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Angeli archangeli troni

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I don't know why, but when I was 15 Gregorian chants and early religous music got hold of me and never let me go. I used to go to the library in Biggleswade and borrow LPs of this music, record it onto audio cassettes (piracy!) and listen to the music at night alone in my bedroom. It is often great music, soul touching. That must be the reason. I didn't know Latin then and I don't know Latin now.

I heard about this CD (CD? yes I'm attached to physical things), "Lucezia Borgia's Daughter"...



...somewhere and bought it.

All the motets are wonderful but the last track Angeli archangeli troni is amazing. I listened to it four or five times before reading the words and translation. I almost wished I hadn't. Just in as the Bach masses it is best to listen to the music of the voices and instruments without understanding the words.

The worst thing about Catholic funerals is the recited list of saints who are supposed to pray for the deceased. I don't like thi…

A comeuppance in Biggleswade.

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My Mum told me this story many years ago. The events must have taken place around 1930 I think. She lived in Sutton near Biggleswade in the UK. When she was 5 years old she would walk to school every day and be bullied every day by a nasty piece of work, a 7 year old girl. In those days bullying meant physical harm.
"But," my Mum told me, with some satisfaction, "she got her comeuppance. The bully's mum put her on the child's seat on her bike, and rode them into the River Ivel, and they both drowned."

I'm not sure where in the Ivel it happened, but somewhere along the stretch which runs by Biggleswade.



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The core of mystery is reality. The core of reality is mystery.

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I was struck by Leonora Carrington's paintings...

...at the same time as I was re-reading The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien....

It occurred to me that mystery can be transmitted best when it contains, or is contained by, reality. Pure abstract art (like some music with no lyrics and some abstract paintings) may sometimes trasmit emotions but I reckon that mystery, the unsayable stuff, you know what I mean, is most effective when connected to concrete things we are already familiar with.

The pretty smiling waitress.

Sometimes you are in a restaurant of an evening, with good friends, good food, flowing wine, it's dark outside and warmly  lit inside, and you notice the pretty smiling waitress. And the cook comes out of the kitchen to say hello, joking and happy. And you laugh with the jolly and ironic waiter.

Then, on the way to the bathroom, you catch a glimpse of all three, glum and sad in some side room or in the kìtchen.

I'm not one for monuments but...

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I recently made a trip to Sicily. I'm not one for monuments but I love the Pretoria Fountain (Fontana Pretoria) in Palermo.



It is lovely, above all the wonderful animal heads in all four quarters...



The fountain has the added attraction of having annoyed the eccliasiastical authorities.

Sometimes it is called the Fountain of Shame (Fontana della Vergogna) maybe because of the naked ladies and gentlemen. I didn't take photos of those. Google will show you plenty. 

There is a legend that says that the nuns in the convent  next to  the fountain only came out at night so they would not see the naked ladies and gentlemen.

I walked around the fountain twice to get a good look at those animal heads.









And it occurred to me that the sculptors did better work than the nuns who lived next door to the fountain, and who competed to see who could whip themselves with thorn branches the most. As I saw these sculptures with my own eyes, I saw the hard sharp thorn branches with my own eyes too.

Citizen

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