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November 07, 2017


As a micro-intervention, I think talking about transcendent moments, like yours in the grocery, is essential because such revelations pierce the paralyzing baffle of our anxiety and self-absorption.

Not everyone gets one, some may be waiting for theirs, and I have heard persons denigrate that experience- but it was true for me and I ardently wish it for others.

Yes, hear hear.

Thank you for saying that, Duchesse. I'm always reluctant to talk about transcendent experience because, as you say, so many people are skeptical or dismissive, or else far more "woo-woo" than I am, but thank you for reminding me that there is a good reason to do so, especially now.

And Natalie, I know you agree!

Ah, but on returning from "a complex modern Mass in the morning, and later, music by Orlando Lassus" surely you mark? I mean your voice will be in perfect fettle, it would be such a shame to let that state of readiness go to waste. Alone in the car I drive back from lessons undoing all the good the final "warm down" has brought about, ululating:

Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome...

exhilarated by a resonant throat, the car's velocity and the beautiful Hereford countryside.

OK, you don't want to disturb comatose Orange Liners. But I've been able to draw some pleasure from imaginary marking wherein I "see" the score and "hear" a perfect, if inaudible, version of what's printed. I realise this is totally unprofessional but you must remember I don't have all that much time left.

One caveat: when driving it's not the singing but the hand gestures which could put you into the ditch. Yeah, I'm a real amateur.

Good to be reminded of Merton. It's a long time since I read him (or sang in a choir).

I'm not sure how to compare the cruelty of past civilisations with ours. It's chilling to think about it but mass crucifixions were more labour-intensive: today, mass cruelty is mechanised and, for the lucky ones (like ourselves, I guess) happens offstage. Two atomic bombs in quick succession takes some beating. The statistics are hard to compare, too, as there are more people alive now to be victims and perpetrators.

A good start to my day. Thanks.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.