Christmas Eve 2020

Here, where the rivers dredge upthe very stone of Heaven, we name its colors—muttonfat jade, kingfisher jade, jade of appleskin green. And here, in the glitteringhues of the Flemish Masters, we sample their wine;rest in their windows’ sun warmth,cross with pleasure their scrubbed tile floors.Everywhere the details leap like fish— bright shardsof water out ofContinue reading “Christmas Eve 2020”

day 25

I was afraid that with their blocks of concrete the skyscrapers might wound the dawn. But you ought to see how sensitive they are to the morning light, how they disarm and lose their cutting edge and steely soul! They too are caught in the irresistible spell of the holy hour when the whole naturalContinue reading “day 25”

feeling blue

(all images by Kate Kennington Steer) I put on some music, trying to catch a mood, but the invented rhythms do nothing. So I listen instead to the cackle and spit of the fire, the roar and hiss of the rain, the howl and whip of the wind and ah, yes, there it is. ‘MoodContinue reading “feeling blue”

day 24

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,I fell in love with a wrenand later in the day with a mousethe cat had dropped under the dining room table. In the shadows of an autumn evening,I fell for a seamstressstill at her machine in the tailor’s window,and later for a bowl of broth,steam rising likeContinue reading “day 24”

Blue Christmas 2020

The twilight turns from amethyst  To deep and deeper blue,  The lamp fills with a pale green glow  The trees of the avenue.  The old piano plays an air,  Sedate and slow and gay;  She bends upon the yellow keys,  Her head inclines this way.  Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands  That wanderContinue reading “Blue Christmas 2020”

Sunday 4

Joy is hidden in compassion.  The word compassion literally means ‘to suffer with’.  It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy.  Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty … such experiences can bring us deepContinue reading “Sunday 4”

day 21

Your green all dissipated and dissolved, you part company with freshness and sap, suddenly alone and falling.  Down and down, lower you swoop, till the ground greets you.  Different colours are yours now, burnished golds and reds, as though the sunset of your days has painted itself on your canvas.  The light shines through yourContinue reading “day 21”

day 20

In the film Dead Poets Society, Robin William’s character, Mr Keating, provides an aspirational figure for the boys he teaches …  In an iconic moment, Keating climbs on his desk, to the bemusement of his pupils, and begins to speak: ‘Why do I stand up here? Anybody … ? […]  I stand upon my deskContinue reading “day 20”

day 19

Other incarnations, of course, consonant with the environment he finds himself in, animating the cells,  sharpening the antennae, becoming as they are that they, in the transparency of their shadows, in the filament of their calculations, may, in their own way, learn to confront the intellect with its issue. And his coming testified to notContinue reading “day 19”

day 18

What does it mean that Moses entered the darkness and then saw God in it? What is now recounted seems somehow to be contradictory to the first theophany, for then the divine was beheld in light but now He is seen in darkness. Let us not think that this is at variance with the sequenceContinue reading “day 18”