17: Earthly Considerations

Dear All,

Occasionally, we all have doubts about the meaning of it all. Sometimes the doubts pertain to our part in the play. Mr. Ruskin was, in this respect, not much different from the rest of us. Here is how (on one occasion at least; there are others!) he came to terms with the problem–with words which (perhaps you’ll agree), despite their brevity, are neither evanescent nor slight; words which, mulled over and deemed apt, encourage us to weave on, weller:

Symbols are often given to show the evanescence and slightness of our lives—the foam upon the water, the grass on the housetop, the vapor that vanishes away. Yet none of these are images of true human life. That life, when it is real, is not evanescent, is not slight, does not vanish away. Every noble life leaves the fibre of it interwoven forever in the work of the world; by so much, evermore, the strength of the human race has gained; more stubborn in the root, higher towards heaven in the branch…



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3 Responses to 17: Earthly Considerations

  1. keersidecowshed@aol.com says:

    Hello Jim.

    What a brilliant Ruskin quotation! Meat there, I think, for a sermon or even perhaps two! What is the source of the quotation?

    Hope that you are well and that all goes well with you and yours. Here in the Lake District we have had some superb spring days over the Easter period with everything looking lovely.

    Do we expect to see you at or near Brantwood this summer?

    All good wishes

    David P

    • jimspates says:

      Hi, David,

      Many thanks for this comment. It is (typically) brilliant JR, isn’t it? You remind me that I haven’t yet explained where all these quotes come from. I will do this once the semester ends. Been most hectic here the past few weeks. In two more, the intensity level should go down considerably and I’ll have more time to attend to such important matters! All best wishes to you and yours, as always! Brantwood is likely this year, but in December not the summer. I always like to come at the best times, as you know! 🙂

  2. Yes, a beautiful quotation and a comforting one. The idea of knitting, interweaving and weaving is a potent symbol in itself, and of course very much associated with the feminine arts, and the subconscious narrative we all weave for ourselves.

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