Saturday, February 09, 2008

Inlay, ebony and fasting

Trying to spend some time in meditation yesterday images of European Spruce (figured), bone inlay, ebony, rosewood, black walnut, darkwood pegs with ebony pips, ebony fingerboards, perhaps with holly lozenges set in it, fill my mind. The sound of Mrs Hudson's Toy and Paul Odette's playing of Rosa just would not go.
You see, I have been thinking about commissioning a new Lute, I have been think about that for about month, but yesterday it just became obsessive. The reason I am sure is because I was fasting. For some people fasting brings on desires for bacon sandwiches. For me it is whatever is floating about in the back of my mind. For many of my penitents distractions in prayer are a serious matter, my feeling is that unless they are willfully sought we just have to do our best to put up with them.

The problem with fasting is that it actually throws up a great amount of distractions. It is the purpose of fasting as far as I can see. The very thing that many people think should bring us closer to God actually throws up a whole lot of dross. St Anthony in the tomb for twenty years is confronted by all those demons, well no wonder. The same with the Lord, fasting brings on the struggle with Satan. Fasting weakens us a bit, it creates space, nature abhors a vacuum, so do destractions. Fasting does of course tell us what we find more important than than God.
The next stage is trying, prayerfully, to find why we place these things before God. When the distractions are one's sins there is not much of a problem. When it is lutes, I am not sure... I think I have to think about how use my money and whether "things" are actually more important to me than God.

Now, has anyone out there heard of the Sao Paulo luthier Luciano Faria?


Jeffrey Smith said...

Reminds me of my maternal grandfather's mandolin.

JARay said...

I think I know what you mean.
During my morning prayer I get all sorts of ideas weighing in and suggesting that what I had planned should be done this way, or perhaps should be done that way!
I make no claims as to the originality of this story, but one of the saints...I forget which, was speaking about the troubles of distraction in prayer. As he spoke, one of his hearers said that he never had any distractions when he was praying. So the saint said that he would give the man his horse if he could pray without distraction.
"No trouble at all" replied the man. "Very well" said the saint, "Say the Our Father now".
The man began:-
"Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed......Will you give me the saddle too?



gemoftheocean said...

Well regards what the lute signifies., even Freud said "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

George said...

That's a beaut of a lute. Do you play the lute Fr Ray?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, but very badly.

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