Sunday, February 12, 2006

burning desire

I just started reading The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser. Rolheiser’s grasp of and ability to articulate reality at a profound level is impressive. The other book, described as a precursor, is called The Shattered Lantern. I highly recommend both.

Rolheiser starts Part I of The Holy Longing with this poem of the same name by Goethe. Take a long in-breath, exhale slowly, and read.

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
What longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter,
now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven’t experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "The Holy Longing"

Monday, February 06, 2006

31 days in iraq - a pictoral

The New York Times reports that in January more than 800 people — soldiers, security officers and civilians — were killed as a result of the insurgency in Iraq.

A chart with map, dates and icons for the lives lost depicts the scope and extent in a powerful way.

You can open the link from here

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

the road less traveled (for good reasons)

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Tim Flannery gave Collapse a warm review in Science, writing:

the fact that one of the world's most original thinkers has chosen to pen this mammoth work when his career is at his apogee is itself a persuasive argument that Collapse must be taken seriously. It is probably the most important book you will ever read.