Art, Faith, Music, Poetry, Singleness

All existence is a long advent


I’ve written of life as a ‘long defeat’ in the past but maybe a ‘long advent’ is the other side. Here are a few links from the web.

A great post on why Christmas is precisely for those who hate it most:

In the irony of all ironies, Christmas is for those who will find it the hardest to enjoy.
Christmas is for those who hate it most.

Sam Alberry in a short video on singleness and how it points to the sufficiency of Christ.

Are intelligent people more lonely?. That sounds a trifle pretentious, but I did like this part in reference to art:

It is almost certain that people who have devoted themselves to self-honesty and self-observation have an above average chance of meeting with incomprehension, irritation, censorship or boredom when they attempt to share the data from their own minds frankly in company. Their thoughts (it might be on politics or architecture, family life or sexuality) will sound more threatening, intense, oblique or tender than is allowed.

That feels lonely, if one is in the mood to frame things like this. …

Yet there is one resource that is exceptionally well suited to address the feelings of disconnection liable to be felt by the emotionally intelligent: art. Works of art are humanity’s secret diary: records of all that could not be said in regular social contexts, but which have found a home in the more intimate, honest communication that can take place between an art-work and its audience. The libraries, cinemas and galleries of the world are repositories for all the sensations that didn’t easily make it into standard interactions and that contain what we need to state, and crave to hear as audiences, in our lonely states.

This post on the remarkable woman behind in the bleak midwinter. Yes, that is my Christina. This paragraph:

Writing about Rossetti’s later poetry in the journal Religion and the Arts, scholar Chene Heady describes how Rossetti’s devotional verses “re-enchant a disenchanted world.” Within Rossetti’s Christian vision, formed by the liturgy of her Anglican tradition, “all existence is a long Advent.” Our earthly condition is “devoid of meaning,” Heady explains, and gains “significance only through . . . the eyes of faith.” Material objects, then, such as those that dominate the imagery of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” serve as symbols of spiritual reality. Thus Rossetti’s poems are like the parables of Jesus: “sufficiently complicated as to seem simple to the hearer who misses the point.”

And this little sentence Christina wrote to her brother Dante (the wild artist):

Beautiful, delightful, noble, memorable, as is the world you and yours frequent, I yet am well content in my shady crevice—which crevice enjoys the unique advantage of being to my certain knowledge the place assigned me.

Also, I have my hands on the new Sara Groves album Abide with Me, which I preordered through a bookstore here (too expensive to have the pre-release posted from the US). It’s a mellow rendition of old hymns. I had to warm to it a little but now love it. It’s been playing in the background of this whole Sunday, and it’s perfect. 

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