Tuesday, 30 December 2014


To listen, really listen, is an art which few of us cultivate, and to be heard--really heard---is a privilege few encounter, but when we do there is usually an accompanying transformation, if in no other way, then in the manner in which we feel about the one who listens. If I have any resolution for 2015 it is to listen more, at least to those whose words are spoken in generous truth and who aim to nourish by their speech--there is one who does that above all--and, to those are crying out to be heard, not to impress, flatter, deceive, dominate, manipulate, or suffocate with maligning or cloying words, but to be heard: to these I incline my ear.

Again--and without seeking it out--I came across some more art today that captivated. This is called Listening for Divine Instruction, by Shiloh Sophia McCloud, many of her other pieces weren't so much to my taste, but this, in my eyes, is stunning.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

'Christmas' past and Christmas present

Although I have never been a fan of icons, in the last couple of days two religious pictures have caught my attention; they put in art form both the disquiet and the hope that I can only poorly express in words. There is a sense in which they depict 'Christmas' past and Christmas present. 

In the same time period I have also been introduced to a new artist by a lovely friend, somehow the music and the art align with one another. The first track with the former, and the second with the latter.

* "Virgin Mary Consoles Eve", painted by Sister Grace Remington, OCSO, of the Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" by Ain Vares

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Rachel weeping for her children

"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more." Matthew 2:18

' "Atticus" said Jem bleakly.
He turned in the doorway. What, son?"
"How could they do it? How could they?"
"I don't know but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again. And when they do it--seems that only children weep." ' 
                                                                                                                        To Kill a Mockingbird

What can be said in the face of yet another slaughter of innocents, to yet more who are torn apart by the death of their little ones and left in desolation? May God comfort those who mourn, and have mercy on the rest/the West/the white privileged as we run from Black Friday to Cyber ​​Monday to Christmas sales to buy more for those who have no lack, and who bemoan every little ache and discomfort knowing nothing of the searing and shattering heartache and devastation of much of the world. 

Redeeming the time, for the days are evil...                                                   Ephesians 5:16

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Seal lullaby

Radio 3 came up trumps again this afternoon during one of my enforced listening sessions. They played this beautiful piece, 'The Seal Lullaby' by Eric Whittacre:

and a live performance here with Whittacre conducting:

And, a photo of a seal - for good measure.

Pic from here

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Lisa Hannigan pick up

This was my go to 'pick up' song in the two week insane MA dissertation 20 hour/day blitz back in 2009. Am now hoping it will work for the last push of the thesis - desperate days.

And this is the caaaaaalm down song when it all got too much; needed again, perhaps...