Apothegms. Of Concision.

  • A concise sentence and a vapid sentence often have in common their size and form.
    • Many love short sentences but find concise ones distasteful.
      • For ease of reading, most prefer the short over the concise.
      • For the same reason, most dislike reading from someone who takes too many words to get at a thought. “Better not to say it if it takes too long to say.”
        • Most prefer sentences to repeat their own thoughts and not to say anything at all.
  • A short sentence might not be concise.
    • A long sentence might be concise.
    • A concise sentence pregnant with meaning has no certain size.
  • The advent of the meme is the downfall of concision.
    • Concision is not for the sake of the reader’s thinking quickly. Rather, it is for the sake of the reader’s thinking much and clearly.
    • If a meme demanded too much time, as a concise sentence might, it would not become too popular.

No Rage

Of and for a student

No rage stirs up his muddy eyes, with clear
Tears standing still on those unblinking lids.
No rage reveals his secret fight with fear
That dazzles, blinds, confounds, and ever bids

His drunkard mind to find its strongest drink
In his and Sisyphus’s glorious
Defeat. Again he rises just to sink.
Repeat! And there is none victorious

To give him hope enough to rage again,
He thinks. Now no inspiring speech avails
Because he thinks he knows the pathogen
Is words, words, words. Repeat! It always fails.

He’s tired, he thinks, too proud and tired to fight—
No rage about the dying of the light.

A Hymn. A Profession. “What Wondrous Love Is This.”

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb who is the great I Am;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.

—Stith Mead

Wonder at the work of Christ transforms the consciousness of sin into the consciousness of forgiveness. Once mediated by or repeated through this wonder, our regret becomes joy. Eternity sees that it was joy the whole while—a joy not fully recognized till the tears of mortality are wiped from our eyes, and never fully expressed even in song everlasting.

Two Reflections on the Repetition of a Word. Of the Gospel or Good News.

  1. A good word that I spoke has been repeated to me, and it seems as if I had never said it, as if I have heard it now newly, freshly. This upbuilding word is the message of Christ’s blood covering our sins. And I am built up today. How humbling, too, to be made aware that this good word, even when I spoke it years ago, was not of me but for me! – There nothing in my best words that is mine; there is nothing about which I can boast, except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Good news that I spoke years ago has rebounded to me. But why am I amazed that this good news is still good and still new? My sluggish heart prays, “Dissipe le sommeil d’une âme languissante qui la conduit à l’oubli de tes lois!”