[yes, "steam," as in the steam rising from the morning coffee, at six a.m., when the matter below was written]
The poet W. H. Auden was in the irreverent habit, in idle moments, of replacing references to God in Sacred Scripture with the phrase "Your mother." I have no idea why. But I do something similar with hymns, except my replacement-words are "Heather" (name of a very dear friend since childhood) or "belly." Therefore, "Good King Wenceslas" becomes:
Heather is a lib'ral kid
And she has a belly;
Heather likes gigantic squid,
I like Trappist jelly
Or something like that.
I think I have a two-year-older's attitude toward language, in my idle moments. Sounds are playthings. The actor/author Stephen Fry is like this, too. He wakes up with nonsense phrases on the brain, like "Hoversmack tender estimate" or "Gwendolyn Bruce Snetterton." And he'll repeat these words to himself while shaving, or something.
The Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, one Sal DiMasi (rhymes with "Tracy," I think), is stepping down for ... personal reasons. The possible ethics violations hanging over his head, of course, have nothing to do with it. I never liked the guy. One should never judge by appearances, but I think in his case I did. Something about his looks rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, we all can't be as telegenic as I am. Ha!
I no longer have a beard. When I had a beard, several years ago, I was told more than once that I looked like the bearded guy on Home Improvement (Richard Karn, later to be host of Family Feud).
Not all attractive women are near occasions of sin. (Some are near occasions of anger, because of their politics!) But some are just so sublimely beautiful and sweet, one merely marvels, and doth not covet.
Yes, I'm non-sequituring like it's going out of style!
If I ever get a dog (as is the case with Malia Obama, allergies would make that tricky), I'd name him or her Anathema. So I could say, "Anathema, sit! Good dog!" [Dreadful Latin pun which I must share with Sam, the Latin teacher.]
The blogger at Some Have Hats writes that she's heard only one anti-abortion homily since she's been a Catholic, and wagered with a friend last Easter that the homilist would say "gay" before he would say "Resurrection," and she won the bet. Here in libera-bibble Massachusetts, the situation is not so dire! Of course, not every priest is Fr D at St Agnes's (an exuberant traditionalist who has preached against not only abortion but contraception), but still ...
I need some grand summation to this post. It's getting a bit like my senior-year (high school) oral report on Dylan Thomas and William Blake, where I rambled off the cuff for 25+ minutes, carried by enthusiasm over my subject, but didn't quite know how to end. Robert Graves once ended a poem "at a careless comma," but that's been done. Eliot famously ended the world "not with a bang but a whimper." And the psalter ends with the phrase "Praise the Lord." If I were Rod Blagojevich, I'd end with a choice expletive! A three-letter word, as Joe Biden might say.
I'll end by stealing from Edward Estlin Cummings, on mortality and im-:
death,as men call him,ends what they call men
--but beauty is more now than dying's when