[LMB] OT: Thought for the day

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Thu Sep 8 02:35:13 BST 2011

On Sep 7, 2011, at 11:43 AM, Carol Cooper wrote:
> A. Marina Fournier wrote
>> Did you feel like an atheist looking at all the art in the Vatican? That's
>> my reaction there.
> Hmmm - that's an interesting comment.  I'm an atheist, but was deeply moved
> by some of the art in the Vatican (and deeply amused/revolted by some of the
> more over the top stuff).

I think "perplexed" and "dubiously confused" were emotions I was going for. I truly fail to see the attraction and compulsion for gambling. This is actually a good thing, given that one of the things that happens in a mania/hypomania is an indulgence in unhealthy behavior: street/recreational drugs (so many reasons why they don't work for me), death-defying stunts, gambling, excessive/risky sex, and so on.

As a recovering Catholic, many of the glorifications of the torture endured by the saints turns my stomach. In my Medieval French class (I left the Catholic Church at 15), I had to read La Vie de St. Alexis, in which the young man leaves his parents' house without notice or worldly goods to take up a life of poverty, and eventually lives under his parents' front porch. There's something about thirds and 33 and allegedly  imitating the cycle of Jesus' life stages, but I could only see him as a selfish young man who caused his parents needless suffering.

>  It brings to mind an instance when I remarked to
> a religious friend that when I sing 'Messiah' I share and can understand the
> emotions the music is meant to evoke, and she suggested that in fact it was
> God speaking to me and trying to inspire me through the music.  I was quite
> certain it wasn't - it was Handel speaking, conveying his own feelings about
> the story through his music.

I can sing the more winter-focal carols, but the ones going on and on about redemption, salvation, "down on your knees" abasement, and Satan's power, make me decidedly uncomfortable. Gospel music does the same--I don't find it to be entertainment, and feel as if I'm intruding on someone's religious ceremony to whichI haven't been invited.

I'm not sure that I have an emotional reaction to The Messiah--but I envy people who've got the range to sing it!

>  The thing is, the reason some artists or
> musicians are great is because of their ability to convey emotions and ideas
> through their art - and you don't have to be a Christian to be moved to pity
> when viewing a 'pieta' and the depiction of a mother grieving - you're
> looking at a basic human emotion.

I agree. I can indeed understand the deep unhappiness of people exiled from their community, be it religious or not.  When I emerged from one of my nadirs, where I felt as if I'd been possessed by demons, I suddenly understood the story in the Gospel(s?) about Jesus casting out demons, and it made all the sense in the world to me. I knew the relief those sufferers had felt at that release.

> We're performing Adams's 'On the Transmigration of Souls' - a memorial to
> the 911 victims - the next couple of nights.  I don't know anyone who was
> involved that day, but this work has a heck of an emotional impact.

Can you point me to this work?

> Probably not really to the point of your message, but it just set me to
> musing....

Bit it was interesting and informative musing!

A. Marina Fournier
SaffronRose at me.com
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic              (Attributed)

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