The job of interpretation—what in fact we're doing when we interpret—is to supply what the poem has appeared to omit, and our continuing interest in a poem turns on its resistance to our efforts.James Longenbach. The Resistance to Poetry. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 2004. 85.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Or" is the sign of a mind more interested in displaying a multiplicity of possible interpretations than in discerning something we could comfortably call the facts. At the same time, this mind is more palpably conscious of the pressure to call something a fact—to weigh one alternative against another before adding it to the available stockpile of information. Rather than feeling that all of history is contemporaneous, such a mind is possessed by a visceral awareness of the contemporary moment slipping away forever. Second by second, the incremental passage of time alters the sense of every preceding second, leaving this mind with a menu of more-or-less useful accounts. In addition, this mind is itself in motion, aware that one moment's version of events will not necessarily satisfy as time moves forward. Most important, this mind is not frustrated but nurtured by a constantly shifting sense of alternatives. "We remembered, we anticipated a peacock," says Proust of the continual process of surprise that constitutes our coming to know another human being, "and we find a peony."James Longenbach. The Resistance to Poetry. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 2004. 76-77.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Poetry sets us on the broad sea, and we're pulled forward by incantation, drawn back to what resists our intelligence almost successfully.James Longenbach. The Resistance to Poetry. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 2004. 49.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Jesus' basic conviction was not only that God is close to us, but also that God loves us. As we have seen, God's unconditional love was the foundation of Jesus' spirituality. But it God is the all-encompassing mystery, how are we to make sense of this love? What would it mean to say that we are loved by the awe-inspiring mystery that is intimately close to us? Can I be loved by a mystery or by the mystery?Albert Nolan. Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom. New York: Orbis, 2006. 145.
I can begin by recognizing that the mystery in which I live and movee and have my being is not hostile to me and cannot be. I am part of the mystery. The mystery gave birth to me.The mystery must then be more concerned about me thatn I am about myself. If the mystery of God is closer to me than I am to myself and if we are in some profound sense one, then I have nothing to fear. I will be cared for at all times and in all circumstances. Nothing can really harm me and whatever happens will be for the best. I am loved beyond measure because I am one with the whole mystery of life.
As I gradually become aware of the closeness of the mystery we call God, so do I become aware of the impossibility of being hated and rejected. If the mystery of it all were to hate and reject me, it would be hating and rejecting itself. Just as I am challenged to love my neighbor as myself, so also can I come to recognize that God loves me as God's own self. We are in some mysterious sense one self.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Where other teachers might have had long lists of "do-nots" or prohibitions, Jesus' principal concern seems to have been that people not be paralyzed by fear.Albert Nolan. Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom. New York: Orbis, 2006. 122.