Holy Huntress Who roam these valleys, Hallowed by your footfalls, Lady of the wild, Who wend your way amidst the resinous Pines, Who wander these mountainsides in the moonlight, Mighty savior, I call to you. Pray bless this land, Holy and dear to you. Bless us who dwell here. Bless all who call upon you, By whatever names they know you. Holy Huntress, Mighty savior, Hear my prayer.
Today’s the day. Day and night are balanced, the world is turning inward, preparing for the coming winter. (It’s already been two weeks since our first snow here, but things have warmed back up a bit.) The air is clear, the sky is blue. And most of all, it’s the season for one of my favorite words: autumnal. 😀
Have a happy and blessed equinox!
Tall pine trees stand beside the tranquil lake, Their needles whisper in the gentle breeze. Trunk and branches sway just as they please, A soft susurrus in the wind to make. While high above the summer sun’s rays beat To scorch the earth and turn the grass to brown. Grey smoke arises from the hill’s stark crown: Flames echo there the searing solar heat. Yet soon enough, the seasons' course will turn: Long winter nights will close in over all. Deep snows atop these mountains then shall fall To cool the land which months ago did burn. And through it all—fierce heat or winter's sleep— The pine trees still their quiet vigil keep.
According to the traditional Athenian calendar, today is the festival of Demokratia. In honor of that, I’ll share some casual reflections that I wrote for a public symposium, held last year, quite by chance, on this lunar date. I copy those remarks here, unchanged from what I wrote (for a very different audience) in 2019.Continue reading “Kala Demokratia! (With Thoughts from Plato)”
Then we must suppose that the same is true of a just person who falls into poverty or disease or some other apparent evil, namely, that this will end well for him, either during his lifetime or afterwards, for the Gods never neglect anyone who eagerly wishes to become just, and who makes himself as much like a God as a human can by adopting a virtuous way of life.Plato, Republic X, 613a.
Cool breeze through dry grass
Whispers through rugged valley:
Day’s heat still to come.
While above, through hazy sky,
Orange Sun beats down on Earth.
My understanding is that a traditional haiku, which forms the first three lines of the tanka form used here, should relate to the season(s). Well, here in the Mountain West, it’s fire season.
“Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach.”Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The wise observer of the world will say, Reflecting on what was, is now, shall be: There’s nothing that is worth more than this day. Cling as we might, what’s over goes its way. Our lives move on, despite sweet reverie, The wise observer of the world will say. Though never fully gone, past things decay, Recede into the well of memory: There’s nothing that is worth more than this day. Imagined futures—are they more than play? As yet unborn, devoid of certainty, The wise observer of the world will say. What’s yet to come, though dream and plan we may, Still in this moment lacks reality. There’s nothing that is worth more than this day. The present moment, though it will not stay, Is all that NOW exists substantially. And so the wise observer of the world will say, There’s nothing that is worth more than this day.
What books do you open? What words there inscribe? On leaves made from trees, Or the page of my soul? You set tales in order: Beginning, through middle, to end. You help me to see — and to sing — My own story. You lay open before me Wisdom of sages past. You inspire me to speak Their tales, for our time.
It is sometimes claimed that obedience, toward both Gods and humans, is a virtue. That seems wrong to me, and I’d like to explore the reasons why. As usual, I’m trying to develop my own understanding by thinking out in public in this forum, and I eagerly welcome respectful criticisms, objections, questions, and suggestions which might help me further my thinking on the issue.Continue reading “Is Obedience a Virtue?”
Hail, O Terpsichore, ever flowing Blessed mistress of the dance Fluid, graceful in every motion Body bending, firm in will. Unbind the tension I bear; Unknot, unwind, and loosen me, That I, too, might move Gracefully, in love and service, Swept up in the rhythm Of your holy, sacred dance.