Readings – Assembly X

Posted on Dec 23, 2014 in Readings | No Comments

December featured two readings, a poem from Andrew Waterman and a thought from Alain de Botton.

Andrew Waterman – “Solstice”

Waking into
the landscape of my heart
it is snow.

Contours have
slipped. The loss of bearings
unfocuses me

and slopes I relied on
just being there firm
in every season

to pour
me back into myself
are blanked away.

Stumbling for paths
no earthly spring can find
I fall locked

into a backward
dream freezing a valley
all blossom and shade.

(from Selected Poems, Carcanet 1986)

A thought from Alain de Botton

“The secular world often sees in rituals such as communal singing or eating a loss of diversity, quality and spontaneity. Religion seems bossy. But at its finest this ritual-based bossiness enables fragile but important aspects of life to be identified and shared. Those of us who hold no religious or supernatural beliefs still require regular, ritualised encounters with concepts such as friendship, community, gratitude and transcendence. We need institutions that can mine, harvest and mould precious ideas for us, remind us that we need them and present them to us in beautiful wrappings – thus ensuring the nourishment of the most forgetful sides of ourselves.

The wisdom of the faiths belongs to all of mankind, even the most rational among us, and, throughout the liturgical year, deserves to be selectively reabsorbed. Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone.”

Excerpted from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/dec/24/christmas-atheists

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