Saturday, October 30, 2004 +

Eucharist for a Carnival

I suppose that everyone who receives the Holy Eucharist for the first time wonders how his life will be changed by the event. Most often, the effect is apparently nil, or wears off in a short time. As after baptism, Adam remains.

This was so with the very first First Communion. Shortly after, the Apostles slept, then they ran.

We who now receive the Eucharist daily, or almost daily, no longer expect "life changes." If we have a concern, we ask for help; if we've experienced a blessing, we give thanks. Mostly, we -- or perhaps read "I" -- just want to be more with Jesus.

We eat this host, sometimes pleasantly crisp, sometimes a little stale. If we are lucky, we sip this wine, usually too sweet. These are His Body and Blood, but we do not try to imagine them so. Nevertheless, Jesus' body is now in my body, not only in that spiritual thing, my heart. So I try to taste, and not think or pray. Then back in my pew -- but we seem to have left the realm of "we."

I write this for a "Carnival." The dictionary cites a folk etymology: carne + vale = "Flesh, farewell!" To me, the Eucharist is more like "Come in, Jesus!", and for at least a few minutes of the day, I shall be more like Mary than Martha in Bethany. Gratitude.

Life After Conway


\ Conway's Game of Life, or Occam's Razor Dulled

MARKER Genesis

\ ANS Forth this life is remains and
1 CHARS CONSTANT /Char
: C+! ( char c-addr -- ) DUP >R C@ + R> C! ;

\ the universal pattern
25 CONSTANT How-Deep
80 CONSTANT How-Wide
How-Wide How-Deep * CONSTANT Homes

\ world wrap
: World
CREATE ( -- ) Homes CHARS ALLOT
DOES> ( u -- c-addr )
SWAP Homes + Homes MOD CHARS + ;

World old
World new

\ biostatistics

\ begin hexadecimal numbering
HEX \ hex xy : x holds life , y holds neighbors count

10 CONSTANT Alive \ 0y = not alive

\ Conway's rules:
\ a life depends on the number of
\ its next-door neighbors

\ it dies if it has fewer than 2 neighbors
: Lonely ( char -- flag ) 12 < ;

\ it dies if it has more than 3 neighbors
: Crowded ( char -- flag ) 13 > ;

: -Sustaining ( char -- flag )
DUP Lonely SWAP Crowded OR ;

\ it is born if it has exactly 3 neighbors
: Quickening ( char -- flag )
03 = ;

\ back to decimal
DECIMAL

\ compass points
: N ( i -- j ) How-Wide - ;
: S ( i -- j ) How-Wide + ;
: E ( i -- j ) 1+ ;
: W ( i -- j ) 1- ;

\ census
: Home+! ( -1|1 i -- ) >R Alive * R> new C+! ;

: Neighbors+! ( -1|0|1 i -- )
2DUP N W new C+! 2DUP N new C+! 2DUP N E new C+!
2DUP W new C+! ( i ) 2DUP E new C+!
2DUP S W new C+! 2DUP S new C+! S E new C+! ;

: Bureau-of-Vital-Statistics ( -1|1 i -- )
2DUP Home+! Neighbors+! ;

\ mortal coils
CHAR ? CONSTANT Soul
BL CONSTANT Body

\ at home
: Home ( char i -- ) How-Wide /MOD AT-XY EMIT ;

\ changes, changes
: Is-Born ( i -- )
Soul OVER Home
1 SWAP Bureau-of-Vital-Statistics ;
: Dies ( i -- )
Body OVER Home
-1 SWAP Bureau-of-Vital-Statistics ;

\ the one and the many
: One ( c-addr -- i )
0 old - /Char / ;
: Everything ( -- )
0 old Homes
BEGIN DUP
WHILE OVER C@ DUP Alive AND
IF -Sustaining IF OVER One Dies THEN
ELSE Quickening IF OVER One Is-Born THEN THEN
1 /STRING
REPEAT 2DROP
How-Wide 1- How-Deep 1- AT-XY ;

\ in the beginning
: Void ( -- )
0 old Homes BLANK ;

\ spirit
: Voice ( -- c-addr u )
PAGE
." Say: " 0 new DUP Homes ACCEPT ;

\ subtlety
: Serpent ( -- )
0 2 AT-XY
." Press a key for knowledge." KEY DROP
0 2 AT-XY
." Press space to re-start, Esc to escape life." ;

\ the primal state
: Innocence ( -- )
Homes 0
DO I new C@ Alive / I Neighbors+! LOOP ;

\ children become parents
: Passes ( -- ) 0 new 0 old Homes CMOVE ;

\ a garden
: Paradise ( c-addr u -- )
>R How-Deep How-Wide *
How-Deep 2 MOD 0=
How-Wide AND -
R@ - 2/ old
R> CMOVE
0 old Homes 0
DO COUNT BL <>
DUP IF Soul I Home THEN
Alive AND I new C!
LOOP DROP
Serpent
Innocence Passes ;

: Creation ( -- ) Void Voice Paradise ;

\ the human element

1000 VALUE Ideas
: Dreams ( -- ) Ideas MS ;

1000 CONSTANT Images
: Meditation ( -- ) Images MS ;

\ free will
: Action ( -- char )
KEY? DUP
IF DROP KEY
DUP BL = IF Creation THEN
THEN ;

\ environmental dependence
27 CONSTANT Escape

\ history
: Goes-On ( -- )
BEGIN Everything Passes
Dreams Action Meditation
Escape = UNTIL ;

\ a vision
: Life ( -- ) Creation Goes-On ;

Life

\ 950724 + 970703 +

99 Bottles of Beer

in Froth

\ by a teetotaler

: LYRICS [CHAR] ! PARSE DUP C,
HERE SWAP CHARS DUP ALLOT MOVE ;
: VOCALIZE ( a) COUNT TYPE ;
: SING CREATE LYRICS DOES> VOCALIZE ;

SING NO_MORE No more !
SING BOTTLE bottle!
SING BOTTLES bottles!
SING OF_BEER of beer!
SING ON_THE_WALL on the wall!
SING TAKE Take !
SING IT it!
SING ONE one!
\ note: next two lines should be one line
SING DOWN_AND_PASS_IT_AROUND
down and pass it around!
\ next two lines should be one line
SING GO_TO_THE_STORE_&_BUY_SOME_MORE
Go to the store and buy some more!
SING COMMA ,!
SING PERIOD .!

: ?: CREATE ( n) , ' , ' ,
DOES> ( n) TUCK @ <> 1- CELLS -
@ EXECUTE ;

: NONE ( n) DROP NO_MORE ;
: SOME ( n) . ;

0 ?: HOW_MANY NONE SOME

1 ?: BOTTLE(S) BOTTLE BOTTLES

1 ?: IT|ONE IT ONE

: COMMERCIAL ( 0 - 99)
GO_TO_THE_STORE_&_BUY_SOME_MORE 99 + ;
: SHAREWARE ( n - n-1)
DUP TAKE IT|ONE DOWN_AND_PASS_IT_AROUND 1- ;

0 ?: main(){0?99:--} COMMERCIAL SHAREWARE

: BURP ( n - n n) DUP ;
: HOW_MANY_BOTTLES_OF_BEER ( n n n)
HOW_MANY BOTTLE(S) OF_BEER ;

: Froth ( n - n')

CR BURP BURP BURP
HOW_MANY_BOTTLES_OF_BEER ON_THE_WALL COMMA
CR BURP BURP BURP
HOW_MANY_BOTTLES_OF_BEER COMMA
CR BURP
main(){0?99:--} COMMA
CR BURP BURP BURP
HOW_MANY_BOTTLES_OF_BEER ON_THE_WALL PERIOD
CR ;

: LeoWong ( n) DROP ;

: SONG 99

Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth
Froth Froth Froth Froth


LeoWong ;


SONG

\ 06FEB96 + 06MAR97 +


Friday, October 29, 2004 +

A Pas de Deux for John Lanchbery



We knew John Lanchbery briefly in the mid-70s while he was doing a stint of conducting at the American Ballet Theater. For a few days he stayed in our apartment as a guest of his friend the dancer John Meehan, who lived with us for several months along with another Australian dancer, Robert Ray. Meehan was in his first season as a principal dancer with ABT. I remember in the afternoon before his first night's performance the arrival a telegram from Dame Margot Fonteyn wishing him good luck. Those were days of "good tickets" for us. One evening at the Metropolitan Opera House we saw a performance of Giselle with Mikhail Baryshinikov and Gelsey Kirkland; two rows behind us in the orchestra was Jacqueline Bisset and in the parterre was Mrs. Onassis. I think, though, that the Giselle that impressed us most was danced by Natalia Makarova and Peter Schaufuss in, if I remember, the City Center.

Pas de Deux 2
 

A Letter from Peter Brooke

Peter Brooke is the author of Albert Gleizes: For and Against the Twentieth Century.

Re: Icons and Kitsch
Fri, 29 Oct 2004 09:12:53 +0000

Leo

I found this essay very interesting. Disagreed with it of course as you expected I would but it does pose some of the problems. Immensely frustrating for me that the man who really did address these problems - Gleizes - isn't yet at the centre of the debate.

One immediate thought in response is that the non-representational school and the icon school (to both of which I am attached) isn't necessarily anti-nature. We of Gleizes' school would argue that to copy the external appearances of nature is a hopeless business not because nature and material reality are corrupt but on the contrary because God's creation is so rich and so constantly changing. The non-representational 'rhythmic' painting is a participation in nature. The same principles of colour and form that we love in the natural world are used by the artist in the circumstances - so radically different from those of the natural world - imposed by the canvas/wall.

That's one thought. The other is that no-one who has seen the horrors of Russian icon painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries could fail to be grateful for the revival of interest in the older icons in the nineteenth century. And on Maria Laach; it was I understand attached to the Benedictine monastery at Beuron which pioneered both Gregorian chant following Solesmes and the artistic/geometrical 'School of Beuron' in painting and sculpture. I can't remember if in our earlier exchanges I told you that I had produced a book of writings by Fr Lenz, founder of the School of Beuron (Desiderius Lenz: The Aesthetic of Beuron, Francis Boutle publishers).

Do you think there would be copyright problems if I used Oakes' article (in your edited version with a link to the original) as one of the 'Occasional Papers' on my Brecon Discussion Group website?

Best wishes

Peter

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Thursday, October 28, 2004 +

Bead Cross


 

Heart Labyrinth

Snapshot
Posted by Hello

Based on a drawing by Sharon Carter.

See Heart Labyrinth.
 

Chartres Lights

Snapshot
Posted by Hello

This applet was written for Mary.

Chartres Labyrinth

Snapshot
Posted by Hello


See Chartres 1.

This applet is also at Carmel Temple.
 

Cretan Labyrinth

Snapshot
Posted by Hello

This applet was made for Loretta Rogers.

See also Vleeptron’s Labyrinth.
 

Labyrinth

Snapshot
Posted by Hello

My second java applet. See also the Makaha Labyrinth.

Pulsating Cross

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 +

Yours Very Truly, Rockwell Kent

Peg Rogers, whose house we bought, left behind the book World-Famous Paintings, "edited" by Rockwell Kent. A Christmas gift from the Kents to the Rogers, the book is inscribed, and an envelope containing a letter written by Rockwell Kent to Roderick Rogers the day after Christmas is attached to the title page.

The inscription:

A time-honored time-piece that hung on the wall
Must sometime and somehow have had a great fall:

Not all the King's horses and all the king's men
but Roderick put it together again!

For so kindly expending such time on the clock
Merry Christmas to Peggy, the children, and Rock.

Frances and Rockwell Kent
1939


The letter:

Ausable Forks, New York
December 26th, 1939.

Roderick Rogers, Esq.,
Ausable Forks,
New York.

Sir:

It was our understanding, both implicit and expressed, that the valuable time-piece entrusted to your care for minor adjustments was delivered by you as in full repair and running order. The mere fact that both the Art Book and the poem enscribed on its fly-leaf were rotten in no way justifies your having swindled me by representing as in perfect order for continued running a clock that, after sixteen hours of terrific effort during which it lost ten minutes of valuable time, expired from exhaustion. That sixteen hours of concentrated effort seems to have undermined its constitution. Assisted by occasional pushes on the pendulum it will now gasp through five torturing minutes - and no more.

It betrays, perhaps, a fatuous belief in the innate honest[y] of man that I suggest to you by this letter that you make it a point of honor with yourself to make the clock work. However, I do offer you this opportunity in preference to immediately pursuing that course which the laws of our Country wisely provide for the protection of honest citizens against the criminal classes.

I am Sir,

Yours very truly,
Rockwell Kent

Icons and Kitsch

Extracts from Edward T. Oakes, "Icons and Kitsch," First Things, March 2001.

Although our culture is now positively awash in images, this assaulting pictorial cataract from glossy magazines, slide shows, PowerPoint college lectures, air-brushed publicity photos, TV simulacra, and copyright rip-offs actually reflects a hatred for the true image, as Jacques Barzun noted in The Use and Abuse of Art (1975):

Nowadays anything put up for seeing or hearing is only meant to be taken in casually. If it holds your eye and focuses your wits for even a minute, it justifies itself and there's an end of it.... The Interesting has replaced the Beautiful, the Profound, and the Moving. [But] if modern man's most sophisticated relation to art is to be casual and humorous, is to resemble the attitude of the vacationer at the fair grounds, then the conception of Art as an all-important institution, as a supreme activity of man, is quite destroyed. One cannot have it both ways -- art as a sense-tickler and a joke is not the same art that geniuses and critics have asked us to cherish and support. Nor is it the same art that revolutionists call for in aid of the Revolution.

Barzun's title deliberately alludes to Friedrich Nietzsche's essay "The Use and Abuse of History," and for good reason. For perhaps more than any other philosopher of modernity Nietzsche espouses the fiercest version of iconoclasm, an attack on the image that, for sheer ferocity, has its only philosophical counterpart in Plato. Now, no one has proved easier to gang up on than Plato when discussion moves to his intensely anti-poetical, anti-image aesthetics. But Nietzsche easily outdoes him here, especially in his polemical essay Human, All Too Human, where he roundly declares all art false to the core:

The Beyond in art.--With profound sorrow one admits to oneself that, in their highest flights, the artists of all ages have raised to heavenly transfiguration precisely those conceptions which we now recognize as false: artists are the glorifiers of the religious and philosophic errors of mankind, and they could not have been so without believing in the absolute truth of these errors. If belief in such truth declines in general, then that species of art can never flourish again which -- like the Divine Comedy, the paintings of Raphael, the frescoes of Michelangelo, the Gothic cathedrals -- presupposes not only a cosmic but a metaphysical significance in the objects of art. A moving tale will one day be told how there once existed such an art, such an artist's faith.


The hatred for art that now assumes the guise of so-called avant-garde art is rooted in that same iconoclastic polemic that animates every syllable of Plato and Nietzsche, not to mention a host of other art critics (in the literal sense of that word) from Origen, St. Augustine, and Blaise Pascal to those Russian commissars of art who ruled on matters of taste by diktat and ukase.

Besançon [Alain Besançon, whose book The Forbidden Image: An Intellectual History of Iconoclasm Oakes is reviewing in this article] is eloquent and insightful in explaining the inner sources of Plato's hostility to the image:


[For Plato] the nature of the divine makes the image of the divine impossible. Art has an upper limit: it is confined to the earthly zone, where it performs a propaedeutic, educational, civic function. It prepares for its own dissolution. The lover of beauty relies on art in taking his first steps, then abandons it. In that sense, it is accurate to say that Plato is the father of iconoclasm.

The victory of the "iconodules" was the victory of incarnational theology over the Platonic template that Origen had imposed on Christian thought from the third century. For that reason, the Incarnation remained the most crucial argument of the iconodules centuries after Origen during the controversy in the reign of Leo the Isaurian. As early as the year 725, the patriarch Germanus asserted that to reject icons was also to reject the Incarnation. He absolutely refused to assimilate the image of Christ, who had delivered men from idolatry, to idols. Thus (and Germanus is quite open about this) the prohibition of graven images delivered on Mount Horeb became invalid from the moment that God manifested Himself in the flesh, sensible not only to hearing but to sight. God had "imprinted" Himself in the flesh of Jesus.

[Besançon] thinks that the Russian nationalists of the nineteenth century, among their other sins, killed the genre of icon-painting when they began to praise the icon's superiority over Western art. In one fascinating passage he discusses the visit by a Russian nationalist to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg to see a Rubens painting. The man was disgusted by what he rather luridly described as Rubens' "ample quivering flesh that delights in itself, gorges itself on meat, and necessarily kills to gorge itself." Besançon replies in kind, identifying the cult of the icon with, of all things, an aversion toward the Incarnation:

The true and most irremediable trace of the iconoclastic spirit lies in the icon's incapacity also to depict the profane world. Even though this world, as Western art has abundantly proven, also tells of divine glory, it is absent from the almost exclusively religious art of Byzantium, the Balkans, and Russia prior to Peter the Great. An art that is wholly sacred, wholly made to be worshiped, forms a desert around itself. Of course, that is the limit of the icon, the fact that it cuts off from its sight the greater part of creation. Hidden iconoclasm -- combined with iconolatry when it cares to cast anathemas on Western art -- conceals a contempt for the world, which all the discourses on the Incarnation cannot completely dissimulate.... A neo-Platonic horror of the body and nationalist religious pride are in league together, constituting a practical iconoclasm theoretically capable of casting almost all images made by men onto the pyre: all profane images, whose claim to express divine grace is not taken into consideration [by Orthodox writers]; all religious images, because they do not bear the stamp of good theology.

The author is quite serious when he calls Eastern veneration of icons "iconolatry." In what must surely count as the most polemical passage in the entire book, Besançon even makes bold to claim that iconographers have substituted their art for true religion and even believe that their art comprehends God:

But there is a more serious reason behind that elimination of nonreligious art, or of noniconic religious art. It comes from the intimate feeling that the icon truly allows us to grasp the divine image, and that, as a result, nothing else is worth the trouble of being represented, [only] God, His glory, the transfigured world, the resurrected body, the Kingdom. After that complete vision, which fulfills every expectation and elicits every prayer, what is the point of falling back into the ordinary world, what reason is there to condescend to look at inferior sights? We are touching here on the hubris of the icon, which is part of the hubris of Byzantium.


In a way, the tale is even sadder in the West than in the revanchist East. Art never lies. Even bad art. The ubiquity of those biannual shows that so many museums in the West now mount testifies to the truth of Nietzsche's observation that the sense of transcendence has quite disappeared from the minds and hearts of the elites in the so-called First World. Even writers and artists who have never read a word of Nietzsche are carrying out the program he dubbed the Transvaluation of All Values, and his influence can be found in every corner of the culture. The witty repartee in the plays of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, for example, depends entirely on the pleasure audiences get from seeing traditional values turned upside down, as in Shaw's remark, "Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you: you may not have the same tastes." This bon mot (which could just as easily have slipped from the lips of Wilde) testifies to a now taken-for-granted inversion of values that seizes on biblical reversals like "the last shall be first" and reverses them. The problem is that "it takes an omniscient God to bring justice out of these overturns," as Jacques Barzun notes:

To a godless age, the negative part of the inversion alone remains potent. The negative perpetuates itself as a habit of thought -- it becomes the highest form of self-consciousness -- and it destroys everything in the most direct way; not by physical means, but by corrosion at the seat of faith and action, the human mind. That is how, today, we come to find thinkers for whom dissent is a routine, sex is a rhetoric, and violence is love.


It is for that reason that I have said that art never lies. This truncated view of man now prevails almost universally throughout the artist's world. In his lectures on aesthetics at the University of Berlin, G. W. F. Hegel observed in the 1820s that "thought long ago stopped assigning to art the sensible representation of the divine." It surely can't be entirely coincidence that shortly after these lectures were published the Catholic Liturgical Movement began to experience its first stirrings in the Benedictine monastery at Maria Laach in Germany. No doubt the good monks of Maria Laach never intended such an outcome, but in effect they began a movement that inflicted on the Roman Catholic liturgy the same fetishizing attention that the Russian nationalists were contemporaneously bestowing on the icon. Roman Catholic worship had now become a thing, an object to be poked and studied to death. As everyone now knows, this movement eventually terminated in one more dreary episode of modernist iconoclasm. (Besançon's book ends with a treatment of Soviet art, but it could just as well have concluded with a treatment of the Liturgical Movement.) From being studied to death, the Liturgy soon came to take on the contours of T. S. Eliot's famous "patient etherized on a table," and appalled observers (and worshipers) had to witness after the Second Vatican Council the destruction of Catholic piety in the name of "renewal." Once the mandarins of liturgical renewal got done "interpreting" the documents of the Council, it was as if Leo the Isaurian had issued a new Byzantine ukase, ordering Montessori English for the Eucharistic Prayer and Madison Avenue Americanese for the Bible, demanding all the while that all vestiges of warmth and color be stripped from the churches.

The situation differs somewhat when attention turns to that "art" that is universally recognized (or at least should be so recognized) as kitsch. Such art seems to have begun its invasion of the churches from as early as the middle of the nineteenth century, when St. Bernadette of Soubirous expressed horror at the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes that supposedly matched her descriptions of her visions of the "Lady." Nowhere is Nietzsche's observation about the death
of transcendent art more verified than in the phenomenon of religious kitsch. What strikes one about the ubiquity of such religious artifacts is how rarely the devout are offended by what they should regard as blatantly obvious assaults on their devotion. For some reason, retreat houses and pilgrimage shrines in the United States have turned themselves into veritable nesting holes for such cloying artifacts, a dreary reality that prompts one to wonder what would happen to the aesthetic sensibility of the Catholic faithful if the Church were ever to declare bad art a sin.

Yet even kitsch reveals. Perhaps it represents the resistance of all those hapless bourgeois citoyens who were so hated by the Romantic, Byronesque "misunderstood artists" of their day, holed up in their Paris ateliers and tubercular attics. As Barzun points out, some kind of resistance must be expected:

If we adopt Picasso's formula of art as a weapon to fight the enemy and the enemy turns out to be the public as a whole, the first question is how long the surgery --not to say butchery -- ought to last. If we need to be shaken and shattered, if we go to the artist in order to face again and again what an enthusiast of Ezra Pound called "his celestial sneer," then it is proper to inquire how the treatment is succeeding. The object presumably is to cure the beholder of his detestable complacency and materialism. (There is about this purpose a curious air of Victorian moralism, scarcely brought up to date.) Yet the cure is to offer him in visual or imaginative shape nothing but visions of deformity. He naturally identifies himself with the misshapen and the malcontented that (says Art) is the way he is. No doubt, but it ought not to cause surprise that the patient continues deformed and malcontent. Add the angry artist's will to humiliate as he teaches, and you perceive why the process has no end -- or rather, it ends in a higher complacency, the complacency of the hopeless.

Barzun's insight is the only one I can think of that adequately explains why the ubiquity of kitsch in religious art today is so complacently accepted by the laity in church without it ever seeming to arouse what would otherwise be their fully justified ire. And connoisseurs, who once were the "pickers and choosers" in the world of art, have become overwhelmed by the glut of "art" that the latest technology makes available everywhere. As Barzun sardonically notes, "The hotel elevator dribbles Vivaldi into our unstoppable ears, just after the cab radio has interlarded gobbets of the Ninth Symphony with the driver's loud comments on the weather."

The problem stems from the fact that, as Nietzsche saw, there is no going back. Very few people, I imagine, in their heart of hearts would consider the "art" at the various biannual shows in Paris, Venice, or New York that trumpet "the Shock of the New" to be greater works than what, for example, Praxiteles or Phidias bequeathed to humanity. But attempts to revive Greek art in the twentieth century either seem stodgy (the federalist style of WPA New Deal architecture in the 1930s) or, frankly, Fascist (Albert Speer's designs for Hitler's postwar Berlin); and this faintly Fascist aura clings as well to deliberate riffs on that style by photographers like Bruce Weber (who does the Calvin Klein underwear ads).

This situation leaves artists in a bind: either they hearken back to long-dead eras and create art that is, at best, derivative; or they capitulate to the offensiveness that seems now to have become the one and only hallmark of originality in the art world. (Tellingly, Besançon is nearly as critical of the modern art wing of the Vatican Museum as he is of the Paris Biennial.) Of course, Barzun is right: this dilemma cannot go on forever, any more than a starving man can eat his own body to assuage his hunger. But what is the alternative as long as the falcon cannot hear the falconer?

Mass of Christian Burial

Sr. Anne Gabriel Edgeworth
October 27, 2004
St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, NY

"The sheep hear his voice as he calls his own by name."

Celebrant: Father Geoffrey Burke

Gathering Hymn: Praise to You, O Christ Our Savior B. Farrell
First Reading: Rev 14:13
Responsorial Psalm: "To You, Yahweh, I lift up my soul, O my God."
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-10
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel: John 10:14-16
Homily by Father Burke
Preparation of Gifts: Blest Are They
Holy, Holy, Holy; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen: all by Marty Haugen
The Lord's Prayer: recited
Communion song: Shepherd Me, O God Marty Haugen
Final commendation: Song of Farewell Ernest Sands

May the choirs of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to Paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in His mercy.
May you find eternal life.


Closing Song: For All the Saints W.W. Howe (text), and Ralph Vaughan Williams

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 +

The First Catholic Carnival

Obituary

Helen's obituary from the Albany Times Union,
Tuesday, 26 October 2004. It leaves out Mary's sister Martha, her brothers Michael, Mark, Martin, and Matthew, and the younger generation.

Sister Anne Gabriel Edgeworth CSJ

LATHAM Sister Anne Gabriel Edgeworth, CSJ, the former Helen Edgeworth, died Sunday, October 24, 2004 at St. Joseph's Provincial House. Born in Syracuse, sister was the daughter of the late Bartholomew and Mary Shannon Edgeworth, she was in the 74th year of her life as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Sister was a graduate of Central City Business School, Syracuse, and received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the College of Saint Rose, Albany. Sister Anne taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including; Catholic Central High School, Troy, Bishop Grimes High School, Syracuse, and schools in Rome, Catskill, and Amsterdam. She also served the Albany Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph as secretary to the director of personnel, provincial secretary, and director of communication. Sister is survived by a niece, Sister Dorothy Flood of Latham and a grandniece, Mary Murphy Wong of Albany. Funeral Mass will be Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Chapel at St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham. Relatives and friends may call at the Provincial House Chapel on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. Evening prayer will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Interment will be in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery, on the grounds of the Provincial House, Latham. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph Development Office, 385 Watervliet - Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Monday, October 25, 2004 +

A Letter from Paul Horgan

The stories referred to are in Paul Horgan's Humble Powers.

Sentinel Ranch, San Patricio, New Mexico 88348
11 Junes 1976

Dear Mr. Wong --

Warm thanks for your extraordinary letter, sharing this difficult and enlightening experience with me. How magnificently you handled the affair. If my little stories had any relation to such courageous and charitable action on your part, before or after the event, I am ever so grateful.

Most appreciatively yours,
Paul Horgan

Sunday, October 24, 2004 +

Aunt Helen

Sister Anne Gabriel Edgeworth, CSJ
b. Syracuse, New York, 26 February 1914
d. St. Joseph Provincial House, 24 October 2004

We three, Dot (or Dorth, Helen's niece, Mary's aunt, Sister Dorothy Anne Flood), and another CSJ Sister Phyllis were at Helen's bedside when she died. Other nuns came in and out of Room 430. We sang songs, reminisced, waited, prayed. Helen seemed comfortable, helped by oxygen, apparently not conscious, or at least not responding (except for an occasional smile?), at least for the two and a half hours that we were there, called away from a "Generations of Faith" program at which Mary told a story (the phone call from Dot to come to the PH came in the middle of it) and I was to show some of my Java applets (Jude took over this task after we left). My "Time, Talent, and Treasure" talk was not scheduled, and in any case would not have been given.

I think I first met Aunt Helen at her 50th Jubilee celebration in Rome, NY. One of the gifts given to 50th Jubilarians at the time was a trip to the mother house in St. Louis. It would be Helen's first airplane ride. She asked what gifts she could bring back, and among other things was told that from boyhood I had been a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. It was quite amusing to everybody (except to her, who was never told) when she returned and gave me my "surprise" gift of a red T-shirt showing a St. Louis Cardinal football helmet. I wore the shirt quite often, and it gave Helen great pleasure to see it on me.

Later, Dot and Helen flew to Hawaii with us (Helen's only visit -- Dot made several more). We left Albany the morning of July 4, and enjoyed a picnic with Mom and Dad and Mike and Cherie on Ala Moana Beach, watching the sunset and the several dinner cruises on the Pacific, 6 p.m. HST, 12 midnight in Albany. On that trip Mom and Dad took us to the Big Island and to Kauai (the flight from the Big Island to Kauai stopped in Maui, thus enabling Mary to go to the bathroom on three islands that day). Dot was concerned because Helen seemed to be "slowing down"; that was two decades ago; a lot of life and fun, including Olivia, were still to come. Helen enjoyed strawberry milkshakes, but her favorite drink by far was a Manhattan, which we served Helen in our home, ordered for her in restaurants, and brought to her in travelers' mugs to the "PH" (the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet Provincial House in Latham, which I nicknamed Place Hélène). One of the songs we used to sing with Helen on our car trips with her and Dot was:

Show me the way to go home,
I'm tired and I want to go to bed.
I had a little drink about an hour ago,
And it's gone right to my head.

Wherever I may roam,
On land or sea or foam.
You will always hear me singing this song:
Show me the way to go home.

And so it was, except that in her last months Helen had even stopped drinking Manhattans. The wake will probably be on Tuesday, the funeral on Wednesday. We will be seeing Murphys. God bless Helen, her family and friends, and all CSJs. Sancte Ioseph, ora pro nobis.