Saturday, January 19, 2013

Old notebook


The country around Tattenhall in autumn. It makes me so homesick to look at these photos, and it's strange because I only lived there one full year.


So, last month I moved the whole drawing studio off the dining room table in anticipation of our Christmas parties and moved it into the guestroom that is now all set up as a studio. I really do have an amazing collection of little boxes, shoe boxes, mint and sweet tins, teeny caviar jars, to contain all the multitude of little bitty things you accumulate doing this stuff. I have lost count of the number of gummy erasers I've bought. Put all together, the Art Stuff has become quite the collection.

Of course, in the process I've unearthed a bunch of stuff I've not looked at in ages too. Found a stack of old notebooks dating back into the mid-90s. A nice little Moleskine from 2006 was a present from David Warren when he was cleaning out his desk one time, and came with a fountain pen that I've kept and used regularly ever since. I seem to have been using the Moleskine to make notes on conferences given by the Oratorians, (back when I was on speaking terms...Hi guys!)

Wanna see?

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Immaculate Conception, 2006
A poem to the Virgin, Abbess Hildegarde

Hail, girl of a noble house
shimmering and unpolluted
you pupil in the eye of chastity
you essence of sanctity
which was pleasing to God.

You are the lily that dazzles,
whom God knew
before all others

Now let the sunrise of joy
be all over Ecclesia
and let it resound in music
for the sweetest Virgin
Mary, compelling all praise,
mother of God,

Amen.
~ * ~

Snippets from a conference on Confession
by Fr. Derek Cross
Toronto Oratory
Advent, '06

(Pascal on self-love)

Christ is the sacrament of God's mercy and truth. The Church is human nature restored to union with God.

...the penitent gives his sins to the Lord who dissolves them.

Self love is ruthless. It tries as hard as it can to turn man from the truth.

Without mercy, man is afraid of truth. Without mercy truth perishes. The City of Man is the city based on self love.

The good deeds we remember are the ones that God forgets. (a VERY Oratorian quote. I was reminded constantly whenever I started talking about such things: "Hilary, don't lose the merit.")

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At Clear Creek monastery on the Feast of St. Scholastica
February 11, 2007

"Wise wert thou to spurn
the riches
and the crowns that heaven miss,

Wise to choose thy brother's teachings,
change thy way of life for his.

In the savour of thy ointments
did thou enter heavenly bliss."

~ * ~

On separation from the world, a conference by the Abbot of Clear Creek:

"the main raison d'etre of silence is to recollect all the energies, all the forces, all the faculties of the soul to prepare them for listening to the Lord."

"Ducam eam in solitudinem, et tibi loquar ad cor eius."

On the conversio morum:

"the stones polished by the blows of afflictions, this is the conversio morum, the conversion of life."

On chant:

St. Augustine - "The house of God is built up by singing. Because we love, we sing."

Cecile Bruyere OSB - "Holiness is the only interest of existence and life is not worth the trouble of being lived if we do not tend toward this end."

- "Only the angels have been given the capacity of accomplishing an act without flinching... As for us, God recons with our failures."

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...And then, England.

Hoolfield Hall farm, 4 miles from Tattenhall, Cheshire.
October 10, 2007

"There is never a moment in England of being truly alone. Even though no one would dare to intrude on anyone's privacy, the sense of being continually within shouting distance of other people, of therefore always being safe, is both the price and the prize of England."

"It is truly autumn now, and the softness of the English change is all around. If only I were an artist, I would try to paint the way the colours of the trees and grasses and hedgerows seem to blend and blur softly, softly into each other.

"The smell of burning mixes with the sound of birds."

~ * ~

That's all.



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