RANGER AGAINST WAR: Feeling Autumnal <

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Feeling Autumnal

--The Red Vinyard at Arles, Van Gogh


And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall

But you go on

, U2

Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns
Can't compensate for lack of sun,
Because the summer's all gone
--The Kinks, Autumn Almanac

All things on earth point home in old October:
sailors to sea,
travellers to walls and fences,
hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds,
the lover to the love he has forsaken

--Thomas Wolfe


Happy Sunday, Ranger readers.

Lisa would like to resurrect the
Sunday homily series, even if only for an occasional run. It will be an all-denomination feature. A virtual Unitarian - Universalist Ranger church, plus some. Every point of view will be considered, except maybe Southern Baptist. Now soliciting possible topics for next week's sermon. (A personality inventory once concluded I was best suited to be a reverend or a dental hygienist -- go figure.)

Now, a wise poem to a child by Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins for the beginning of Autumn, my favorite season:

Spring and Fall

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Blogger FDChief said...


A very autumnal poem for a beautiful day...

One of the most poignant things about having young children is seeing their easy griefs over facile losses and understanding at the same time how important those griefs are to them at the time and yet how trivial they will be compared to the griefs to come; the lost loves, the failed hopes, the ruinous errors and violent punishments for ignorance and innocence...

And also knowing that no experience you share, no warning you can utter will save them from those greater griefs. Unswerving is the Wheel, sparing not a hair.

Wasn't it the Book of Job that says "Man is born to suffer as the sparks fly upwards."?

Or as the leaves fall.

Monday, October 3, 2011 at 8:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Those early "easy griefs over facile losses" do seem to betray the egoism that is man. The stakes may seem higher later on, but the self-interest does not flag :(

Man suffers through his conceit and acquisitive nature. If the traits are not bred out of children while young (and most are given the example that they are goods), woe betides them. Not that a life can be spared inevitable disappointment, but the cowering, belligerent ego makes it that much worse, IMO.

Monday, October 3, 2011 at 10:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...


Well, you're right, Lisa; usually when we mourn those trivial losses we mourn not so much for what we have lost as what we have acquired and lost, or hoped to acquire and failed. So in the Zen ability to release our attachments we also relieve ourselves of those griefs.

But we're grabby little monkeys! It's very hard not to get attached to "stuff"...

I had a bit of a zen moment yesterday when I realized that I had money to spend...and nothing I really wanted to spend it on. I truly, honestly didn't "need" anything.

Odd. Very freeing. But odd.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Oh, yes ... we're right grubby and acquisitive. But I don't think we mourn our losses, or even our hoped for gains/losses; we mourn for ourselves, which makes it that much more pathetic.

That was a wonderful moment when you were aware you lacked no material good. What a diamond-like clarity -- you are o.k. in your person, complete.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 9:15:00 PM GMT-5  

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