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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Theological Notebook: Origen Quote (and Bono riff) 
23rd-Feb-2008 07:35 am
Me and Bono
Thinking of Origen the other day, and how he's usually poorly represented in brief sketches of him, made me remember a favourite quotation from his On First Principles. That, in turn, made me remember a similar thought stated more briefly by another favourite writer of mine.

"But of all the marvelous and splendid things about him there is one that utterly transcends the limits of human wonder and is beyond the capacity of our weak mortal intelligence to think of or understand, namely how this mighty Power of the divine majesty, the very Word of the Father, and the very Wisdom of God, in which were created 'all things visible and invisible,' can be believed to have existed within the compass of that man who appeared in Judaea; yes, and how the Wisdom of God can have entered into a woman's womb and been born as a little child and uttered noises like those of crying children; and further, how it was that he was troubled, as we are told, in the hour of death, as he himself confesses when he says, 'My soul is sorrowful even unto death;' and how at the last he was led to that death which is considered by men to be the most shameful of all, – even though on the third day he rose again."
– Origen of Alexandria, c. 186- c. 254
"That there’s a force of love and logic behind the universe is overwhelming to start with, if you believe it. But the idea that that same love and logic would choose to describe itself as a baby born in shit and straw and poverty, is genius. And brings me to my knees, literally."
– Bono
23rd-Feb-2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
There are so few good pictures of Ali, really.
24th-Feb-2008 05:09 am (UTC)
I don't know that it's that bad, even though the photographers aren't following and posing her so much. This one always struck me as a strong one, though I was looking for one an artist friend of mine had pinned to his wall, of the two of them and Bono in his leather-vest a la Rattle and Hum days, with him holding their first child, I think. (My artist friend Rod and his wife were then expecting their first, and so I think the photograph appealed on that level to him.)

But yes, when I thought of posting a photograph of Bono with this quote, I wanted one with her in it because I don't see Paul Hewson managing to be "Bono" in any way that matters without her. The alternates I considered posting were:

I thought that these captured something of her coming into herself in the eighties as she left the look of her being the high school girl entirely behind.
24th-Feb-2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't mean to imply it was a bad shot -- merely that I always have this vision of her as elusive, who avoids the spotlight as assiduously as her husband courts it.

Silly me, of course -- even Ali has a website now, with oodles of photos.
24th-Feb-2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I was ambiguous: "I don't know that it's that bad" was a response to your assessment that there were "so few good pictures of Ali, really" and not supposing you to be making a comment about that particular picture, which I rightly understood from your comment not to be an assessment you were making. Yay for clarity!

No, I didn't know about the website and its oodles of photos and such. I suppose that it's only to be expected, given the desire to exercise some control over how you're presented in public.
24th-Feb-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Yay for clarity, indeed -- though that first sentence was downright byzantine, m'dear.

She's always seemed amazing to me, though the bare-bones sketch of her life would sound like an awful set of choices.
25th-Feb-2008 05:02 am (UTC)
I quite enjoyed writing that first sentence to those ends, thank you very much.

25th-Feb-2008 05:35 am (UTC)

23rd-Feb-2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Great quote from Origen - and, yes, he does tend to get boxed in by a certain stereotype...
do you have the source for the quote from Bono? I am definitely undereducated in respect to him.
24th-Feb-2008 05:10 am (UTC)
I'm afraid I have no recollection from whence I picked up that particular quote. I've had it lodged away for a while now.
24th-Feb-2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting it - and for responding. I have a lot of such "quotes", ideas and other
flotsm and jetsam of the intellectual life adrift in my mind, so I understand quite well.
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