Apr 202012
 

‘When I touch that flower’, he said rapturously, ‘I am touching infinity. It existed long before there were human beings on this Earth and will continue to exist for millions of years to come.

‘Through that flower I talk to the infinite, which is only a silent force. This is not a physical contact. It is not in the earthquake, wind or fire. It is in the invisible world. It is that small, still voice that calls up the fairies.’

George Washington Carver, Wizard of Tuskegee

Jul 042011
 

I lifted up skyward the crown of the faeries,
Tarnished by oceans of sea-crossing time.
Forged in the fire of golden-days dawning,
Lit with a halo of stars in the night.

Who now shall wear it? I wondered in silence
Una is resting with Duessa at play.
Gwenevere wanders in halls of forgetting,
Deep in the summer of dreaming this day.

On her feet sandals of gold, steps the princess,
Floating on air through the green garden grass,
Walking alone by the castle of ether,
Seen but unseen by the world through a glass.

The seal of the nether-world opened up freely;
Through the dark tunnel with reason behind,
Following meekly the one with a mission;
Perfect in will and a reader of signs.

Once past the stream of the guardian lizards,
On through the gate to the bright other place,
Land of reflection and fathomless knowledge,
Home elemental of alchemic race.

Where do we go? I looked left and then eastward,
Somehow forboding the place that I saw.
Life’s university, building of sandstone
Burnished and gleaming, a prison by law.

Silent, but knowing, did reason stand sweetly
Holder of mysteries, the teacher and guide.
Younger and wiser and older all-seeing,
Dressed up in white and demure by my side.

Then came a voice – and as if out of nowhere –
Do you need help, you seem lost in this realm?
There stood a faerie, bewitchingly golden
Silken and spun was her hair from the sun

Stepped forth the reason – seduced by her magic –
Stretched out a hand to her beautiful hair.
Won’t you come with me? The faerie enticed us,
Stop by the hearth of the potter this day...

Brooding I pondered, could faeries be trusted?
Should I be swayed from the pathway assigned?
Yet I had watched how my reason surrendered
So before airs of a beautiful kind….

Loathe to offend such a glorious being,
One who had offered with kindness and grace,
Help just when needed. I bowed to the faerie;
Take now your highness my reason away.

Then the wind changed as a wandering mistral,
Warm as the breeze on a meadow of wheat,
Swift, warm and golden the faerie-bird air-borne
Flew o’er myself that fell under her wing.

Passed by all time as I sailed down the sleep-stream,
Far to the land where the doe and stag graze.
Home to the garden that blooms East of Eden,
Land of the ancestors covered in praise.

Opened my eyes as I reached the cool garden
Wonder-filled, wide, as memories unfolded.
Looked up the stag and the doe from their incline,
Wakened my self from the river of time.

Safe in the knowledge of paradise tended,
Turned I my thought to the reason once lost.
So in a blink of my eye I went searching,
Straight to the hearth of the faerie-bird’s host.

Jan 072011
 

It is not the purpose of this book to trace the subsequent history of Christianity, especially the later history of Christianity; which involves controversies of which I hope to write more fully elsewhere. It is devoted only to the suggestion that Christianity, appearing amid heathen humanity, had all the character of a unique thing and even of a supernatural thing. It was not like any of the other things; and the more we study it the less it looks like any of them

I have said that Asia and the ancient world had an air of being too old to die. Christendom has had the very opposite fate. Christendom has had a series of revolutions and in each one of them Christianity has died. Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a god who knew the way out of the grave. It is so true that three or four times at least in the history of Christendom the whole soul seemed to have gone out of Christianity; and almost every man in his heart expected its end.

The Church in the West was not in a world where things were too old to die; but in one in which they were always young enough to get killed

At least five times, with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist sceptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases it was the dog that died. How complete was the collapse and how strange the reversal, we cars only see in detail in the case nearest to our own time.

A thousand things have been said about the Oxford Movement and the parallel French Catholic revival; but few have made us feel the simplest fact about it; that it was a surprise. It was a puzzle as well as a surprise; because it seemed to most people like a river turning backwards from the sea and trying to climb back into the mountains.

In short, the whole world being divided about whether the stream was going slower or faster, became conscious of something vague but vast that was going against the stream. Both in fact and figure there is something deeply disturbing about this, and that for an essential reason. A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. A dead dog can be lifted on the leaping water with all the swiftness of a leaping hound; but only a live dog can swim backwards. A paper boat can ride the rising deluge with all the airy arrogance of a fairy ship; but if the fairy ship sails upstream it is really rowed by the fairies.

G K Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, The Five Deaths of the Faith

Nov 192010
 

Out of this wood do not desire to go:

Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.

I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state;

And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;

I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee;

And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,

And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,

That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! Mustardseed!

Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;

Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;

Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,

With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;

The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,

And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,

And light them at the fiery glow-worm’s eyes,

To haev my love to bed and to arise;

And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,

To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:

Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Aug 082010
 

I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:

Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note;

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;

And they fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me

On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.

Out of the wood do not desire to go:

Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.

I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state;

And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;

I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee;

And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,

And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,

That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare