Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Life, Love, Beauty, Poetry and Mortality

Summer hols, day two.

PD James, Death in Holy Orders (Seal Books, 2001)—getting close to whodunit being revealed and, in the meantime, this, when among the effects of an elderly spinster who has just died, Emma finds evidence of a youthful engagement and a fiance killed in the war:
And wasn't this the stuff of nearly all the world's poetry, the transitoriness of life and love and beauty, the knowledge that time's winged chariot had knives in its wheels? (p612)
Knives in its wheels. Strong image. Intimations of mortality.

Isn't that what the Biblical poetry in the Psalms, Proverbs and the Song of Songs are also about? There is joy, confidence, hope and the promise of immortality, but in the meantime those knives are spinning.

They were spinning for Moses, Aaron and Miriam in my St James Devotional Guide lectionary reading in Numbers this morning on the deck. A lovely, heartfelt prayer from Moses for Miriam:
O God, please heal her—please. (Num 12:13)
A good prayer for all the victims of those knives.