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Wannabe psychologist, aesthetic idealist, moral philosopher, incorrigible INTP, eternal child, neurologist-in-training, quintessential writer, trigger-happy photographer, mediocre ballerina, staunch multiculturalist, avid bibliophile, nosy historian.
Home of my writing and of Uisce Beatha Photography.
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"The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering".
- Tom Waits -
Atomriug indiu/niurt nime,/soilsi gréne,/étrochtai éscai,/áni thened,/déni lóchet,/luaithi gaíthe,/fudomnai mara,/tairismigi thalman,/cobsaidi ailech.
I bind to myself today/the power of Heaven,/The light of the Sun,/The brightness of the Moon,/The splendor of Fire,/The flashing of Lightning,/The swiftness of Wind,/The depth of Sea,/The stability of Earth,/The compactness of Rock.
- from the Lúireach Phádraig - St. Patrick's Breastplate
Profile image credit: from "Wind Child", by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
G.K. Chesterton’s “Introductory Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy” is a resounding attack on the banalities of the modern manifestations of faded Enlightenment principles, as wholly applicable in our own day as in the author’s. Practicality and soft words held no use for him, who has condemned what he names “modern liberty” (on the grounds that it liberates no one), and denounced “good taste” as the “last and vilest of human superstitions”. Even I – an established, staunch fan of Chesterton and his school of thought – cannot fault “Introductory Remarks…” for having failed to ignite my intellectual participation through introspection and self-righteous historical analysis, two activities in which Chesterton himself was likely engaged at the time in which he wrote this address.
Needless to say, this speech did not arouse in my soul any sense of indignant reproach coming from an idiotic self-categorization into Chesterton’s group of inefficient despicables who produce “art for art’s sake”, but rather vindication in my own philosophy which compels me to hold (like Chesterton) that philosophy itself does indeed matter. The necessity of the ideals for which he cries makes me wonder if the same disease of unfounded blasphemy is diagnosable in today’s society, if society’s ability to form valid arguments full of heretical conviction is fading due to the very fact that religious, moral and philosophical standards have been slowly discarded. Upon reflection, I have found this diagnosis to be quite possibly accurate, taking into account the pernicious effects of our modern, politically correct, “anything goes” sort of attitude, which renders politics into a perpetual jousting-lane of unfounded accusations and a profound dearth of “the ambitions of wit and eloquence” (as so eloquently stated by Chesterton). It is no small matter for Chesterton to speculate on whether or not the “conversational pessimist” would have had some sort of impact on the society in which he lived; a matter of even greater gravity is implied now, when I find myself wondering whether or not people can even be certain whether or not their own perspective more closely resembles optimism or pessimism.
Up to this point, the grounds on which I have deemed this speech to be “historically significant” may be unclear or dubious. However, Chesterton’s “Introductory Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy” is, for me, the ultimate definition of what a historically significant speech is, in essence: a despairing summary of the state of affairs in the time into which it was delivered, birthed as the peak embodiment of the writer’s indignation towards the world he finds himself observing, as both an inhabitant and an outsider. It is, additionally, an expression of the anguish of one aware of changing times and attitudes, desperately trying to adopt and revive the practices of a bygone time, even as he watches them slip from his reality. I, like Chesterton, am one of these unfortunate souls, perpetually launched into space, searching for a time in which words carried visceral meaning, not semantically-depraved, imposed connotations, and in which the actions of individuals poured forth not merely from situational pressure, but from the abundance of conviction buried in their very essence.
of an infinite sun-shower
in the laugh lines of your eyes
so let's walk a little farther
and you can take me to that damp
keep their tears quiet
bent over in stifled pain
will put my hands on the bark
and heal them
will offer up a prayer
for the sorrows of the myrrh
perhaps then her father will forgive her
will again hover silent
in her womb
you've filled me with words
brimful and light
on the tip of your tongue
and escape playful
with every kiss i steal
easy and soft
will whisper them back to you
if you trust me
and take me to that crying
place in your heart
i see it there
let me squeeze it
in my own two hands
they can scarcely hold you
you give me my songs
but i swear to you
i will breathe it back
into your soul
you'll cry then
and birth will be
the strength to live