The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Monday, May 02, 2005

My hair smells of cookies

Or possibly the combined fragrances of Yankee Candles and Vanilla scent. It also happens to be wild-lion-untameable, since it's just declared its independence from the rather constricting bun it's been in most of the evening as I've downloaded twenty minutes or so of Act II of King of Fools while straightening the living area and discovering old high heels I'd forgotten. (And remembering why I don't wear high heels. Toes are not meant to do that!) So, for scraps and patches:

  • Finished rough cut of Act I of KOF last night. Hoopla!

  • Also discovered how to link scenes in the chapter select menu on Adobe DVD maker so that it doesn't revert back to the menu at the end but goes on to the next scene, instead. Hoopla!

  • Took a couple walks with Jules. Hoooopla! Because the weather was finally decent! HoooooooooooooooopLA!

  • Checked out Oscar Wilde's complete poems and fairy tales from the library (as well as A Picture of Dorian Grey - I know I have a copy somewhere upstairs in the far reaches of the attic, but I've no will to go up there and sift through heavy and most likely wrongly labelled boxes while cursing the dusty air and the low, slanting ceiling and the abysmal temperature). I happened to open it up in the car as soon as I returned home, to a series of poems he wrote while travelling southward through Italy.

    Let me back up. It's bothered me ever since I did Salome (and so put a good deal more research into Wilde's life than I did when I was a floundering Junior in High School) that Wilde is only remembered as an aesthete, and has been made into this bogus champion of homosexuality - when in fact he hated his own vices and converted to Catholicism. I'd always been told that he had converted on his deathbed (or as near enough as makes no nevermind), and I've not found a good biography on him that treats the subject of his faith with any depth (although I'm going to start delving now!), but while reading these poems - hymns to Jesus, to Mary, to the Pope, and to the Eucharist - I was blown away.

    How is it that those modern biographers of Wilde - those who make movies and plays about him - have managed to miss everything of worth that he said?

    I've been praying (off and on, it must be admitted) for the soul of Wilde. I just feel this...affinity for him. So clever, so good at his craft, so trapped by his own sins, trapped by a society that indulges but can offer no true indulgence, and malaigned even after his death. A man of depth turned into a thing of frippery. So, I've been praying for his soul, and praying, too, that if he is indeed in Purgatory or in Heaven that he will intercede for me in my theatrical and literary (and spiritual!) endeavours. A few days ago, perhaps half a week, for whatever reason (probably because my quest for a good play for next Winter was thwarted...again), I happened to really pray, intensely, for Wilde's soul. So, to stumble on this book, to read his hymns to a God who would die even for one such as he, to see his love and passion for the Catholic Church, to see his eagerness as he approaches Rome, to see his lament as he must depart - it was like an answer from Wilde to say, "I am praying for you. Please continue to pray for me." It was as good as pink roses, for those who understand me.

    So, pray for the soul of Oscar Wilde. And for the rest, I'll leave you with these verses of his:

    A pilgrim from the northern seas -
    What joy for me to seek alone
    The wondrous Temple and the throne
    Of Him who holds the awful keys!

    When, bright with purple and with gold,
    Come priest and holy Cardinal,
    And borne above the heads of all
    The gentle Shepherd of the Fold.

    O joy to see before I die
    The only God-anointed King,
    And hear the silver trumpets ring
    A triumph as He passes by!

    Or at the brazen-pillared shrine
    Hold high the mystic sacrifice,
    And shows his God to human eyes
    Beneath the veil of bread and wine.

    ~ Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica, "Rome Unvisited," Section III

    Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach thy hand,
    For I am drowning in a stormier sea
    Than Simon on thy lake of Galilee:
    The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,
    My heart is as some famine-murdered land
    Whence all good things have perished utterly,
    And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
    If I this night before God's throne should stand.
    "He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase,
    Like Baal, when his prophets howled that name
    From morn to noon on Carmel's smitten height."
    Nay, peace, I shall behold, before the night,
    The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame,
    The wounded hands, the weary human face.

    ~ Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica, "E Tenenbris"

    Lily of love, pure and inviolate!
    Tower of ivory! red rose of fire!
    Thou hast come down our darkness to illume:
    For we, close-caught in the wide nets of Fate,
    Wearied with waiting for the World's Desire,
    Aimlessly wandered in the House of gloom,
    Aimlessly sought some slumberous anodyne
    For wasted lives, for lingering wretchedness,
    Till we beheld thy re-arisen shrine,
    And the white glory of thy loveliness.

    ~ Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica, "The New Helen," final stanza

    Mood: A touch of the Church Triumphant!
    Music: Faire Celts - see what CD's will be found when living areas are cleaned out!
    Thought: Yesss...heels, no.


    Anonymous matt said...


    Joseph Pearce has a biography out on Wilde ( I haven't read it yet, but it sounds like a good recovery of Wilde from the throes of progressive revisionism.


    10:32 AM  

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