Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.
Kannon, Bodhisattva of Compassion.
So I was talking with my roommate E the other day about principles — about the idea that it’s better to figure out reasonably consistent guiding principles and apply them to situations, rather than make case-by-case judgments.
I’m practically the definition of a lapsed Catholic. I don’t go to mass, but I feel vaguely guilty about it, especially at Easter; I can’t help doing a Sign of the Cross when I walk into a church, but I haven’t been to confession in years; I have Opinions on the new wording of the mass that are decidedly mixed because come on, “and with your spirit,” but maybe “consubstantial” is a little closer to the original Latin, I don’t know. I’ve thought about writing at greater length about why the Church and I have been “It’s Complicated” on Facebook for some years now — the Church’s attitudes towards women and the LGBTQ community, my skepticism towards any long-entrenched organization, the Church’s scandals — and maybe one day I will, but for now, it’s not necessary to do so. Though the Church and I may not always get along, I still consider myself a spiritual person and more Christian than anything.
So today we went to the Vatican.
“A Swiftly Tilting Planet.” Novel by Madeleine L’Engle; painting by Rowena Morrill.
… That’s a very long title for a post that probably won’t live up to it.
I’ve been rereading a bunch of books lately, including some of Diane Duane‘s Young Wizards series. (I just bought her revised and updated versions of the first seven books for my Kindle; she has a sale that I think ends today that you should totally go take advantage of.) A couple nights ago a friend got me thinking about the intersection of Shakespeare and the Young Wizards universe, and I ended up rereading the Wizard’s Oath in order to translate it into iambic pentameter, as one does: