Here is a bit of loveliness for today. Beauty is always worth celebrating!
Yes, the great physicist certainly has a point.
There are still many theories in this world to be tested. The progress of science demands it.
One of my great loves is poetry. I have written in the past about the traditional links between poetry and masculinity. For most of history, the poet was considered one of the supreme spokesman of and for whatever society he lived in. From the earliest bards of oral tradition, the men who handed down the stories, usually heroic, of their own people from generation to generation, to modern statesmen or generals who pursued a passion for poetry, this ancient art form as always been a part of our world. A great example of the old bard would be Homer, the author of the Iliad and Odyssey, the two great epic poems of ancient Greece. A modern man of action who enjoyed poetry would be someone such as General George Patton, as much a man of action if ever there was one. Poetry is the ultimate use of the spoken or written word to express things that are often inexpressible.
As a medium for things that are inexpressible, there is an old link between poetry and spirituality. As far as I am concerned, most good poetry has some sort of spiritual element. Poetry, unlike most prose or fiction, speaks of things that are hard to define, more ephemeral yet permanent, spiritual yet concrete. A good poem, like a good song or good food or a good lover, stays with you long after you have finished reading, or listening to it. Perhaps the greatest spiritual poetry of all time are the Psalms. The fact that they were written nearly three thousand years ago, yet still speak intimately to us today, is proof of the timeless beauty that all good poetry possesses.
Some time ago I came across an interview with Denise Levertov (1923-1997) in Poets and Writers, May/June 1998. Levertov was a poet whose spiritual journey took her from agnostic Jew to Catholic and her later poetry is infused with spiritual themes. She once described her last book of poetry as a work to, “trace my slow movement from agnosticism to Christian faith, a movement incorporating much doubt and questioning as well as affirmation.” Doubt, questioning and affirmation, are not these things that all people on a spiritual journey experience? Faith in God is not necessarily an easy thing. And for me art, rather than theology, is the best way to explore, ponder and express the nuances and difficulties of faith.
In this particular interview, her last, she talks about the relationship between her Christian faith and her life and work as a poet.
When I started writing explicitly Christian poems, I thought I’d lost part of my readership. But I haven’t actually…This sense of spiritual hunger is something of a counterforce or unconscious reaction to all that technological euphoria.
I like her description of a “sense of spiritual hunger”. This is something I experience quite often myself.
She then draws a nice comparison between the act of writing poetry and prayer. In response to the question, “Did your understanding of poetic inspiration help to imagine what it would be like to have religious faith,” she answers:
That’s one way of putting it. When you’re really caught up in writing a poem, it can be a form of prayer. I’m not very good at praying, but what I experience when I’m writing a poem is close to prayer. I feel it in different degrees and not with every poem. But in certain ways writing is a form of prayer.
I find this to be quite true. There is a powerful similarity between writing poetry and prayer. She then goes on to elaborate this connection:
I was really amazed at how close the exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola were to a poet or a novelist imagining a scene. You focus your attention on some particular aspect of the life of Christ. You try to compose that scene in your imagination, place yourself there. If it’s the Via Dolorosa, you have to ask yourself, are you one of the disciples? Are you a passerby? Are you a spectator that likes to watch from the side, the way people used to watch hangings? You establish who you are and where you stand and then you look at what you see.
I have a deep and abiding belief in the relationship between art and spirituality. It is a relationship as old as art itself. Whether in poetry, painting, sculpture, music or whatever artistic genre is used, throughout all of cultural history the great forms of artistic endeavor almost always have some sort of spiritual dimension. They speak of things that touch our innermost beings and lives, that reflect our deepest hopes and fears and longings. Many people think that most modern poetry is devoid of all spiritual themes, but as Levertov shows, this is certainly not the case. As the end of Lent nears, and Easter comes closer, those in the Catholic faith know all too well the great liturgical drama that is being played out, and how powerful a drama it is. It is one of the finest fusions of both art and religion.
Whether we are reading the Psalms or a poet like Levertov, the link between poetry and spirituality is an unbroken one as old as art and religion themselves.
There is something so graceful and elegant, so restrained and even classical about black and white nudes. Erotic beauty can be depicted in so many ways, but a good black and white photograph is one of the best. Like a good work of classical art, there is something timeless about the medium.
I have written before about my fascination with nymphs, https://theracerx.com/2012/12/27/i-love-nymphs/, not only the imaginary kind found in Greek mythology, but also the real kind in our present day world. Nymphs tend to reappear in our world with the flowering of spring. Although we are still dealing with the last vengeful blows of a recalcitrant winter, spring will come, as sure as the earth tilts closer to the sun and the days grow longer and warmer. And with spring so come the nymphs.
There are different types of nymphs, each one associated with a particular quality of nature. Today’s nymph is a mountain nymph (otherwise known as a Oread in Greek mythology). I am not sure where this photo was taken, but when I first saw it I thought either of Machu Picchu in Peru or somewhere in the Alps. I really do not know. Whatever the case, I enjoy the brilliant contrast between the rocky fastness of the background and the soft, nubile nymph in the foreground (this contrast between a misty and rocky, mountainous background and a soft, feminine beauty in the foreground reminds me of a Leonardo painting). She seems delicately and precariously balanced on a few stones. At first we may fear for her safety; but then we realize she is mountain nymph, and in her immortality she cannot be harmed. She might even a devotee of the stern, virginal goddess Artemis. If that is the case, it is best to stay away from her, for any man cavorting with one of Artemis’s nymphs can only lead to destruction for an individual of such insouciance.
One of my favorite pastimes used to be mountain climbing. Now, unfortunately with a heart condition, I am unable to climb anymore; but in my climbing days I always hoped to come across a mysterious and allusive mountain nymph such as this one. I never did, alas, but this photo lets me know that in the great, awesome grandeur of mountainous regions, the delightful world of the nymphs still lives on. At least I can continue to find poetic inspiration in the existence of such lovely and delightful creatures.
I have always found Madeline Stowe to be quite beautiful. When I first saw her two decades ago in the movie, Last of the Mohicans, her porcelain features captivated me. Since then, her beauty has not diminished, even though she is now 53. I recently saw her on a talk show, and she is indeed still quite lovely.
Once again we see that if someone takes care of themselves, they can remain healthy and attractive well into the later part of their lives. I have always found a grown woman, someone well into her twenties or thirties, to be much more attractive than their younger counterparts. To the mindless, bubble headed and silly younger party girls who enjoy the constant attention of countless boys, and feed off the sense of power you have because of that, understand that a woman who has both a mature mind and well rounded personality and physical beauty is an infinitely more attractive creature than you. When you wake up from your beer pong induced hangeovers, you are actually quite unattractive and unappealing.
So here is another tribute to the woman over forty, and even fifty, who is still beautiful. For those women out there who think your life is over after thirty and that your beauty and attractiveness will precipitously fade, Madeline Stowe is proof that does not have to be the case. Just take care of yourself, in both mind, body and spirit, and you will continue to have a full life.
This is a nice comparison of the nude in painting and photography that I owe to Forgetful Muse: http://forgetfulmuse.tumblr.com/post/41725838152. As a fellow blogger, and we have a long standing acquaintance in this realm, she is one of my allies in the struggle to make eroticism more acceptable within the world of spirituality, religion and in particular, Catholicism. Although this nude photo might get you fired from your work , or denounced by Bible thumping fanatics, or condemned by the more extreme and fundamentalist elements of the American Taliban, i.e., The Republican Party, these impressionist paintings would probably earn you millions if sold at an art auction (I am not sure who the artists are, so any information would be most helpful!). In short, all three are wonderful and beautiful depictions of the female nude.
So what is it? Are all naked photos of women porn? And if so, then why don’t we simply eliminate from the face of the earth every single nude depiction of a human being ever to be produced. Does not purity demand it?
Yes, much if not most of porn is trash and downright ugly and totally irredeemable. But that is not to say that all erotic imagery is ugly or worthless, including explicit imagery. Rather, much of good erotic imagery is art, and should be considered so. The contrast between these impressionist paintings and the nude photograph is a bit of proof of that. And I believe that all good art, including erotic art, is something that God gave us as a great gift of expression in our fallen world.
To continue the theme of my post yesterday, on how much I enjoy a woman’s backside, one of the best ways to make use of a woman’s behind is to spank it on a regular basis. There are few better ways to control the natural bitchiness of most women than by frequent spanking. If a man is afraid to exert such dominance over his woman, she most likely will find some other man to do so. As I have often written on here and what is still in many ways verboten to say in our world is that most women enjoy being submissive to their man, especially in the bedroom. Trust me, in my former life of sexual conquest and debauchery, one of the most frequent complaints of my lovers, especially those who were cheating on their current vanilla boyfriends, was that their loving partners were boring and lacking in masculinity. The women were with them only because they were safe, provided a social buddy, or they were afraid to hurt them by leaving them. So the women strayed sexually with degenerates like me in order to find some alpha satisfaction and excitement.
Today I happened upon a simple instrument of discipline that I often use: the ruler. Yes, being a dom does not require one to invest in all sorts of expensive or exotic contraptions. For the purposes of a firm discipline of your unruly woman, a simple twelve inch ruler will suffice. Trust me, it works quite well. The lightness of the instrument allows for a nice, stinging spanking, a spanking that sends a good and firm message to her to stop acting up, but a spanking that is not too ferocious. There are other instruments you can use for the more extreme cases of female intransigence. But it is always good to begin with something light like a ruler and work your way into more exotic forms of discipline.
So if you do not have a ruler, that simple tool we are all so familiar with, I urge you to spend a dollar and get one. Trust me, the payoffs in the bedroom with your woman will be well worth the cost. She will thank you for it.
I once wrote a post on how much I appreciate a nice derriere on a woman. This is a fine example of that.
Long live beautiful women!
A man should age well. In our society, the perpetuation of juvenile habits is all too common for most men after a certain age. I encourage men to avoid this. It is not conducive to dignity. For instance, there are some things a man after a certain age should not do: dress like he is still twenty, act like he is still twenty, wear a baseball cap backwards as if he were still fifteen, chase women as if he were a desperate twenty year old. Trust me, if a man ages well, stays in shape, keeps his dignity, pursues his goals with dogged determination, and knows how to walk away from silly and superficial women, the quality women will come to him. A man who ages well only increases his alpha status.
The Most Interesting Man in the World is a hilarious commercial. I recently heard a good quote from this: “Some say having a dark side will lead to no good. I certainly hope so.” Yes, I agree completely. Granted, it is only entertainment, but this now famous commercial does capture something of what it means to be an older man. Grace, class, culture and confidence are important elements of manhood. One of the most famous proponents of manhood in the twentieth century was Ernest Hemingway. His fictional characters, as well as his own life, reflected the male desire for action, adventure and success, albeit in situations which often hindered those very pursuits. Now, Hemingway’s later life was actually quite troubled and did not end well, but at least in his writings, some of the best in the English language, he embodied many of the qualities of ideal manhood.
And of course, a man should always appreciate feminine beauty. This never wanes. The man of good taste will only cultivate this special delight of life the older he gets. Eventually, if he knows what he is doing, he becomes an expert in all things regarding female beauties. Women will love him only all the more for this. This heightened sense of beauty is one of the rewards for a life lived richly in the world of art, class, beauty, culture and civilization.