Saturday, January 31, 2009

Esolen on Torrey Honors

Here's Dr. Fred Sander's review of Esolen's review.

Here's Esolen's review.

While we're on Esolen, here's Dr. Sander's notes on Dr. Esolen's lecture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Ecstacy

I just bought Taliessin through the Logres, The Region of the Summer Stars and the Arthurian Torso by Charles Williams.


It's 1:00 something AM.

Here are my reasons:

1) Dante.

2) This oh-my-goodness-my-mind-just-got-blown-open-in-a-totally-good-way-by-Charles-Williams (He tends to do that) book.

3) This beautiful essay (I consider it one of my favorite essays alongside "The Weight of Glory").

4) This response to the essay above.

5) This random (or perhaps providential) review of Logres. "Gold" indeed.

6) And one more thing, if people are willing to spend upwards of $70 dollars for an Abercrombie and Fitch(TM) shirt, why can't I spend $55 dollars to buy a rare and beautiful book by one of my favorite authors?

Sigh. Of course, this means that I won't be buying any more books for a long time...then again, I do have that gift card I haven't used...but here's the thing: I promise that (unless it's for school) I will not buy another book for 3 months. Starting today. (So this ends April 29th...if I'm wrong please correct me) =]

Another thing, how do I express strong emotion without looking like a fool? Is being a fool necessarily a bad thing? (Or so Shakespeare would have me ask).

Currently, I am overwhelmed and more in love with Charles William's writing than I previously was. I only pray that his insights into the Christian life will lead me to love God like Dante did. "This also is thou; neither is this Thou".

But remember, dear reader, that Dante, Williams, and all of Western Civilization are but dust without Christ. "You can find Dante and miss Christ" Let us not be Gammaliels. Let us pray for one another, always.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of Bibliophilia and Bookworms

I have found that many people kindly but still quite condescendingly laugh at my bookishness. Which got me to thinking, is there an inherent problem with reading too many books? What is the purpose of reading? And what of Plato's argument against it in the second half of Phaedrus? Therefore, kind readers, I entreat you to help me diagnose myself.

Here are some of my symptoms:

1) I have a 10-page-long wish list on (Still growing!).

2) I read more often then I exercise.

3) I read about as much as I sleep.

4) I feel odd ('naked') if I do not have a book in my hand or at least in close proximity to myself.

5) My ideal room would have all four walls lined with bookcases from floor to ceiling and a large, wide spacious desk and a comfy chair and automan. Well-lit.

6) My room is the library of my house.

7) My main expenditure is on Amazon (curse you shipping costs!).

8) Saying the word "D-A-N-T-E" in my presence will induce an assortment of reactions (depending on the context in which it is said):
a) An odd squeal (yes, like a piglet).
b) I'll fall to my knees and start yelling.
c) I'll get that mad glint in my eye that says "You'd better take that back!"
For example: When the inestimable Mr. Gross informed me that the Rodin sculpture known as "The Thinker" was, in fact, Rodin's sculpture of Dante, I did indeed fall to my knees and pump my fists skyward and yelled at the top of my lungs-directly underneath the Biola belltower. ....yeah.

9) This painting warms my heart.

10) I find that I have to exercise much self control in order to not buy this. They don't even have a picture of the thing! 50 some dollars! AHHHHH!

So, dear friends, be honest, how bad do I have it?


Sunday, January 25, 2009


Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

(After Taliesin)

The beauty of the Word made flesh,
Beautiful too that God has made me.
The beauty of wisdom from ages past,
Beautiful too the sound of a turning page.
The beauty of a tree in autumn,
Beautiful too a bare branch against the stars.
The beauty of Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto,
Beautiful too a single note of Bach.
The beauty of a mansion with many stories to tell
Beautiful too the library where new worlds are found.
The beauty of the ocean in its sun-lit splendor,
Beautiful too skipping stones across the water.
The beauty of a joyous wedding anniversary,
Beautiful too the shy glances of those in love.
The beauty of a lively fire against a rainy night,
Beautiful too the glow of a dying ember.
The beauty of silently falling snow,
Beautiful too the melting flakes upon the tongue.
The beauty of a stained glass window in its church,
Beautiful too the smile of a saint.
The beauty of a compassionate teacher in his classroom,
Beautiful too reading under a maple tree.
The beauty of a well-tempered blade,
Beautiful too the moment of “Aha!”
The beauty of sunlight streaming through a window,
Beautiful too the silence of a prayer chapel.
The beauty of mother driving her children to school,
Beautiful too the prayers of a father for his little girl.
The beauty of the hushed awe before the concert starts,
Beautiful too silencing the cell phone.
The beauty of a birthday letter given in love,
Beautiful too the experience of the wise.
The beauty of a conversation with beloved friends,
Beautiful too the last drop of coffee in the cup.
The beauty of vast and starry expanse of heaven,
Beautiful too finding a lost contact lens.
The beauty of cottage covered in snow,
Beautiful too the lighting of a match.
The beauty of poetry read by a melodious voice,
Beautiful too the ascension of Mount Purgatory.
The beauty of prayers said in the morning,
Beautiful too God’s presence when I feel alone.
The beauty of a sturdy old chair,
Beautiful too an old joke between friends.
The beauty of well written Chinese calligraphy,
Beautiful too making the ink from paste.
The beauty of the warm sun upon my face,
Beautiful too the droplets upon the air-con vent.
The beauty of a sun-lit corner of a room,
Beautiful too the room where a holy woman died.
The beauty of a girl laughing in sunshine,
Beautiful too the shape of her hand.
But most wonderful of all is too great for me to tell:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Which we Discover that Gabriel Generally Functions Much Better With Sleep

I've been slaving away at my Term Paper for the past two weeks. I haven't kept my journal since my birthday, I haven't done my devotions since last week, and I haven't slept for more than 10 hours in the past three days. Which is why I feel like singing odes to Coffee...and my friends who have so graciously helped me through this. (There is no intended order of importance in that short list!) Coffee is sooooo good! All hail Cappuccino!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For Mr. Diaz and...

Anyone else who enjoys the Dies Irae.

I give you Liszt's Totentanz

Part 1

Part 2

I attended a performance of this piece back a while ago.

P.S. Mr. Diaz, I have the Symphonic Dances ready for you. =]

Good Advice, but why?

This is a good piece of advice.

But why?

Why do we need to know where we come from in order to know where we are going?

"From whence have you come? Whither are you going?"

In other news, hard at work on Term Paper: Exciting!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Choo-ful sayings

"They say that a well ordered room reflects a well ordered soul. Heck, my soul's pretty screwed."

"Why'd they give me 17 dollars for my birthday? What an odd number...*a couple days go by*. OOOHHHHHHH!! I'm turning 17!"

*insert Joycelyn rolling eyes*

Dad: Joycelyn, you're getting prettier everyday.

Me: Yeah, we were getting worried!

Joycelyn: HEY!


Joycelyn: Well, we're still worried about you.