Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Return?

I must be in a nostalgic frame of mind. Just now, as I climbed the stairs and headed to bed, a whiff of something made me think of Strawberry Shortcake, the dolls my sister and I played with as little girls. I'm certain if I mentioned to Erin (my sister) that smell, she'd immediately be swept back in time as well. How powerful these memories are, and the hold they have on us for the rest of our lives.

A couple of days ago I thought about starting to post on here again. There was once a time when I wrote on here nearly every day, and then it dwindled to maybe monthly, and then, to my shame, I abandoned it completely. It takes time to blog, especially if you add pictures which you've enhanced in Photoshop yourself, and who reads it anyway? Blogs are passé, no? Does anyone use blogspot anymore? Should I have moved to Wordpress years ago? Does it even matter at this point? We've all moved on to YouTube anyway, and I, like a silent film actress, feel ill-prepared for the new media. But, here I am, feeling a certain nostalgia for days gone by and not quite ready to let the thing completely die. Dum Spiro Spero has been here for me so long– in March it was nine years, and I started the blog (have I admitted this out loud here before?) as a way to help mend my broken heart, or at least to provide a distraction from the pain I was feeling in connection to a breakup from a certain boy. I suppose it did that, and more, as I've loosely documented the passing years here.



Tonight I reread my "About Me" post. Was it prophetic? Did I realize when I wrote all those years ago that it would still ring true now, these many years in the future? And will it still be true years from now? Will I still be dreaming of the same things? I like what I wrote then– four sentences to summarize me, and I look at them now and I still think they were well written, and they're just as true as the day I wrote them.

When I first started this blog, I would quote bits of poems, and prose that I liked. There's one that I quoted ages ago that continues to loom in my mind and I keep trying to reference it as it seems so true. I'm quoting it here so that I can find it again when I want it.

To me it seems a very terrible thing to be a woman.  There is one crown which perhaps is worth it all-- a great love, a quiet home, and children.   We all know that is all that is worthwhile, and we must peg away, showing off our wares in the market if we have money, or manufacturing careers for ourselves if we haven't.  We have not the motive to prepare ourselves for a 'lifework' of teaching, of social work-- we know that we would lay it down with hallelujah in the height of our success, to make a home for the right man.  And all the time in the background of our consciousness rings the warning that perhaps the right man will never come.  A great love is given to very few.  Perhaps this makeshift time-filler of a job is our lifework after all. 
~Ruth Benedict, Anthropologist, 1912

Months ago, when Donald Trump won the election to become the 45th President of the United States, I cheekily posted on Facebook that in the wake Carla Bruni (wife to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy) and Melania Trump (both former models), I had a new aspiration, i.e., to be a first lady. My feminist friends responded and asked why I wasn't aspiring to be President, to which I refer them to the quote above. Nope, thank you very much, I want to be a wife and a mother. I am sorry if that is not ambitious enough for you.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my first blog post back after five months of non-posting.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

And When I Have Seen Him, I Shall Never Die

I shall rise from the dead... I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began... No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.

~John Donne, from Sermon CXVIII, Preached at St. Paul's Cathedral on Midsummer Day, 1622

Monday, May 9, 2016

No More Hopeless than the Most Moral and Respectable Person in the World

“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” 

And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. 

How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.

~Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure (Emphasis mine)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

He Sits at the Right Hand of God

I have a caretaker who is better than you and all the angels; he lies in a manger and nurses at his mother’s breast, yet he sits at the right hand of God, the Almighty Father.

~Martin Luther, written February 7, 1546 to his beloved wife. He died 11 days later.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Farewell to you and the Youth I have spent with you...

“If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.”

~ from The Prophet, Khalil Gibran

Monday, December 21, 2015

Who Made Lame Beggars Walk and Blind Men See

"And how did little Tim behave?" asked Mrs. Cratchit...

"As good as gold," said Bob, "and better. Somehow, he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day [the one] who made lame beggars walk and blind men see."
~Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit, from Charles Dickens' Christmas Classic "A Christmas Carol," discussing their crippled child, Tiny Tim, while Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present look on unseen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

When Farmer Oak Smiled

"When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread, till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to mere chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun."

I love these opening lines to Thomas Hardy's classic novel of an independent and spirited woman courted by three suitors. I watched the film adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd last night, my third time in as many months, and found more insight now that I've finished the book. Farmer Oak, as can be easily discerned from the lines above, is a delight, and Hardy's talent with the pen inspires in me such admiration, as well as sadness that he so early gave it up (with his last novel being released thirty years before he died). Just think what else there might have been!

Back to Farmer Oak:

"In his face one might notice that many of the hues and curves of youth had tarried on to manhood: there even remained in his remoter crannies some relics of the boy. His height and breadth would have been sufficient to make his presence imposing had they been exhibited with due consideration. But there is a way some men have, rural and urban alike – for which the mind is more responsible than flesh or sinew – a way of curtailing their dimensions by their manner of showing them; and from a quiet modesty that would have become a vestal, which seemed continually to impress upon him that he had no great claim on the world's room, Oak walked unassumingly and with a faintly perceptible bend, quite distinct from a bowing of the shoulders. This may be said to be a defect in an individual if he depends for his valuation as a total more upon his appearance than upon his capacity to wear well, which Oak did not. He had just reached the time of life at which "young" is ceasing to be the prefix of "man" in speaking of one. He was at the brightest period of masculine life, for his intellect and emotions were clearly separate: he had passed the time during which the influence of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse, and he had not yet arrived at the state wherein they become united again, in the character of prejudice, by the influence of a wife and family. In short he was twenty-eight and a bachelor."

Isn't it beautiful? Happy and fortunate is he who can craft a novel.