Thursday, November 1, 2012


July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movements may be of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of some conflict and death to me. "Not my will, but thine, O God be done." If it is necessary that I should fall on the battle field for my Country, I am ready. 

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt. 

But my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys, I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows, when after having eaten for long years the bitter fruits of orphanage myself, I must offer it as the only sustenance to my dear little children, is it weak or dishonorable, that while the banner of my forefathers floats calmly and fondly in the breeze, underneath my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children should struggle in fierce, though useless contests with my love of Country. 

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm Summer Sabbath night, when two-thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying perhaps the last sleep before that of death, while I am suspicious that death is creeping around me with his fatal dart, as I sit communing with God, my Country and thee. I have sought most closely and diligently and often in my heart for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I love, and I could find none. A pure love of my Country and of the principles I have so often advocated before the people - another name of Honor that I love more than I fear death, has called upon me and I have obeyed. 

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and burns me unresistably on with all these chains to the battle field.The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. 

If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortunes of this world to shield you, and your children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the Spirit-land and hover near you, while you buffet the storm, with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience, till we meet to part no more. 

But, O Sarah! if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladest days and in the darkest nights, advised to your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again. 

As for my little boys - they will grow up as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long - and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolicks with him among the dim memories of childhood. Sarah I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters, and feel that God will bless you in your holy work. 

Tell my two Mothers I call God's blessing upon them. O! Sarah I wait for you there; come to me and lead thither my children. 


Saturday, June 2, 2012


                                                      LIFE AS ART

“Our appetite for story is a reflection of the profound human need to grasp  the pattern of living, not merely as an intellectual exercise, but within a personal, emotional experience.” 
                                                                                                                                                                                 Robert McKee 

LIFE AS STORY -    I need to locate the plotline of my life. McKee’s term is “pattern of living”. 

Only by taking an overarching view of the patterns reviewed in this course, is it possible for me 

to grasp the fullness of what is yet possible for myself. It helps to take a look at my “worldview” 

before the artistry of my own life can be more accessible to myself.


If I understand what ideas in my culture influenced me throughout my life, I can see the patterns 

interwoven emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually. They are knit together by the spirit 

that makes me, me.  Why not take a little time to review the worldview of films like Casablanca

Life is Beautiful, or Broadway Hits like Old Town and Art. Life as Art is my opportunity to search 

for Beauty that reveals Truth.  Or Life can be it’s opposite, a slow dripping descent into 

degradation. See how it is that things “turn ugly”.                          Judy Joyce - Editor


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Duo Main Tenant - Beauty in Form and Execution

MAKE THE FORM conform, David Clayton explains, when writing about how the form of art reflects truth. Let us add that when an artistic form whether ideal, natural, or abstract touches the truth within us all, people respond universally. The audience amazement in this piece demonstrates exactly what Prof. Clayton, of Thomas More College, is speaking about when blogging for The Way of Beauty in May of 2011.
"And non-figurative art? Much abstract art produced since the turn of the 20th century is based upon a secular understanding of the human person that is in opposition to the Catholic teaching. So, for example, some abstract expressionists sought to portray human emotion without any reference to the body of the human person. This is, in effect, an abstraction that goes beyond the bounds of truth. It seeks to remove the soul from the body altogether reflecting the error of dualism. For the Christian, emotion, though an aspect of the soul is revealed through the body. So we cannot portray human emotion fully in art without the portrayal of a body". 

Here, in the Duo Main Tenant, the body meets the soul through form and execution. In so doing, truth and beauty are acknowledged as one.   

                                                                                                        Judy Joyce - Editor

Thursday, April 26, 2012


The notoriety of the fine artists of the Renaissance, and the anonymity of the "craftsmen" (i.e., those who created objects, which were meant for some practical employment, as opposed to those that were meant for aesthetic enjoyment alone), helped to establish and perpetuate this "house arrest" of the beautiful.Peter Chojknowski
From the title of this post, one might suspect that some femme fatale whose name or photograph we might recognize from a tabloid in the supermarket checkout line has met with an unfortunate encounter with the local police. A GPS system attached to her comely leg might be the fate of an early arraignment and sentencing before she can achieve probation is something else we might suppose. Not at all. A discussion about "Beauty on House Arrest" is a complaint devised by Dr. Chojknowski of Gonzaga University to expose what many a 21st century citizen of the globe feels intuitively as a question lying within one's own bones. Where have all the examples of the beautiful expressed in the handiwork of mankind gone? Where do I go to find works of beauty in my everyday life? Why is nature a favorite repose?
Dr. Peter Chojknowski gives us a hint as to how it is we came to speak of Beauty and the Beautiful in the way we do now:
Since the Renaissance, when, for the first time in the history of Western Civilization, the "artisan" (artifex) was distinguished from the "fine artist," the reality of the beautiful, its power and force, its moral demands, and its enticing pull as "end" and "goal" has been increasingly diminished, narrowed, and enervated.
Whereas, in the ancient Greek world, as in the Catholic Middle Ages, the "beautiful" (kalon) was fostered in craft, gymnastics, moral life, and education, the Renaissance, with its practical deification of the genius of the "fine artists," increasingly relegated the domain of the beautiful to that of the arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, music) that had as their object the production of a work of art that could "be appreciated for its own sake," without any reference being made to the works relevance for some practical endeavor.
In other words, as a matter of course coming out of the Renaissance, Michelangelo, DaVinci, and Raphael were singled out as part of the Renaissance Club as it were. Recall the disgust which greeted the expose' - uncovered through the letters as between her and her brother - that the works of French sculpture, Camille Claudel, were all but destroyed and exhibits denied as her jealous lover, Rodin, did not want it known that several of the works attributed to him were actually hers. But there's more...... Pride of workmanship among the everyday man or woman are often skills of the artisan that go unrecognized or denied. The farmers field plowed with precision, the garden tended with care, the lawn mowed to keep the neighborhood well manicured, the flowers planted to enhance the character of a house on the block are often expected, overlooked, or unnoticed until those who complain when deterioration is so ugly to behold, the Beauty that is lost is now spoke of as "suddenly" gone. Nowadays, teams of contractors might march onto the Town Square - design grid in hand - and engines ready to roar. We smile with pride when a City Planner's environmentally approved scheme takes root. But what about the talent hidden within the homes sitting quietly row upon row on the streets of the town unnoticed for years. We need to ask ourselves if we've lost the roses we hope to smell when we demur to the Renaissance or should we speak out on behalf of Beauty to replace the course and indifference of a technological world. blockquote>Judy Joyce - Editor
Reference: Pankalia: The Catholic Vision of Beauty