Starry Night over the Rhine by Vincent Van Gogh

God's Grandeur, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, is perhaps the first poem that ever captured my soul. Whenever I read it, I'm struck again by the power of the glory of God. It cannot be buried, suppressed or ignored. And when we are in need of a great renewal, when we yearn like a barren landscape to be reseeded with life and vitality, we can also rely on the brooding Holy Ghost. She rises daily to fill us with the dearest, freshness deep down things, so that once again we can flame out, like shining from shook foil. 

God's Grandeur
Gerard Manley Hopkins

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God. 
   It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
   It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil 
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
  And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
  And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell:
the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;  
  There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;          
And though the last lights off the black West went
  Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
  World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

I'll be offline until Feb 20, resting and playing in the shadow of bright wings. See you then.

Thanks to my husband, Dan, I am now acquainted with an amazing artistic company called "Project Bandaloop." Located in Oakland, CA and under artistic director, Amelia Rudolph, Project Bandaloop "creates a blend of dance, sport, ritual, and environmental awareness. Inspired by the possibilities of climbing and rappelling, the choreography draws on aerial, vertical and horizontal movement to craft dances, many site-specific. The work explores the relationship between movement and gravity and stimulates viewers' awareness of their natural and built environments." (quote from the mission statement)

There's tons to love here: the fusion of dance and rappelling to create a surprising new art form; the focus on relationships in and with nature; movement that is grounded by gravity and yet able to achieve moments of elegant freedom. I'm inspired by the vision and creativity of this group; the artistry is lovely. When viewing their videos (and there are several on their website) I experience feelings that must have been similar to those of Gerard Manley Hopkins when he penned "the Windhover."

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- 
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding 
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing 
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,
—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

The link Dan sent me was for OC Caprice, a mid-air jig performed at the Orange County dance festival. Amazing... Enjoy...

(click here for the rest of Hopkins' poem)