|"The Angel Door"|
Here is a Christmas commission by a friend from college, artist
Mary Boxley Bullington. I suggest to those of you who love
and collect art that she is highly collectible and, indeed,
under-valued at this time. Her work is full of energy and beauty.
Click for a large version.
I heard this sung by Fr. Mark Michael last night, in a church that has for several centuries been a notable home to writers--novelist James Fenimore Cooper, nature writer Susan Cooper, poet W. W. Lord, essayist Fae Malania, children's author Paul Fenimore Cooper, and many more. It is one vision of things that have eternal life and power:
And here is a clip from the discussion of another vision of immortality--cultural immortality--yoked to its debunking:The Proclamation of Christmas
Today, the twenty-fifth day of December, unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth and then formed man and woman in his own image. Several thousand years after the flood, when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant. Twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah; thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt. Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges; one thousand years from the anointing of David as king; in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel. In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome. The forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus; the whole world being at peace, Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception, was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary. Today is the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Fame, according to Socrates, is therefore a form of reproduction. For those who can achieve it, it is far superior to the messy biological kind. Who, when he thinks of Homer and Hesiod and other great poets, would not rather have their children than ordinary human ones? Who would not emulate them in the creation of children such as theirs, which have preserved their memory and given them everlasting glory? Socrates is here expressing a fundamental belief of the Greeks: that acts of heroism or epic poems are not only nobler than mere sprogs, but also considerably more durable. Where living things fall like leaves in autumn, our cultural objects can endure. Kingdoms, titles and honour survive to be passed from one generation to the next; stories persist to be told by new generations of bards; bronze statues do not fall sick. Unlike human children, cultural offspring promise to be ‘everlasting’. --Stephen Cave, Everlasting glory: There are few fantasies so absurd as the idea of living on through fame. So why does immortality still beckon?
|Mary Boxley Bullington,|
Acrylic and mixed media collage on paper, 22" x 25"
|Butterflies on Mary Boxley Bullington's|
cherry tree in Roanoke, Virginia.