What are Angels?

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“Poets are born knowing the language of angels.” 

 Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light

November has turned over time to December, a month of deepening frost, and merry celebrations.  It’s the festive season when all the twinkling lights brighten up the city and give even a rainy Vancouver sky a mystical glow.  This is the time of year for joy, good-will, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and the appearance of an angel or two. Angels come in many forms and are found in shop windows, holiday cards, and frosted Christmas cookies.

Angels have been part of human history since ancient times, dating back to the long, long ago Mycenaean era (16th to 12th centuries BCE) Throughout the centuries and mythologies, there is a common theme of “messenger.”  Angels are intermediaries who have knowledge to share, teach, or warn. They bear tidings of destiny.

What are angels? I have the answer, or rather I was sent the answer by way of the marvellously gifted experts at The National Gallery, London.  I am learning that creative endeavour, whatever form it takes, whether it be art, poetry, music, dance, literature, oration, allows us to explore the unknown and make peace with the unknowable.

“If instead of a gem, or even a
flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a
friend, that would be giving as the angels give.” George MacDonald

The Dunce Factor

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When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”
Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745), the author of Gulliver’s travels, was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet, who became Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

This quote reminds me that I can contribute to the dunce factor, by not recognizing genius when it is right in front of me.  I may not like a certain type of music, artwork or fashion statement, but I cannot deny that genius is at work.

London – Jonathan Swift’s City

The Game is Afoot

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“It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle

 

We never tire of Sherlock Holmes.  I paid a visit to 221 B Street when I was in London and found the great detective in residence, looking out the window, waiting for Dr. Watson to appear.  He turned and said, “The game is afoot.”

And so began our adventure….