I, too, saw God through mud...

Wilfred Owen's poetry has always haunted me. As the light coming in my window begins to change from the golden glow of autumn to the white, cold gleam of winter, I find myself once again paging through his writing. As always, he takes my breath.

I have perceived much beauty
In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
Heard music in the silentness of duty;
Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share
With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.

- from Apologia pro Poemate Meo


Enjoy your Martlemass week! In Germany, because St. Martin is the patron of children, if you walked into a city towards dusk you would find yourself surrounding by crowds of singing children bearing lanters. Although St. Martin's day goes by mostly unnoticed in the US, it was at one time the central feast of autumn:

From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages, much of Western Europe, including Great Britain, engaged in a period of fasting beginning on the day after St. Martin's Day, November 11. This fast period lasted 40 days, and was, therefore, called "Quadragesima Sancti Martini", which means in Latin "the forty days of St. Martin." At St. Martin's eve, people ate and drank very heartily for a last time before they started to fast. This fasting time was later called "Advent" by the Church.


can't you just feel the wet and the cold? Tod Hido has a touch with the camera. Most of the time, I find his photos a little disturbing, but every once in a awhile, wonderful.


I heard a voice, that cried,
"Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And through the misty air
Passed like the mournful cry
Of sunward sailing cranes.

I saw the pallid corpse
Of the dead sun
Borne through the Northern sky.
Blasts from Niffelheim
Lifted the sheeted mists
Around him as he passed.

And the voice forever cried,
"Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And died away
Through the dreary night,
In accents of despair.

- Tegner's Drapa, Longfellow

There's something about this time of year, when the leaves and the rain are falling, that is full of grief. It is a beautiful, soft grief, that usually results in me digging through my piles of books and cds for my "Complete Longfellow" and a very scratched recording of Beethoven's 14th Sonata. Go find a quiet place out of the wind and listen to Beethoven and watch the leaves. This is autumn at its best.