Fishing, Octaves and Chesterton

An Afternoon Fishing, 1917
Nikolai Bogdanoff-Bjelski
Art Renewal Center

Ah, the joys of boyhood!  I had been thinking of donning a docent’s cap and explaining some stuff I’ve learned about late medieval art; but when I saw this print it shouted “Summer!” “June!” “Boys!” and medieval art faded away.

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Words are simply delicious.  Yesterday I was reviewing intervals with one of my piano students.  When we came to eighths I said, “You rarely hear the term eighths; normally we say octaves.”  She sucked in her breath, eyes as big as stop signs, and repeated, “Eighths – octaves!  Like octagon!  I. never. knew. that. before.”   Cha-ching!!

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More from Thomas Cahill, a hat tip to GK Chesterton: 

The introduction of Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse
will no doubt strike some readers as irrelevant, since it is
an early twentieth-century, not a medieval work;
and the incident Chesterton gives us–
Alfred’s vision of the Virgin–
has no historical basis.
But for me, as in my earlier recommendation
of Kristin Lavransdatter,
there is here a genuine evocation of the feeling and fabric
of the High Middle Ages that is worthy of our attention.

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Off to clean my house today.  Those gooky corners of my windows.  The dusty bookshelves.   The scuzzy underneaths.  Nothing says “I love you” louder to my husband than walking into a fresh, clean house; that is, walking into his own house and finding it fresh and clean. 

O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling
and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.

~   Augustine

2 thoughts on “Fishing, Octaves and Chesterton

  1. Dana said it. “Delightful!” I just love that little guy in the middle, all squatted down peering into the water. And he thinks those fish don’t see him!Reminds me so much of my boys who love to go fishing.I’m putting this image in my “pictures to put in my school room” file. Whenever I find one like this, I put it into PPT, choose appropriate background color, and include title. I will print these for my classroom decoration, and like that little boy thinking the fish don’t see him, my students will be art-cultured without their knowing it. Hopefully!Janie

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