Monthly Archives: February 2014

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

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What ho, I say! Sebastian Faulks has penned an homage to the English Country House master P.G. Wodehouse. During this time of Season 4 of Downton Abbey episodes, Jeeves and Wooster B. are more for my liking. Companion to the times, this is the lighter approach to all of those stiffback Gentlemen & Ladies.

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

As a devotee to the talent of P.G.W, or Plum, as those who find him enduring refer to him, I find that Faulks catches the tone just right, and neither presses on nor glances over the phrasings and plot twists essential to any good Plum novel.

For the most part, less inclined as I have been instructed to avoid grammatical passive sentence construction, it is all too fitting to cast the old caution to the wind and take up the turnéd phrase at ease. After all, it all makes sense after the fifth g & t has restored one’s cares to abandon and roams through the English Country house for a fun filled, and always complicated, romp with the upper crust and all of their quirky entanglements.

For the umpteeth time, a Wodehouse miscellany delivers the goods amongst the plot that one never wishes to fall away: boy infatuated with girl, girl infatuated with other boy, father’s estate way in over its head, and domineering aunts and dowagers is the formula that never fails in the PGW corner of the globe (in this book, all with this and a cricket match, too.) And if this is not enough, a full steady subtext stream from Wm. S. the Bard of A. Midsummer’s Night Dream certainly rounds out this excursion, oer that I hope Mr. Faulks will offer again. Wildly mad turns and subterfuges abound in a seemingly everyday manner, a manner which is only believable when you step outside of London for the Country excursion on a superb May morn.

Wodehouse fans should be pleased with Mr. Faulks addendum to Wodehousian lore; and for the newcomer, hopefully this tome will inspire the virgin to enter the rich, uncharted waters, which provide a world of flight and fancy (far from the madding crowd, indeed; indeed, also a far cry from stuffy Downton.)

Pip, pip until later. Tally-ho and the rest. (Now where has that darn Isis run off to?)

Everyman: a Morality Play

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We all come and go alone.

All that remains are any good deeds that we may have sent out, rippling as a wave (along with the many bad deeds accomplished as well).

…sadly, it is true — you can’t take it with you. With age, as I look back, why would I want to anyway?

The Wind Among the Reeds

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After reading Paulo Coelho’s Brida, I felt drawn to return to W.B. Yeats’ poetry collection The Wind Among the Reeds (1899), after a break of more than 30 years.

Brida by Paulo Coelho
Brida by Paulo Coelho

Certainly the Tradition of the Sun and the Moon in the mystical cults make more sense to me than when I was younger. The call to the elements of the wood sing stronger now as well. Bur most of all, Brida’s incarnation on the dust jacket of Coelho’s  novel rang a strong bell in my soul as I began remembering the many references to flowing hair and glimmering flames throughout The Wind Among the Reeds. Back in the late 1970’s, that seems to be all that I was then capable of taking away from my encounter with Yeats.

These days, my encounter is so very much so memorable. The following poem means more to me than it ever could decades ago (which is the beauty of rereading throughout the years).

Into The Twilight

OUT−WORN heart, in a time out−worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight,
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.

Your mother Eire is aways young,
Dew ever shining and twilight grey;
Though hope fall from you and love decay,
Burning in fires of a slanderous tongue

Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill:
For there the mystical brotherhood
Of sun and moon and hollow and wood
And river and stream work out their will;

And God stands winding His lonely horn,
And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the grey twilight,
And hope is less dear than the dew of the morn.

And, of course, there are many more memorable lines cross referenced throughout the years as my reading continues to grow – such as:

I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lads and hilly lands.
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.  (from “The Song Of Wandering Aengus”)

and the tenderly evoking imploration

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (from “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven”)

I am pleasantly surprised with my return visit to The Wind Among the Reeds.  I might have forgotten to revisit if it was not for Brida and her dust-jacket.

(You can download a copy of The Wind Among the Reeds for free from Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32233 )

Brida

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Brida by Paulo Coelho (2008) is another mesmerizing romp into the mystic – most welcomed by this reader. Coelho is a Brazilian writer, best known for The Alchemist (1988); in this particular work, he turns to Irish traditions.

Brida by Paulo Coelho

Brida is a young Irish woman who seeks a Magus to learn about the Tradition of the Sun and the Tradition of the Moon. In turn, he leads her to Wicca, a witch, who will lead Brida into initiation rites and practices.

  • How do you find your Soul Mate? Check over the shoulder (and thus perhaps find another piece of yourself that split off from yourself lifetimes ago…)
  • Can you have more than 1 Soul Mate? Yes.
  • What happens when you meet more than 1 Soul Mate at a time? Hmmmmmm…
  • How do you connect to others? Look into their eyes.

We have 2 attitudes to live by: to build, or to grow. Builders are hemmed in by the walls they construct, and once the item is built, the adventure ends; whereas, Planters endure and nurture, in an ever on-going adventure.

Our true adventures are contained in “The Dark Night of the Soul”, as evidenced by St. John of the Cross very long ago. All there is to know about Life can be known, except for the Why; the only way to come out onto the other side is by Faith, through Faith.

  • Why are we here?: “Only the brave and those who understand the Traditions of the Sun and the Moon are aware that the only possible answer to the question is I DON’T KNOW.” (page 138)
  • What’s the point then, looking for an answer that cannot be revealed?: “…life becomes much more intense, much more brilliant, because we understand that each minute, each step that we take, has a meaning that goes far beyond us as individuals. We realize that somewhere in time and space this question does have an answer. We realize that there is a reason for us being here, and for us, that is enough.” (page 139)
  • Is there much difference between Ancient Traditions and Modern Theoretical Physics? No. They are the same, just using two different languages.

These and more inquiries into our time and purpose on Earth roam throughout these pages, fluidly within this smooth translation by Margaret Costa. So I will leave you with just one more: Why did God draw Adam and Eve’s attention to the Tree of Good and Evil if he hadn’t wanted them to eat of it? Well, He knew what he was doing…The answer is: “In order to set the Universe in motion.” (page 202)

The mystic within me thinks the same way although I use different words: “To get to the other side…”