Going off on a virtual roadtrip is one thing, disappearing off into the ether is quite another! Life offline has been busy; holiday, a saga of lost keys, DIY gripper-rod removal (not the best project to start on arrival home after a ten hour train journey) and I don't know what else. I've been shamed into cranking up this blog again by reading of The Love That Moves The Sun's resolution to post more regularly. Probably regularly with a small r in my case.
So, why these photos (above)? There is a connection with what comes next, I promise, in typical Greenpatch wandering mode of course. These last few days I've been musing on this series of meditations by Pray as You Go , based round some of the works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and I've been really encouraged to learn more about the joys and struggles of his faith journey. I first came across his poetry at a very very young age indeed. I must have only been around eight years old when we were introduced to his Pied Beauty. Can't say I was hugely impressed to begin with. (Maybe this had to do with not only having to learn it by heart - if you're familiar with the rhythms and cadences of GMH this is no mean feat, but being required to write it down from memory as well - punctuation and all!). However, something must have lingered, once the element of compulsion was removed. GMH has come back into my orbit in a small but significant way during the last five years or so. Later in the year, God willing, I'm fortunate enough to have an extended opportunity to focus on where I'm going on my journey and in a place where the the inspiration and memory of Hopkins is very close indeed. And no, I won't be blogging it, good resolutions notwithstanding.
I'll leave you, not with the latest PAYG offering, (we're sitting with his 'gloomy' poems at present), but another classic GMH which has been in and out of my thoughts lately - God's Grandeur.
THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.