Friday, December 29, 2006

Flashes of Fire...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
. . . . and with eyes
of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd
On our first father, half her swelling breast
Naked met his under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms
Smil'd with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flowers; and press'd her matron lip
With kisses pure: aside the devil turn'd
For envy. . . . (Milton, Paradise Lost, IV, 492-503)

I have recently been delving into the works of Rodin, master sculpture and a old dead dude that could make your blood boil with his hammer and chisel! The man was on fire.

"Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed" -William Blake

It amazes me how frigid most christians are about sexuality when one of the most sensual and erotic books on the subject is in the Bible. The Song of Songs is a romp through the passions of marital pleasure and yet, we act like sex is somehow ungodly. Or at least it's insinuated to be lower nature impulses that need to be hidden in the basement like the red headed step child; instead of a gift worth celebrating.

Speaking about love and it's many faces, Solomon spoke of it's combustible nature when he testified: "It's flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord." -Songs 8:6

Notice the ease in which he speaks of the the surging passions of love and God. The two are not cloven as they are in the church. Fire is dangerous, it can harm, destroy and consume a fertile plain and make it a smoldering field of ashes. But it can also awaken the soul with it's light. It's steam has propelled mighty vessels with it's power. It's warmth makes the cold of life bearable and it's dancing magic offers respite from the haunting shadows of night.

Our God is a consuming fire according to the writer of Hebrews; a reflection of which we can experience in the smoldering bosom of our passions. It's a wonder being created in the image of God and this side of God is a mystery indeed!


FCB said...

This poem by Milton is so moving and, frankly, it is the first thing I have ever read of his that I understood, after re-reading it three times. Most of his writing is so far over my head I just quit in frustration. But this work, this masterpiece, prompts me to delve back into his writings.
Great post on the subject that we all think about most.

Unknown said...

Yes he does write in such a cryptic way that you have to work through the words slowly, sometimes many times. I was hoping that someone would appreciate the masterful wording of this small beautiful passage.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it. It seems like putting a mirror on the ceiling college dorm room style would be a better celebration of Christian sex. I thought that was the main point of purity...that sex is to be celebrated between a husband and wife...and that in that context it is a gift, a pleasure and a blessing to marriage. I just don't get how looking at others having sex whether it is chizzled in stone, drawn, or in picture is benificial at all. You might use the argument that Song of Solomen is so vividly open and descriptive about sex that how is it any different in visual form. If the eyes are the window to the soul I just think its a different in that way. Song of Solomen stuff can done in marriage...but looking at someone else doing those things seems black and white wrong to me. Of course Christians are uptight about it when sexual sin is so rampant and visible in our culture and getting worse. It's good to set the purity standard high and clearly wrong to call what God has created 'sin' when it isn't.

Unknown said...

I am preparing a couple of posts on this subject for the near future. I've been studying the issue, gatheirng material and formulating my thoughts about art, nudity and the glory of God called:

Is Nude...lewd?

Should spurn some good conversation. ;)

Unknown said...

With all due respect sister,

"...I just think its a different ..."

is an argument that unfortuanetly doesn't really explain much to me or answer greater questions that have been asked. I think Christians have got to explain the issues better than that.

Anonymous said...

"How can I distinguish between nudity in art, and pornography?

The line between art and pornography is notoriously hard to define. In the Victorian era the sight of a woman's knee was considered erotic, and one didn't refer to the legs of a table in mixed company. Today in some Muslim societies women still have to cover their faces lest they incite male lust.

As much as we might wish to define our Christian responsibilities regarding things like clothing and art in stark black-and-white terms, we aren't able to do so."
-some website

I agree that in the gray area I can't say what is black and white wrong for everyone. But I do have to be sensitive to my own conscience. And for me I see nothing benificial in seeing images of others having sex. I just hope to God you don't involve this kind of art in Jacobs well. I don't think it would be fair to people who feel strongly about it.
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