Aventure

Mar. 21st, 2008 06:21 pm
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Seems like I should post something in honor of the day. Here's a reflection on a section of The Queste del Saint Graal, a 13th Century Arthurian Romance. There's a really good Penguin paperback translation for those of us who never got around to learning Medieval French entitled The Quest of the Holy Grail.

In the story, Sir Hector and Sir Gawain meet up about halfway through the tale, and immediately begin to lament that they haven't been having the usual number of "aventures." Sir Gawain even goes so far as to say that:

'...it is not for want of journeying through foreign parts and far-flung lands and riding day and night. For I swear to you, as you are my companion, that in the course of merely going my way, and no other measure taken, I have slain more than ten knights already, the worst of whom was more than adequate, and still have met no adventure.'

Hector crossed himself in amazement.


Well, it doesn't sound like it's been completely snoozeville, does it? But what our intrepid Knights find out from a conveniently situated Holy Man they run across, is that they Haven't Been Looking at things correctly. Here's the translator's note about the meaning of "aventure":

In a general way the adventure represents the random, the gratuitous, the unpredictable element in life; often it is the challenge which causes a man to measure himself against standards more than human, to gamble life for honour or both for love. To this the author of the Quest adds a further dimension. For him, the adventure is above all God working and manifesting Himself in the physical world. To accept an adventure is to accept an encounter with a force which is in the proper sense of the word supernatural, an encounter which is always perilous for the sinner or the man of little faith and much presumption.... Gawain's failure to meet with any adventure springs from his spiritual blindness, his inability to discern the divine element in human life.

So on this almost Easter (for Western Christians), I wish for all of us the gift of Right Seeing, of being open to wonder and magic and joy. Not everyone on this list subscribes to the same beliefs about higher powers, I know. I don't think that matters. The Grail author hit upon a profound truth, I think, no matter what we believe. That no matter what happens to us in life, it's our openness to being moved to wonder or awe that transforms the day to day drudgery into something-- Else. Something cool. Something that takes our breath away wondering why we never saw it before. Something that makes us grin for no reason at all.

There's none so blind as those who will not see.

So. Look.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Far away friends will be pleased to know that the White Death has already almost melted off-- by the time I ventured out this afternoon, the streets were quite clear, as was my car. Almost everything is melted off my balcony as well. But that's not what I wanted to write about.

What I really want to do is rant more about the Good Monsignor )

But No, enough of that. The Gospel today. )

And now, Wee Hob has decided he will cook dinner, so I need to get out the fire extinguisher. And then try to cobble several variant versions of the next part of In Loco into some coherent whole. Or better yet, scrap everything and start new here. Thanks to everyone who's read and commented on that and patted me on the head when I whine about it.

Hmm-- what's that I smell? One fire extinguisher, coming up.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Just a quick drive-by to pimp the prompts and multi-fandom fic exchange being run by [livejournal.com profile] ninebillion on the subject of faith. There are quite a lot of interesting prompts to choose from-- I may grab one myself and see if I can write something shorter than 20K words on it, or use it to focus something I'm working on now. Most of these would definitely spawn interesting tales in my two fandoms (Buffy and Harry Potter.) And oddly, for all my anger at God these days, these questions keep creeping in to everything I try to write. Maybe that means something.

Check it out here. Sign-ups close Feb 1. Even if nothing strikes your fancy, the quotes themselves are worth a look.
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