Archive for February, 2008
Rabbi Benn Weiss followed me close as we made for the exit. “ I love Art and I know what I like.” he had said while staring at the canvasses long and hard.
We came out. He asked, “What makes Beauty? Is it what is unattainable?” I nodded. “Is it because it speaks truth?”
“Oh yes!” I said appreciatively, ”Rabbi, you will be a professional art critic if you stick around long enough. I am going to teach you.”
As we crossed the busy street to the Metro in front of an art store, my companion was for buying a few books to get himself started. “Forget books. Forget what that guide at the Gallery was telling you.” I told him, ”She was far out Rabbi, but she was a peach.”
Rabbi Benn Weiss glared at me at which I suddenly stopped short. Next moment I called out, “See that old lady! See her back is curved and how she leans on her stick?”
“Is that beauty?” my friend was skeptical.
“Why not?” I asked, “Does beauty only reside in a fine form and youth?” “Or does it in my perception of it?”
I was in the mood to explain. “ Think Rabbi Weiss, I do not know her from Adam. How come I suddenly think of my grandmother who has been dead for ages?”
“ She was the most precious thing to me,” I felt a lump in my throat,” she is unattainable. Yet this frail woman down on her last legs brought her image to me. If it isn’t beauty I am ready to listen you for a change.”
“Yes, if you say so, if you say so.” he said impressed, ”why don’t you write to your parents for a change? They’ve almost given you for lost.”
* Beauty is truth. Isn’t what sets us off on a train of thoughts- it could be a frail old or young thing, be connected somewhere? In our mind’s eye. We see a seashell and we think of Botticelli’s birth of Venus. That shell may be dirty on account of being trampled under many. Yet it becomes connected in our mind with a work of art; does it really matter the circumstances of the seashell as much what it represents? It still wears a kind of beauty that has acquired its sheen by our experience. Being old or a baby must thus possess beauty that we can only by our experience really appreciate. Truth of experience.
There are many theories on Aesthetics but without this basic truth it falls apart.
Jochi the eldest son of Genghis Khan was a prince who did not care much for power; he spent much time carousing and hunting with his cronies than living in style as was entitled to. Once over the cups some nobles seeing a jovial figure so common and harmless began to tease him; but the son of Genghis Khan did not say a word.
The nobles continued at their pastime till a bodyguard of Jochi went over to them and pointed out the identity of their victim.
Realizing the danger the tormentors pleaded, ” We are nothing but dust before the Great Khan!” They quickly left the place.
Jochi may not want power; but as a member of that family of Khans that wielded the destiny of Mongols, he represented power despite of himself. His Life Signs was made stronger by his connections. . When the question of succession came up it was Jochi’s choice that settled in favor of Kublai Khan rather than Ogodei or his successors.
Without Kublai Khan, history of the world would have been decidedly different.
I am posting this entry for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and to those Christians who are fundamental in their theological position.
If you think The Bible is written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit those who accept Jesus must surely be under the divine guidance of God. Hope you do not dispute my assertion.
‘God is Love’. It is the gospels in a nutshell. It was not made up by Oral Roberts or Billy Graham. Benny Hinn, forget it! Love is the cornerstone of the Bible. ‘Perfect love casteth out fear’- Not my word but once again from the Bible. If you believe so far how do you despise one who is left and liberal in his position? What makes you think you know the mind or love of God better than one whose lifestyle and his worship you abhor?
You know what the word Grace means?
Horses Are Meant For Riding ©
Pepin The Hot of the kingdom of Blissfully Ignorant sent a beautiful horse to Nitwit, King of Gotham. The King knew Pepin would not have sent him one unless he had something in his mind. “I don’t like Pepin the Hot. Why he should send me then a horse?” He stood there wondering and he bent down to check the mouth. At that moment the horse let out a heap of turd that King Nitwit knew was meant as an insult.
Pipin was provoking him into a fight, so concluded his courtiers.
King Nitwit would have sent the animal back but Monk Cuthbert asked him to ride it.
“ You are a natural rider, sire. So let your enemy know how well you can appreciate a friendly gesture.”
King Nitwit thought it a good idea. You see he loved horses and overcoming his animosity he took the reins. The animal let him run over the fields and lanes and over the hills. The horse loved speed and he gave the rider a thrill he never knew was possible. King Nitwit felt the wind and the blurring landscapes as the beast carried him wherever he pleased.
In the end he returned to the palace in a state of excitement and said, “ King Pipin wants my hand of friendship. Surely he can have it.”
Keep us from the road-rage and also bridges going under as we ride through, Oh Lord. Keep us safe from random shootings whether it a stranger or a colleague. Let not pharmaceutical companies use us guinea-pigs for the furtherance of their Company goals; while we shop at Wal-Mart or any other place give us wisdom to choose the right product; save our children from toys coated with lethal chemicals or toys with batteries that explode; that reminds me, O lord, of cans that explode, contaminated beef and the like. We like our cereals and bread made of whole wheat that is not genetically modified or that is the monopoly of some conglomerates who are out to make a fast buck at our expense. O Lord there is so much to pray for . So I shall merely recite the prayer you taught us:
“Give us this day our daily bread … and deliver us from Evil even if it comes in the form of Uncle Sam or in the form of a Jihad …”