road I’d never taken, and stopped after a few minutes to watch the clouds over the mountains ignite with brief flares of lightning. I don’t know how long we stood, perhaps twenty minutes.
It was all there – Time, a Friend, Darkness. Nature was raging in front of our eyes and was Silent. I know that somewhere the thunder was heard. It never reached us.

I say that darkness is beautiful (but then I can see rather well in it) because it doesn’t obscure everything – it removes some things and leaves the rest to be seen which otherwise are overlooked.
This particular species of Darkness was an unsteady rippling of light, for brief instances shrouding the starlight in pulses of silver. Other types are the steady moonrise, the waking stars, or bleak and cold, the clouded night.

To look into the darkness is like to do so up at stars or into someone’s eyes. There is everything to be seen, hidden in part by your own eyes, some things to be sought and others to remain Mystery. To know the stars or a person in whom resides the Creator are ways of further knowing Him. There, deep within the cosmos or in the heart and soul of that person, is God. If you look long enough, flashes of some truth shine out.

Look at the stars. I see hundreds of shapes between them, and unknowable points of light. Look at Another person. I wish that I could know the awful and beautiful ‘It’ which is naturally bound to the visible corporeal body, see that facet of God’s infinite beauty in all people – but far away are the stars, my eyes are blind and only God can be ever proximate.

All I know is that Sacred Mystery resides in Heaven, be It found in the eyes of the sky or a soul. And that is why I think darkness is beautiful.

” . . . faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” (Heb. 11:1)

Short Note On Poems

Many people have asked me, “How do you write poetry?”

…I wish I knew.

I started writing poetry about the same time that Algebra started making sense. I never have planned out a poem, be it a 12-liner or a 10-pager (why my prose is so awful) and no thought really went into them until I was finished.

Start with a thought. An idea. Write a few words about it, decide if it sounds like the beginning, middle or end of a poem, and write around it.
Or do the reverse. I’ll often write something that ‘sounds’, and if it sounds like something writable I go with it.

The latest poem here was considered weeks ago. I wrote it in 5 minutes when I had nothing better to do. Seems to be like music. It plays/writes itself out, ends when it wants to, and the artist is just the tool.

The only shred of advice I’ve ever given is this: Start small. Think of the smallest thing you can, write a line that sounds like it and GO.
And write of something you know about or can visualize. The art should not tell anything; I don’t think it ought to show everything. The final piece should work on the reader’s imagination, say enough to make him visualize what you write, but write so he sees only that – vividly.

To Own the Skies

Humanity has longed to be winged, has dreamed and wondered for millennia, and I think for more than we think we do. We want to fly freely, to have power, beauty, to surmount the clouds and see Light Itself. We want not the wings of eagles, but of Seraphim. We know that we want, but not always what –

Such wings would not be an escape from fight, but an overcoming, would they not? A rising to heights above the haze and clouds of mankind’s tragedy until you were not only in sight of the sun in its pure flame, but being consumed by it, burning as it does – radiating the same love with which you are struck, though never diminishing in ashes.

If you dream of flying, and wanting it as a beauty not meant for this life; if you see it as an escape from the ground you belong to – is that not because you were made for more than the confines of a spinning globe, more than a mortal’s lot; was your heart not created to contain eternally true Love and your body to be as beautiful as your soul, reflecting unspeakable Beauty Itself?

‘Inspirational Quotes’

This evening, due to a certain level of pain or something else (I’ll leave you to construct circumstances with basically no information) I am leaving off the more serious thoughts which I planned to write, and instead looking at something which has always bothered me in a small way: So-called ‘Inspirational Quotes’.
That’s right, I’m putting aside St. John Bosco for a bit and ranting; to be honest this is mostly because Life at Present is leaving me little time for solid thinking due to Things and Otherwise.

Now don’t get me wrong, many of these provide some food for thought. It’s just that some ‘food’ isn’t worth eating over many other options, and the message behind SO MANY is plain L.A.M.E.

Let’s take a look at a few random ones that I came across:

Alright – No limits save those you place on your own thinking. So…if I think enough my capabilities will increase? If I think and believe that I can fly with shoelaces for wings, I’ll be able to?

When he says ‘accomplish’, does he mean ‘accomplish within the ordinary limits of human physiology and physics’?

Ok….what? Yes, if there’s an effect there is a cause. I’m not even sure how this would be inspirational.
“You sir, have a purpose. Knowing that is where you can start to achieve something.”
OK, let’s get a little bit realistic here. This is true…but you know, eventually the sun will set. Every day, in fact. You will get a horribly sunburned face and might go blind from having constant solar radiation contact. Your neck will become unbearably stiff and cramped between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Ok. THIS is just blatantly false. The stars are seen at night because the light of the sun doesn’t swamp theirs’. HOWEVER, the stars shine 24/7, and are not dependent on the absence of light to produce light.
Yes, from all bad things, good is drawn, by the wisdom of God. No, evil is not necessary for good to exist, nor does the resultant good justify the bad actions, you Gnostic raggabrash.
Hm…..Anyone who has tried looking at the stars while walking down the sidewalk (particular readers have seen me try) knows that it’s asking for disaster.

There are hundreds more. I didn’t even get to the ‘Believe in Yourself’ and other really sappy ones.
And I know, a lot are meant to be taken figuratively. Sure, they can put a certain light on a situation. I just don’t get why so many make a huge deal about them when there is better stuff like this:

I was just kidding. Here we are, Don Bosco, talking about you a little. (Very Little)

He’s an excellent spiritual director. Just look up and reread that sentence.

Working well and being patient with others is mortification and a way to sanctity. It worked for Dominic Savio. He’s a saint now, largely because he listened to this good priest.

That’s all I really have time for tonight. Perhaps later on I will put my next poem on here along with Thoughts.

Pray for me!

‘My Kingdom is Not of This World’.

Well, it’s been just over a month since the last post. So many things have happened since then that I had little time to keep up here. Finishing a year at college, travels, settling into a new routine with work and Getting Sick mixed in took up a significant amount of time.

But here I am at last, with a Partial-Maybe (short) answer to a question/idea/odd notion which has been in my head for years, and will probably never leave since if nothing else, it is fun to mentally exploit.

The Tenth Crusade: Why not, right? Why did all the past crusades fail, and…could we get the tenth one going?

It came to me a week ago that Christ gave us the answer: “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36)

Christianity (TRUE Christianity) was never meant to be established permanently here. The world is it’s base, to bring the world to God, but the Kingdom of God is not OF the world – just IN it.
The War for the Cross is ongoing. It just doesn’t necessarily mean starting a physical war. That’s what the world does; utilizing only things it understands for its own ends. Until such a time as we are summoned to God, our fight involves nothing more than doing what is given us to do in our own capacity and time.
Establishing fortresses of stone and conquering lands with swords won’t win you Heaven, and it may not aid anyone else. For most of us, doing that would be far beyond our physical limitations, to speak nothing of the spiritual.
Getting up every day and living every moment in Charity, accomplishing each task, being patient with the next little sibling; like steel rings that make up a coat of mail, all those little things will eventually come together and habitually guard your soul.

NOT, mind you, that this in any way means I won’t do something odd like flying a Knights Templar flag at the Walk For Life next year. . . I just won’t be going all-out and summoning a secret war council in Constantinople on September 2nd. (Please tell me you know how ironic that would be.)

**I hope to one day prepare a fully-organized rant. A goal of mine this summer is to accomplish that.

Blood-Moon: The Eclipse

As embers blacken, smould’ring red,
Living fire from what was once dead,
First they grow dark, to burst into light,
So have we seen the Moon tonight.

It scorched by light’s absence,
Then ignited in the lonely undying cold.
Whispers across the cosmos bare,
Shuddered for fear, trembled the air,
And pale wights turned their mindless eyes,
To the star-struck heavens, though fearing the skies.
A tremour they felt and by fading light,
The warning was passed – “The Moon bleeds tonight”.

No blade nor shaft by one was seen,
To cause the fading of empearled gleam,
From radiance of ice to a fiery shell;
But the spirit groaned and faded to hell.
Wraiths turned about swiftly, gloating mid-flight,
Flew off to spread words – “The Moon bleeds tonight”.

The light which ever fluctuated slowly,
Now yields its pure beams to the fire and blood,
Reflecting the woes of humanity’s grounds,
For but this short hour, remorse it has found.
All peoples stopped living, were rooted in fright,
“How is it that this – the Moon – bleeds tonight!”

In those little moments, our history’s laid,
With light we percieve what our misdeeds have made.
From full shining glory, to fading then black,
From blackness to bleeding, what hearts we have lack,
And Fire! the Blood! What a fate lies ahead,
The misery, torment – Oh unholy dead!
So surely ye die! all fall in your plight,
And doom is so certain – The Moon bleeds tonight!

And Hope never finds us, if what skies portend,
Spoke wholly of fate, as if we could not mend,
What was rent by the first, who started the eclipse,
Still stand all! Heedlessly bound in watching the fall,
Every soul speechless views with delight,
The anguished moon rising – And bleeding tonight.

But hold. It passes, is fading away.
Mournful that the evil could not stay,
We move back to living, by hell bound no more,
And the souls are not transfixed as they had been before.
Oh foolish children, if only you’d seen,
What under the mysteries, all of these mean!

The passing of gory signs in the sky,
Speaks out that not all ever must die.
A coming is not an eternity,
But beginning has ended, and reading we,
Could know such a horror as this that you saw,
Was the passing of the ancient demoniac law.
From white, black and red, from living to dead,
And red then to black – life, but purity lack,
The moon’s a reflection – humanity’s soul,
As war is waged ever, eternally won,
So now is again reflecting the sun,
A pure orb glist’ning, both shining as one.

Though for a short while mankind was ablaze,
A-lost in the gore and the dread ruddy haze,
And yet it may fall back into ancient rites,
Always returns to as it was before,
You may know, all you warriors, God’s winning the war:
And search out the grace from Lucifer’s blight,
Rejoice and stand fast when the Moon bleeds tonight.