Archive | December 2018

R.I.P Sister Wendy Beckett

The art historian, Catholic nun was 88

Every time she opened her mouth, Sister Wendy Beckett made me happy.

Like Thomas Becket centuries before, Sister Wendy Beckett devoted her life to the Church of Rome. But she also gave the gift of art appreciation to millions who watched her on television in the 1990s, first in a series called Odyssey, and later in the History of Painting.

I would often stumble upon her programs while channel surfing, but I was always glad I stuck around to see what she happened to be discussing at that particular moment.

Do yourself a favor and start watching this first episode from the History of Painting (1996.)

I never knew much about her other than her TV programs. Like for instance, she lived in a camping trailer, what in England is called a caravan, on the grounds of a monastery in Norfolk.

For those interested in learning more, here is the BBC’s official obituary

 

Winter Solstice – birth and rebirth

Io, Saturnalia!

Annum novem faustem felicem vobis!!

Saturnalia Solstice

The Winter Solstice begins at 5:23PM, Brooklyn, New York time.

At the death and reincarnation of the natural year, I am happy to announce a return to regularly scheduled blogging!

I have been undergoing a couple of years of troubling issues that impacted my ability to spend much time writing and typing, and playing the guitar – the three things I can do well enough to earn some sort of living.

At the moment some of the various therapies I have undergone are allowing me to risk doing such things more often and, hopefully, henceforth and ever after, as much as time and tendons allow.

At this the darkest time for the northern hemisphere, and in many ways the darkest time that America and the entire planet have seen perhaps ever since humans walked here, I am wishing for a brighter, happier year ahead for all, and the ability to cherish peace, love, hope, healing, charity, and open-hearted, open-minded tolerance, while wishing for all the strength to resist, endure, and ultimately overcome the baser human weakness toward war, hate, despair, greed, pollution, and heartless close-minded bigotry.

Many of our secular Christmas traditions of gift giving and good will come from the joyous celebrations within the Roman festival of Saturnalia, which the historian Catullus called “the best of days.”

Here’s to hoping our best days still lie ahead, and will arrive sooner than we can yet imagine.