The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

20 August 2013

Of clouds of witnesses and bubbles

I am often struck by the beauty of language in really fine writing. Words can have an intoxicating effect, whether the author is Lucy Maud Montgomery or Nigella Lawson. What matters is a deft hand, respectful intent, and a willingness to play. By that last I mean not taking oneself too seriously or using one's medium to berate others. (I've been reading Nigella, and so have temporarily adopted the British 'one' in place of the American 'you'.)
From a strictly literary perspective, a good translation of Scripture gives me the same pleasure as reading the poetry of Donne: I don't necessarily perfectly understand what is being said, but I so enjoy how it is said. I savour the sounds, hold the consonants and vowels on my tongue, allow their shape and meaning to permeate through my mind. I carry the words with me during the day and hear them echo in my thoughts at random moments. They leave an impression in my imaginations like fossils, sometimes only suggesting at the whole of what they once were. 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

"Though lovers be lost, love shall not, and death shall have no dominion." Dylan Thomas

"Paris (and our apartment) is so dark and quiet this morning that I feel as if I'm entirely alone. The sky is the color of gray flannel, the darkness broken only by the dormer window of another early riser. The woman who lives in that attic painted her walls yellow, and reflected light bounces out like a spring crocus. If light were sound, her window would be playing a concerto." Eloisa James

"And since I think best with a pencil in my hand, I started naturally to write." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"People disappear all the time." Diana Gabaldon

"I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So goodnight, dear void." Nora Ephron

Sip them slowly, and let the words bubble up.



  1. There are some interesting "bubbles" here. The one that struck me most was about Paris. I've always been intrigued by the city, and I have no idea why. The only link I can think of is reading those Madeline books as a child.

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  3. Ah, that is the allure of Paris: it calls in its siren voice, seducing with the promise of warm bread, toothsome cheeses, and casual elegance.

    In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,
    lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
    They left the house, at half past nine...
    The smallest one was Madeline.