Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember
Written by Johann Lindemann in 1598, “In Dir Ist Freude” (“In Thee is Gladness”) was translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth almost three hundred years later. Winkworth was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights as well as promoting women’s higher education. Johann Lindemann was one of the signers of the Lutheran Formula of Concord, and served often as a cantor in various churches in his native Germany. The hymn is often performed using J.S. Bach’s arrangement.
In Thee is Gladness
In thee is gladness amid all sadness, Jesus, sunshine of my heart! By thee are given the gifts of heaven, thou the true redeemer art! Our souls thou wakest, our bonds thou breakest, who trusts thee surely hath built securely, and stands forever: Hallelujah! Our hearts are pining to see thy shining, dying or living to thee are cleaving, naught can us sever: Hallelujah!
If he is ours, we fear no powers, nor of earth, nor sin, nor death. He sees and blesses in worst distresses; he can change them with a breath. Wherefore the story, tell of his glory, with heart and voices all heav’n rejoices in him forever: Hallelujah! We shout for gladness, triumph o’er sadness, love thee and praise thee, and still shall raise thee glad hymns forever: Hallelujah!
I am one of those who stands amazed at how good we Americans are at hating each other. (An article I read in Tablet Magazine sums it up pretty well.) We aren’t completely broken as a nation, but we’re getting there — and fast, thanks to the usual suspects who stand to profit from our wounds.
Doomed with seeds of death Larvae in the heart of the nation Infecting as we feed Tenacious in our sanctimony Pauciloquent in offering peace Grandiloquent in stirring discord Blind worms blindly devouring Hope, love, understanding, Inflicting pain in a fractured society Never as fervent for another’s dignity As for ourselves, trampling harmony Freedom to disagree without fear Never overcoming what we are Broken by prideful venom At the core of every human heart.
“Avoid going entirely tree-blind,” writes the author of the article above. “Make a friend and don’t talk politics with them. Do things that generate love and attention from three people you actually know instead of hundreds you don’t.”
Holding tightly to her mother’s hand, the little girl looked upon the figure in the casket. “Did Appappan* really die preaching?” she whispered. Her mother nodded. “He always said he would.” Behind them hundreds had gathered to pay their respects. Later, the girl sat in her granddad’s study, thumbing through his notes, tracing the leather cracks on his Bible. A favorite hymn bubbled up from within her. She started to sing, feeling as if a choir of angels were joining her. That night she announced, “I want to die singing, Mummy, like Appappan died preaching!” Many years later, she did.
Time rebounds in dabs of paint Watery sun soaks through space Sensations blur Colors seep Diminishing lines Reflections slur Your hands, your face Gaze untendered Unbristled, still A warm attention Encompassing all Formidable will Probing memory Dark sublime Time rebounds in dabs of paint.
It’s the weekend, right? Let’s relax and party, maybe do a little rap for Michelle’s #JanuaryWritingPrompts (“space juice”), Sammi’s #WWP (100 words, “crucible”), and Linda’s #JusJoJan & #SOC (“limitless”). Hope you enjoy it! ❤️
I know what you’re thinking You say I’m just dreaming Maybe drinking space juice Telling me you’re cool too loose so intellectual not buying puffy clouds of television charlatans but you’re at Oprah’s book club sold on a Joseph Campbell mythic spiel of deity.
Listen, I’m not crazy look at what’s been given me my faith, a light leading me through this dark crucible called life I can see glory where you deny the invisible chasing material illusions hanging on to your blinders chained down, walled up by circumstance when you could be glorying in the limitless grandeur¹ of God.
¹Ecclesiastes 3:11 Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Twisted is just what I got juggling Linda’s #JusJoJan (“twisted”), Michelle’s #JanuaryWritingPrompt (“cannibalizing airframes”), Melanie’s #WOTD (“jentacular”), and Di’s #Take Seven (“add, all, basic, being, bit, determined, hidden, knew, lean, lurking, measured, more, show, sneer, started, there, tin, tired, treat, wobble, work”). Whew! Here’s what I ended up with.
It was very hush-hush. The servants kept at their WORK, starting with their JENTACULAR* routines, putting on a SHOW for all the houseguests, DETERMINED to keep them away from the HIDDEN runways and hangars where their fancy aircraft were stored. The servants KNEW more than they let on about the TWISTED, seamy affairs among the guests and BEING discreet acted MORE or less ignorant of it ALL. But they were TIRED of being TREATed with that hint of a SNEER that the upper-classes didn’t bother to hide. Once in a while, a guest would express an interest in checking up on their plane, but there was always a butler or an under-butler or housemaid LURKING THERE to sound the alarm, and soon the guest would be diverted with a TIN of something savory or a MEASURED warning by a LEAN threatening native. ADD in a BIT of theatrics, and the guest’s knees would WOBBLE in alarm as they retreated. The servants had STARTED their own enterprise in this neglected corner of the world where so many starved while others jetted in and out of their massive estates. Their enterprise was pretty BASIC. They were cannibalizing airframes off the luxury jets of their guests and selling them to dealers around the world. And thanks to the increasing number of millionaires, it was a thriving business.
*jentacular –“means just about anything related to breakfast.“