Some reputable scientists, even today, are not wholly satisfied with the notion that the song of birds is strictly and solely a territorial claim…It could be that a bird sings: I am sparrow, sparrow, sparrow, as Gerard Manley Hopkins suggests: “myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came.”
…Today I watched and heard a wren, a sparrow, and the mockingbird singing. My brain started to trill why why why, what is the meaning meaning meaning? …Surely they don’t even know why they sing. No; we have been as usual askng the wrong question.
It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird is singing. If the mockingbird were chirping to give us the long-sought formulae for a unified field theory, the point would be only slightly less irrelevant. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? …If the lyric is simply “mine mine mine,” then why the extravagance of the score?
–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Your unworthy servant feebly seeks vanaprastha in a moutain wood. I miss you, and I am grateful for your prayers for me.
…An old friend has written a short story and a novella.
The author has no means of publishing these pieces himself, so I publish them here.
“President Wilson and the Other Dead People I Talked To” (no longer available–author’s request)
Who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? (Revelation 17:4) …She reaches out to all states, even to the supreme and illustrious state of the sanctuary and divine priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place… She hardly leaves a man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice, which is vain joy in natural beauty.
–St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book III, chap. 22