The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Moment's Peace

Well, we've had quite the week, haven't we?

The murderous attack in Boston, and the resultant manhunt and ephemeral questions of whether the living suspect would be treated as an enemy combatant (he wasn't), the appalling accident in West, Texas, and the high cost in human lives of ignoring safety regulations. Even the "good" news last week--the Virginia Supreme Court's finding that the Falls Church property reverted to the Episcopal Church and continuing diocese--should not be a cause for triumphalism. The fact that it came to this represents a failure of all involved, a failure of imagination, of the ability to reach beyond the law's requirements. The Diocese and National Church could not countenance the parish incumbent's and departing majority behavior, but neither was this how things should have ended.

But there is still life and beauty in the world. La Caterina, first and foremeost. My cats still crowd my keyboard, wanting snuggles, my feral friends Sherlock and Poppelthwaite grow ever more affectionate, while Mr. Giles remains an ideal cat friend.

Liturgy goes on, the Daily Office goes on. A new writing project takes on a new urgency and life of its own.

And moments of joy keep turning up. A sheet of flowers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A birthday dinner with old friends and new. A discussion of Leonard Cohen and his music turns up an ineluctably beautiful moment of his voice blending with that of Julie Christensen and Perla Battalla.

Listen to this all, but note how the voices blend at 4:00 on:

And note how the sacred and profane blend in Cohen--this song conveys the ache of desire in the lyrics and in (in this video, at any rate) performances, with extraordinary sharpness. And then listen to Christensen and Battalla do "Anthem":

And that's life, innit? Sorrow, joy, insight, the spirit and the flesh, all mixed up in a never ending symphony, sometimes discordant, sometimes filled with
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.
So we pass this tough week, and move into the next phase of the dance.

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