Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween, Requiem Mass, and Books

My daughter carved this pumpkin ... and the surprised expression reminds me of our tuxedo kitten, Finney-boy, whom we still miss. It was a warm night and the kids had a great time collecting candy, ten pounds in all. Gone are the days when sugar was a controlled substance in our home.

We've also had the privilege of singing at two Requiem Masses this week, Gabriel Faure's grand Mass with strings and horns, and a simple Gregorian chant. So wonderful to offer our prayers for our beloved dead, and for those who are forgotten. We only need remember the words of our blessed Lord as He hung upon the cross: This day you shall be with me in paradise.

No Halloween post would be complete without our perfect Halloween cat, but my friends, the best Halloween post comes from Faith.

The days have been misty and cool. I've been on an Irish marathon for some reason. Rosemary started it. She had mentioned HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION by Thomas Cahill, which has been a wonderful read for me, reminding of another book: A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ. When I picked up the first book at the library, the librarian recommended STALKING IRISH MADNESS by Patrick Tracey. It is a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir of Tracey's search for the roots of schizophrenia in his family. This book reminded me of Kersten Hamilton's GOBLIN WARS trilogy. Other books I've thoroughly enjoyed are Madeleine L'Engle's CIRCLE OF QUIET and Kate di Camillo's newest: FLORA AND ULYSSES. I almost wept tears because my children thought it was too silly. Is it possible that as they enter their teens, they are losing their capacity for the wonder and beauty of imagination? Sigh.


Mirka Breen said...

You are Irishing about, ey?

I always enjoy your photos and thoughts that accompany them. Your daughter is a poetic pumpkin carver.

Faith E. Hough said...

What a perfect Hallowe'en kitty!
Wasn't Flora & Ulysses delightful? I enjoy Kate DiCamillo's writing so much--especially so when reading it aloud. I wonder if she reads her writing aloud as she works...

R. T. Freeman said...

The pictures, as usual, are wonderful. And seeing the name "Faure" and the words "Gregorian chant" in your post gave me shivers. Another tradition I love about November, the month of the Holy Souls, is the practice of writing the names of our beloved dead on a piece of paper which is then kept on the altar for the month.

And, Vijaya, in one post you have given me a complete reading list for December (AN [after NaNoWriMo.]) Sending hugs.

PS - Fabulous news, too, about Faith and Mark's "All Hallows Baby."

Marcia said...

Such beautiful music...

On Flora and Ulysses, I really liked it too, but I found it's not everyone's cup of tea. Some don't want to buy into the premise, and some find *two* kids with such adult speech annoying or unbelievable. It might take the right mood.

Vijaya said...

I'm really enjoying Irishing about, as you say, Mirka. Fascinating people and history. No wonder they're such good storytellers!

Faith, I am a KdC fan ... I doubt she'll ever write something I don't care for. I just finished the Magician's Elephant and floored at how she can take a simple idea and make it so breathtakingly beautiful.

Marcia, Flora's voice drew me in, but so did Ulysses and all the other characters. What the kids chafed at was the squirrel who typed. Well, if cows can type, why not squirrels. They didn't care for the Magician's Elephant either ... I wonder if it's because they are moving away from literary fiction.

Rosemary, what a lovely tradition of keeping the names on the home Altar. I should do that. Yesterday we went to our local cemetery and prayed the rosary. Such a wonder that our prayers can make a difference. I try to specifically offer my prayers for those who might be forgotten and unloved in this life. And the music is so achingly beautiful. Truly it's a blessing.

Thanks for all the comments on the photos, ladies. I appreciate all that the children do for us.