Love is Holy

From George MacDonald’s lecture on ‘King Lear,’ regarding Cordelia’s response when asked to declare her love for her father in

order to inherit a portion of his kingdom:

“She loved her father far too much to be able to tell it out in that fashion. Even the best things she could say would have been as nothing compared with their eager protestations. Love is not to be measured by a dictionary. Love is holy, and loving hearts cannot lay themselves out for the asking. We don’t want to hear our children speak of their love; the look, the manner, the action–these are the language of the heart.”

– George MacDonald

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How the Great Wind Came to Beacon House

How the Great Wind Came to Beacon House

A wind sprang high in the west, like a wave of unreasonable happiness, and tore eastward across England, trailing with it the frosty scent of forests and the cold intoxication of the sea. In a million holes and corners it refreshed a man like a flagon, and astonished him like a blow. In the inmost chambers of intricate and embowered houses it woke like a domestic explosion, littering the floor with some professor’s papers till they seemed as precious as fugitive, or blowing out the candle by which a boy read “Treasure Island” and wrapping him in roaring dark. But everywhere it bore drama into undramatic lives, and carried the trump of crisis across the world. Many a harassed mother in a mean backyard had looked at five dwarfish shirts on the clothes-line as at some small, sick tragedy; it was as if she had hanged her five children. The wind came, and they were full and kicking as if five fat imps had sprung into them; and far down in her oppressed subconscious she half-remembered those coarse comedies of her fathers when the elves still dwelt in the homes of men. Many an unnoticed girl in a dank walled garden had tossed herself into the hammock with the same intolerant gesture with which she might have tossed herself into the Thames; and that wind rent the waving wall of woods and lifted the hammock like a balloon, and showed her shapes of quaint clouds far beyond, and pictures of bright villages far below, as if she rode heaven in a fairy boat. Many a dusty clerk or cleric, plodding a telescopic road of poplars, thought for the hundredth time that they were like the plumes of a hearse; when this invisible energy caught and swung and clashed them round his head like a wreath or salutation of seraphic wings. There was in it something more inspired and authoritative even than the old wind of the proverb; for this was the good wind that blows nobody harm.

Excerpt From

Manalive

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

https://books.apple.com/us/book/manalive/id498683671

On a lovely windy afternoon on a lake in Texas, this intro couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With it came strains of George’s At the Back of the North Wind, and Lewis’s bit on the wind that blew through St. Anne’s in That Hideous Strength, and of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Eve. It even brought to mind the aria that soared among the captives in Shaw Shank Redemption. Most certainly these are winds that blow nobody wrong, and more. They are winds that lift men up out of our mundane and troubled little world, up and into a larger space. A space where men are free in heart and mind, even though we may be as the Apostle said, troubled on every side. Yet we are not in despair, for the star of hope shines bright, and it’s song has got into our hearts. And so long as there is hope and a song in his heart, no man can ever be a slave. 🌟💛🌟

Remembering Shakespeare

To be, or not to be- that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.

To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,

The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death-

The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns- puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pith and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action.- Soft you now!

The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins rememb’red.

Shakespeare, Hamlet

Never Such a Fair Man on Their Side

“There was no man like Shakespeare for drawing pictures of good women. Women had never such a fair man on their side as Shakespeare. Even those that he did not approve of, he was never cruel or contemptuous to. He had a tender heart for all humanity, and while he drew the most lovely women, he was forbearing and gentle towards those whom he did not approve of.”

– George MacDonald, lecture on ‘The Merchant of Venice.’

Not With the Eyes

“So I, admiring of his qualities.

Things base and vile, holding no quantity,

Love can transpose to form and dignity.

Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind;

And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.

Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste;

Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste;

And therefore is Love said to be a child,

Because in choice he is so oft beguil’d.

As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,

So the boy Love is perjur’d every where;”
Excerpt From: Shakespeare, William. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” PlayShakespeare.com. iBooks. 

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