Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Natura Morta “Howling with holy wildness”

We are noisy, dull and bored most of the time. We rarely take some time out to listen to the small voice that constantly haunts our souls. We are always too busy, too busy doing I know not what. We are bored with our lives because 50 Cent and Paris Hilton tell us that we don’t have enough bling or pairs of shoes. The only beauty we know is plastic and metal. We ignore real beauty because we are afraid of it, I suspect. Look at the gusto with which we chop down God’s trees and pollute His rivers. Nature scares us witless because she whispers to us of high beauty forever beyond the reach of our destructive habits. Peter Kreeft, in his profound talk about the sea, says: “Maybe God puts cotton in our ears because such great beauty would drive us mad . . . we would be unable to eat or sleep or reproduce or survive . . . in this angel haunted universe.” Some time ago I was telling Sleuth what a good thing it is for the human race that most people on the planet think of sex as the pinnacle of joy. If there were more chody people like me around the human race would not be around for too long – we’d all be too busy lying under giant oak trees to procreate.

I don’t think that you can find the raw stuff of life in any metropolis in the world, but when you walk into your neighbor with green fingers’ backyard it is simply overflowing with the stuff of life. Nature is fertile, wild, soothing, dangerous, exciting and truly alive.

My message to you: be still for a few minutes and let God speak to you and when you’re outside allow Nature (God’s other book) to tell you about life and the love thereof.

The Jaguar

The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.
The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut
Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.
Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion

Lie still as the sun. The boa-constrictor’s coil
Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or
Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.
It might be painted on a nursery wall.

But who runs like the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,
As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom—
The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,
By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear—
He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:
His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
Over the cage floor the horizons come.

Ted Hughes

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