Basilica of San Vitale - Ravenna (Italy)
The Church of San Vitale, the masterpiece of Byzantine art in Ravenna. Construction began in 526 by Bishop Ecclesius under the Ostrogothic queen Amalasuntha (d. 535) and was consecrated in 547 during the reign of the emperor Justinian. This octagonal church, built of marble and capped by a lofty terra-cotta dome, is one of the most important surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and mosaic work.
virtual tour here
Amo: volo ut sis.” (I love you: I want you to be.)
— Martin Heidegger, quoting Augustine, in a letter to Hannah Arendt, 1925
"This mere existence, that is, all that which is mysteriously given to us by birth and which includes the shape of our bodies and the talents of our minds, can be adequately dealt with only by the unpredictable hazards of friendship and sympathy, or by the great and incalculable grace of love, which says with Augustine, ‘Volo ut sis (I want you to be),’ without being able to give any particular reason for such supreme and unsurpassable affirmation.” Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951 (via ounu)
Ely Cathedral Choir were rehearsing for their Advent service when we visited today. Two choristers sang from galleries in the Octagon and by the clock at the far end of the nave. Pretty sublime.
“If I were not so cold I would go out
Dave Smith, from “In Snow, A Possible Life,” in Floating on Solitude: Three Volumes of Poetry (University of Illinois Press, 1996)
into that emptiness to fine pure words.
Instead I think of the snow piling up, how
it is like sugar falling through a floor crack
at the foot of a dark mountain, some house
abandoned, the work done, the family gone …
What I have seen, all night, is the white surge …
with its own form, its fate, to which
I am nothing watching. I should not stay here.
I should go where words make a clumsy shape
against this heavy drift, where the self
I am can speak its forgiveness in its own
house, in its own tongue …
Whoever I am, whatever words I badly use,
may we come to the pure heat of our bodies
and keep in ourselves the dark edges
no snow in this world ever softened enough.”
wow. I stared at this for a long time. I am not someone who likes or supports iconoclasm in general, because modernism has already destroyed all the icons. But every Christian is an iconoclast on a deep level, because an essential part of the truth contained in an icon is that it points beyond itself. An image is limited; an icon is an image that tells you it’s limited, and becomes transcendent. I couldn’t stop staring at this image because the instinctual disgust, horror, and suspicion I felt when I first saw it are far closer to what really happened to Jesus, and what people around him saw and felt, than what I feel when I see a crucifix. I felt both genuine pity and revulsion.
I honestly wonder what non-believers think or feel when they see this, or what they think it means. I don’t know what the artist intended, whether it’s meant to be a statement about Christians or if it’s meant to be somehow blasphemous or ironic or whatever. To me more than anything it speaks to the reality of love. To know and see someone dead, in my experience, elicits a human response that, even if only subjective, does more to prove the reality of love and of eternity than perhaps anything else. This Jesus is already marked by the scars of his crucifixion; for me he becomes the Jesus who will be with us and love us until the end.
This guy stopped watching porn — and he wants you to know why. Gender activist Ran Gavrieli felt that most of the images he saw in porn encouraged negative, even violent, attitudes toward women, despite a recent wave of feminist porn. So he pulled the plug, and found that his personal sex life and private fantasies became much more fulfilling.
In his talk at TEDxJaffa, he advocates for physically and emotionally-safe sex, as well as erotica that shows a wider range of fulfilling sexual experiences — including the intimacy of human connection, laughter, and touch. Watch his talk here.
That’s very brave for another man to say. I have so much to say about pornography, but Tumblr seems to enjoy it too much whether it be “softcore” or “hardcore”.
Porn is anti-human.
“A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.”
I’ve reblogged this before and I will reblog it again.
This is so great
As for the rest of [Love Actually]—which is to say, the bulk of the film—I think it offers up at least three disturbing lessons about love. First, that love is overwhelmingly a product of physical attraction and requires virtually no verbal communication or intellectual/emotional affinity of any kind. Second, that the principal barrier to consummating a relationship is mustering the nerve to say “I love you”—preferably with some grand gesture—and that once you manage that, you’re basically on the fast track to nuptial bliss. And third, that any actual obstacle to romantic fulfillment, however surmountable, is not worth the effort it would require to overcome…
Lastly, there’s the still-more-depressing moral of the Rickman-Thompson marriage. From the start, they seem like a solid enough couple. Sure, a little of the pizazz may have gone out of the relationship, but they seem perfectly happy and affectionate. Then along comes Rickman’s sexually voracious assistant with her oft-repeated invitations that he get to know her better. In a moment of weakness, he buys her an expensive heart-shaped pendant. Thompson figures out what her husband has done and confronts him, in by far the movie’s most powerful scene—a scene, really, that seems to have wandered in from another movie altogether: “Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace and, come Christmas, gave it to someone else,” she tells him. “Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse?”Is Thompson right to be furious? Of course she is! Her husband has betrayed her trust. That said, Rickman’s infidelity was limited to buying his assistant an inappropriate gift. He hasn’t slept with her or even kissed her, to the best of our knowledge. (He’s certainly not in love with her.) Plenty of married couples manage to overcome breaches far more severe than this one. Perhaps Rickman can win back Thompson’s faith. Perhaps she can forgive his middle-aged indiscretion. Perhaps the experience will help them recall all the reasons they fell in love in the first place. Perhaps, or perhaps not: Remarkably, Love Actually can’t be bothered to tell us how this relationship—easily the most credible and fully realized of the film—turns out.” Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time
Nuremberg, Germany (by kruhme)