Tag Archives: monday’s measured words

wilde

One of my brother’s favourite author’s is Oscar Wilde.  He is not one of mine – yet (my brother thinks it’s only a matter of time!).  I have just started re-reading The Picture of Dorian Grey and have been quite surprised.

While we were overseas we did some of the ‘typical’ touristy things, one which included going to Wilde’s grave at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  It felt momentous, but that could have been because of the solemn nature of the line of mourners who were filing past.  If you look closely at the photo you will notice the many lipstick marks of those who have kissed the tomb in reverence to the writer – extraordinary.

While we were in Dublin we took some time to see the amazingly detailed and slightly disturbing monument to Wilde in Merrion Square.

There is certainly a cult-like following of Wilde and his works, which I have never really understood.  However, reading Dorian Gray this time around I am catching glimpse sof why people are so dedicated to, obsessed by, invested in, his work.

From the prologue of the book, written by Wilde, allegedly as a defence against the books critics, comes the following:

The artist is the creator of beautiful things.

To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.

The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.

This is a fault.

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.

They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.

That is all.

I cannot say that I agree with all that Wilde is saying, but then it wasn’t my novel been criticized and threatened with censorship.  In particularly, I don’t agree with the idea/ideal that ‘those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.  They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty’.

In Donna Tartt’s The Secret History (which is one of my favourite books), one of her characters makes the following statement, ‘There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty – unless she is wed to something more meaningful – is always superficial.’ To me this seems like the crux of the issue.  Beauty, or anything else, unless it is cleaved to a greater understanding, a greater good, if you will, then it really is beauty for beauty’s sake.  And I’m not sure that that is enough.  Or is it?


words

Words are heavy.

They are the carriers of emotion and ideas, of our hearts, our desires , our fear, our rage.

They save us, they comfort us –  by their simplicity, their accessibility, their humility, their servitude to us, by their might.

Right now I have very few.




whirling dervish

I am acutely aware of who I am.  How I am.

The ‘whirling dervish’ attitude I have to my life.

If I move fast enough I’ll make it.

I have no regrets.

But I am tired.

And besides….HE feels like a whirling dervish to me.

HE feels fast and busy and determined and deliberate.

Maybe that’s why we get along so well.

And maybe that’s why we clash from time to time.

Perhaps this all resonates a little to deeply,

perhaps it is a little too true and

perhaps it scratches at the fragility of my faith and my desire to be something I am not.

The whirling will continue for now.


surround yourself with beauty…

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.This makes it hard to plan the day. E. B. White

I am slowly inching myself off the fence and down on to the side I want to live on.  And its the side where improving the world and enjoying the world are one and the same.  It is the side that says that beauty reflects more than superficiality.  It says that beauty and richness can be found in the little things and the little moments.   It’s the side that says we were created to improve the world, enjoy the world and care for the world.  And in doing so – beauty and fullness can be discovered.

At this stage it is complete idealism.  But its a place to start.  Something to aim for.  A choice to make.


set an example

The time for uncertainty is done.

Do it now or don’t do it.

Life was always meant to be about richness and completeness.

Learn a language.  Start a business.  Pursue a love.  Enrol to study.  Read a book.  See that movie.

Change direction.

Set an example.

Write and write and write some more.

It’s not a risk, it’s a quest.

Slay the dragon of indifference, defeat the fear.

(My girls are watching.  They watch everything.  They see me try, they see me fail.  They see me laugh and they see me cry.  They see me attempt to do better and be better.)

And on the top of my list of things to do: Pray that these girls grow to be women who know that they can be anyone, do anything, who know they are worthy and that they are loved.

Life was always meant to be about richness and completeness.


breath

She sits on her little cane chair reading.

Her little legs aren’t long enough and her feet swing back and forth, back and forth.  Apart from her feet, she is still.  Engrossed and fascinated by her book.

It is minutes before she reaches to turn the page.  And she does it slowly, carefully, delicately.

I can hear her breathing.  In and out.  In and out.  Soft breath’s.

Breath’s full of significance.

Signs of life.

As necessary as mine.

As necessary for my life as my own breath.


monday’s measured words

Isn’t it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity. Vaclav Havel

And perhaps in accepting the absurdity of it all we find truth in the simple things, grace in the naive and hope in the mundane.