Intermission: Six Interesting Things
Winter reading during a brief break in transmission
Winter is here in Ireland, though winter is behaving strangely. It’s just too warm. Here on the smallholding this is not great news, and not just because of the endless rain. Warm winters mean that nothing stops growing, and none of the insects die off. Pests proliferate, and plants begin budding at the wrong time. But here we are. And despite the New Normal, to see an avenue of trees turning gold remains a thing of shockingly common beauty.
It would be good to spend winter hibernating, but instead I’ve spent the last week preparing a talk I’m giving on Saturday, as part of an event I’m running with my friend Martin Shaw. I’m talking about the lives of the wild saints, and how they can offer an antidote to the Machine. I will probably write about that here one day. For now, here is a painting of one of them, St Kevin of Glendalough, who was once standing in prayer, arms outstretched, when a blackbird began making a nest in his hand. Naturally he remained in position until the chicks had hatched and fledged. That’s what I call holiness.
Because of my work on this talk, my next essay - the final installment in the second part of my project here - is a little delayed. It will be with you next week. To keep you busy until it arrives, I thought I’d point you towards six interesting things I’ve read recently. See what you think.
‘There are very few examples in history of a complex society choosing to scale back.’
~ In the light of my last essay here, about Machine Environmentalism, I found this assessment of our ecological and social predicament to be refreshingly honest, even if it does still cling to the lifebelt of ‘rational solutions.’
‘What we typically call “the Sexual Revolution” isn’t a revolution at all, but instead a reaction, in the political sense, meaning an attempt to turn back the clock back to paganism.’
~ This short essay, though several years old now, advances this thesis quite convincingly, and seems more relevant by the day.
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