Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Clear Call for Me

"Sunset and Evening Star,

And one clear call for me..."

...To write. To cherish things past. To long for dusty pages of well bound tomes. To appreciate paper, ink, and the dripping wax of the candle on my desk.

Who am I? I am a keeper of things past. A guardian who will not allow ancient words to be forgotten. Tennyson and Wordsworth, Locke and Burke: their words and ideas have long shaped us. Saint Paul, the Creeds and Confessions: longer still have they chiseled our hearts and minds. Luther and Erasmus, too, gave the common man tools to analyze texts, and set the Scriptures in his own tongue.

Tongue. Language, words, expression, speech, thoughts... These are a beacon to arouse and alarm, to humble and bless, to bewilder and charm. Words express ideas, they must be carefully chosen, wrought into concise thought. Ideas must be worthy of being spoken, penned, or taught.

Eloquence and rhetoric have been pushed aside for the caustic inarticulation of postmodernism. Words have been uprooted, their meanings changed or stolen.

"Twilight and evening bell
And after that the dark!"

A twilight on words and Beauty? Does "Beauty" even make sense if meaning is given by the hearer? My head lifts in hope: yes. Words have objective meaning. Poetry and prose intend what the author seeks to convey.

Long after darkness falls, grey meets the East. Light streaks along the horizon, licking the clouds like a tongue of flame with vibrant oranges, reds, and dazzling golds. Yes! The sun rises after the dark.

I am a keeper of words, a teacher of language. They will LIVE. Another will rise up to take my place, to excel me when I have crossed the bar.

~ Johanna


  1. Yay! Glad you've taken up pen once again! =)
    While we're talking about the significance of words, I must get your opinion on the word "Laymen", as last month I heard a good fellow give quite an ardent defense of his position that the very existence/use of the word has been a something detriment to Christian thinking. Though I'd like to hear your own thoughts on it before parroting back the ramblings. ^_^;

  2. *Smiles* I never put it down... Just didn't put much of my writing on-line.

    After a little etymology research the best thing I can find for the origin of "laymen" was simply "non-clergy".
    It does seem to have picked up this connotation of "non-expert" over recent years (since the 1800s, if you can call that recent). However, I prefer the original definition. It just means a non-clergy member. I know some persons who sit in the pews who know much more than those leading the service... "Laymen" shouldn't be on par with "idiot". So, I'm all about reclaiming it. :)

    Now then, what did your friend say? Or what are your own thoughts on the word?

    ~ Jody

  3. Lovely Jody - you have a pretty way of using words.

  4. All granted. Haha, and as fortune would have it, I've quite misplaced the notes I'd taken on the speech, so I don't truthfully know whether the historical references that they'd given held water or not... Sorry that the below is so long, lately I've been observing the way that words introduced into the culture have changed peoples' very way of thinking about life, and am quite interested in hearing what you think about it all. =)

    The main premise of the lecture was that "laity" was perhaps the word responsible for the fallacy of dividing a person's choice of vocation into either the "sacred" or the "secular" aspects.

    The differentiation between "Clergy" and "Christian" was apparently (*and I'm lacking the historical references from the speech, so the premise might be false*) not a semantic play activated until some generations 'after' Christ's resurrection, and seemed to evidence more so human vainglory than from any practical utility it might have then had.

    Because humans can be quite petty, we instinctively prefer classifying people from afar, rather than in influencing and knowing them on a personal level. Christ calls 'each' of us to follow God with 'all' of our hearts and minds. And yet... The 'typical' expectation of outsiders, or even the less-mature Christian, are that because the "Priest" is 'paid' to be a Christian, they will for some reason do a better job at it. And that those who are Christians solely from a love of Christ, are then less knowledgeable about Him, than they are of their own 'secular' vocation.

    Many Christians have taken this view to heart, which is much of the reason why there is a mistaken view among people dividing a person's life into the fallacy of the sacred & the secular aspects.

    One of God's aspirations seems to have been that his people would become a 'Kingdom of priests" (Exodus 19:5-7) And again this terminology is used to describe the followers of Christ (Revelation 1: 5-6). The 'vocational' distinction between priest & Christian seems almost akin to the difference between Soda & Pop.

    But then again, I am quite the ignoramus when it comes to the nuances of Greek and Hebrew, etc. ^_^; And I don't mean in any way whatsoever to take credit away from Pastors etc. They often take the brunt of the enemy's attacks, and the ones worthy of credit should certainly receive it! I'm also all too humblingly aware of how much of my own knowledge on anything has been borrowed from those who've been kind enough to lend me a sermon (or two, or hundred-and-two =)

    Mostly I'm just curious what you would make of it all? Do you think that the case against this word has merit, or have I perhaps taken to a mistaken train of reasoning? ^_^;