Little Gidding

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


In TheDescent of the Dove, Charles Williams' theme is that of the coinherence of all people with each other, God, and the created world. If we all believed in the sacramental reality of Coinherence, we would treat each other and ourselves with respect and veneration. We would see, in every person and created thing, the image dei. We would begin to base our actions towards others on a mutual respect for a fellow Coinheritor. Great literature does that; it reveals the Coinherence of all things. Great works of art of all kinds do that. The reason the kind of modern art that disassembles reality is so unattractive (to most) is because at its core it is fighting Coinherence. No one can properly disassemble reality, exept for its Creator. This is also the problem with Deconstructionist literary theory: a critic attempts to analyse a work, apart from the intent of its maker, in the hope of making something new. But the creator of the work already made that thing, in light of the Coinherence, and it is the job of the reader and critic, it is, in fact, his place (dare I say) to attempt to receive and understand that.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ash on an old man's sleeve

Ash on an old man's sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where the story ended.
(Little Gidding II:1-4)

Eliot was, some say, precient. No; he saw the reality before it took its toll. And if we--Western society; "Christian" America, have nothing to live for, isn't it true that we also have nothing to die for? The ashes we see are burnt shreds of our own clothes, lives, culture. We swim in a sea of monsters which pull us down; communities, friends, even our own families drag us down into the marsh of ennuie and acidie, and we who wish to find land struggle frantically to turn our heads upwards, breathing in short gasps as we lean heavenwards. It is there, that place of hope and rejuvenation, Little Gidding in the soul, a place where man cooperates with Messias.

Ways to incarnate Little Gidding. Means by which to pull down the Grace. This is the Meaning. There is only the Sacramental, and all of the ways we ourselves can incarnate it, and Make It New, in the the Arts, the Humanities, the Sciences, but first of all, in our lives, seeking the Deified state that will make us shine with Uncreated Light, which is Love.