Rabbit Trails Third Thursday in January

Links to articles that I’ve found compelling, convicting, or convivial, favorite quotes, a little food, a little music, a beautiful painting; here are just a few rabbit trails to follow…

First –  In case you missed it – Beauty and Faith in the Age of Twitter.  Mark Bauerlein, author of the book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don ‘t Trust Anyone Under 30), comments on the damaging effects of social media on American teenagers and specifically how it impairs their  ability to see beauty and perceive faith.  The remedies (or antidotes) sound, not so surprisingly, a lot like Charlotte Mason method – habit of attention, writing by hand, memorization of poetry…Click the blue button that says “watch on vimeo.”


“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”  G.K. Chesterton

Garden in Winter, c 1904, Charles Adams Platt
Garden in Winter, c 1904, Charles Adams Platt

Third –  If you are the sort that likes to ponder spring flowers and summer veggies during winter doldrums, you might also appreciate this article, Gardens of Good and Evil, by Rodney Delasanta that offers a sort of Garden Tour of worldview.

Each generation has been compelled to consider what the archetypal loss of the garden means in its own time. The garden of the Genesis story clearly made inconvenient demands upon its residents. It was the work of a Gardener who was superior to the creatures that lived within it and could command them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So let us have the garden, some later generations came to think—but this time without the by-laws that came with it the first time. Other generations asked instead why the garden had to be created at all: Why couldn’t it always have been there? Still others asked, Why can’t we create our own gardens?

Fourth –   I recently found this recording of my absolute favorite work about Christ the Light of the world.  O Nata Lux by Morten Lauridsen, sung by The King’s Singers.  It is a choral piece, but in the voices of this six member ensemble, each word is clear, each note shimmers, each chord resonates, the melody line soars. Just gorgeous.

Fifth –  There will be two weeks during which early risers can see all five of the visible planets in the Eastern sky in the mornings. Sky & Telescope has the details here:  Get Up Early, See Five Planets. It’s been eleven years since we’ve had this opportunity. Get the kids up, make hot chocolate, pour a cup of steaming java for yourself. Grab a blanket and then go outside and look up!


Snow-flakes, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.


Finally – The two paintings in this post are two that The Daughter and I saw back in September when we visited the Chrysler Museum’s showing of The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement.  I wrote about it here, American Impressionism in the Garden.  If the winter snow is just a bit to dreary, read about the exhibit and choose a beautiful summer garden to ponder in this article by Anna O’Marley published by InCollect.

Happy (rabbit) trails…    


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