“Night on Bald Mountain,” Disney’s Fantasia

Last week’s post opined that what we eat and–by implication–listen to, watch, and read can have an effect on the both the material and non-material aspects of us as human beings, giving us more (or less) substance: making us ontologically weightier or ontologically lighter. As a way of edifying our humanity, then, shared here are two works (comprised of something to listen to, watch, and then read) both of which are highly substantive, enriching, and edifying. They are in keeping with this Blog’s theme of seasonality and, therefore, concern themselves with the observance of Hallowe’en (All Hallows Evening). Read more

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die…This paradox is the whole principle of courage…A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it upon the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it…He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water yet drink death like wine.” (G.K. Chesterton)

The idea that paradoxes are a key to the full life–indeed the only way to truly live–has much been on my mind as of late. And Autumn only seems to heighten this awareness, providing us with various sensual reminders as death and life dance inches from each other this time of year, be it in the vibrant color of the falling leaves, in the very sweetness of decaying vegetation, or in an exquisite meal from freshly killed game. For your consideration, I offer the following paradoxes inherent in life: Read more

Autumn commences this weekend (Saturday at 10:49 a.m., to be exact) in the autumnal equinox (equinox, literally, “equal night”), presumably so named because it marks the time when the night is as long as the day. It’s the day after which daylight begins to yield itself, by degrees, to a creeping darkness and the lengthening of shadows. But, in the height of autumn (October), Michigan really shows itself off in a burst of color, in the perfume of decaying vegetation and ripening apples, and through its bounteous yield of produce. Here, then, are ten ways to drink deeply of what Fall has to offer. Nothing new under the sun here: just a remembering, really, of why it is that we in Western Michigan, we in the Midwest, and our friends and family in New England find this season the most intoxicating of the year. Read more