October 4th, 2005


Off the beaten path

Most of us literary types know a little of William Blake -- mostly The Tyger. He is heavily anthologized, but only a few of his pieces are ever used. Here's a little ditty I found, recently, in a facsimile edition of Songs of Experience I picked up cheap in Bloomington. What do you make of it?


Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am use'd well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

But if at the Church they would give us some Ale.
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale;
We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day;
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.

Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing.
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring:
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

And God like a father rejoicing to see,
His children as pleasant and happy as he:
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel
But kiss him & give him both drink and apparel.

Yes, I see that hand . . .

yechezkiel and ragamuffin33ad have done posts lately about altar calls and hyped-up worship. Here's my golden memory from way back when.

We were going to rehearse a trio for a chapel service at seminary. Two singers (myself and John, a former Southern Baptist) and the accompanist were there on time. We waited in the choir loft for a long stretch. Finally our perennially late third singer, Tom, came bursting through the doors of the chapel, hair wet from a shower (he'd been playing basketball), and started down the center aisle.

I called out, "Sing another chorus, he'll come down."

Former SB John punched me in the arm and said, "That's a terrible thing to say in front of someone who's sat through sixty-four verses of Just As I Am!"
by himself

Cuthbert the Ravenous

Our cat eats constantly -- and grows constantly. He wants to be held a lot, too. The good news is that he's no longer biting as much.

He no longer looks "cute" and kittenish. He is instead "handsome" and young-cat-ish. Long and sleek (very long in the limbs). Given to the rips, chasing his own tail, spooking at unseen presences, the whole bag of heebee jeebees.

Last night, he found his way into the miniature tent that belongs to Artos, my birthday bear from a couple years back. For my 50th birthday, my family went to one of those build-a-bear places and outfitted a backpacker bear for me. He has his own little nylon dome tent. Well, Cuthbert was adorable looking out of the mesh window from inside -- but the camera was in another room, and he began to bat at the various nylon ties and stuff that are part of the tent, and I thought this is not going anywhere I want to follow. So the bear's tent in now put up higher.

Cuthbert is a pale yellow, fading to snowy white throat and belly. His white paws are like little girls' cotton gloves. His nose, footpads, inside of mouth are all impossibly pink. Like a black cat hiding in shadows, I swear this cat could hide in a sunbeam. He'd just be part of the soft dazzle -- until he jumped your ankles as you walked past.