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Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 91, November - December 2013

"The Girl with a Pearl Earring"

Jan Vermeer (1632 - 1675) a Dutch genre painter who lived and worked in Delft, created some of the most exquisite paintings in Western art. His works are rare. Of the 35 or 36 paintings generally attributed to him, most portray figures in interiors. All his works are admired for the sensitivity with which he rendered effects of light and color and for the poetic quality of his images. Most are on loan from Holland to the Frick Collection in New York City until January 2014.



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Editor's Page

Life on Mars by Frank Thomas Smith

 
"There is life on Mars!" Gene insisted.
I don't understand how you can make such an unfounded statement," Jerry countered. Jerry considered himself an intellectual, having completed two years of community college before he had to go to work for a living selling fifty cents a week life insurance to poor families.
"Yeah, that's bullshit," Billy Bunions agreed. "Not even Woody Allen believes it." His name wasn't really Bunions, but he was always complaining about them. Jerry and Billy were friends and almost always agreed on everything. Or, more accurately, Billy always agreed with Jerry.
I chalked my cue stick and lined up the Q-ball with the eight-ball, feeling behind it when Gene took my silence as, if not agreement, at least acquiescence to the possibility that there might indeed be life on Mars... Continue



Essay

Momento Mori - The Death of American Exceptionalism - and of Me by Lewis H. Lapham

  
It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.-- Woody Allen

I admire the stoic fortitude, but at the age of 78 I know I won’t be skipping out on the appointment, and I notice that it gets harder to remember just why it is that I’m not afraid to die. My body routinely produces fresh and insistent signs of its mortality, and within the surrounding biosphere of the news and entertainment media it is the fear of death -- 24/7 in every shade of hospital white and doomsday black -- that sells the pharmaceutical, political, financial, film, and food products promising to make good the wish to live forever. Continue



Fiction

Mañana, María by JP Miller

 
I’m sitting—no, reclining—in an oversized hospital chair at Ft. Kessler, Biloxi, Mississippi and dangling my legs over the thing, trying to get the energy to attempt to walk again. My right leg doesn’t want to work. It doesn’t help that I have various tubes in my arms. If I get up to attempt a walk down the hall, I have to drag along a veritable life support system. The doctors tell me it will take time. That’s what they tell everyone here. Continue




Children's Corner

The Seventh Birthday by Frank Thomas Smith

 
Usually Nicky's mother has to call him at least three times, kiss him twice and pull his ear gently once before he gets up in the morning. But not today.
"Nicky," she says, "it's time to get up. Do you remember what day it is?"
What day? Nicky thinks - Monday, Tuesday? Then he remembers: his birthday! He jumps out of bed and cries, "It's my birthday, I'm seven years old!" Before going to school, Nicky's mother and father and his little sister, Jeannie, sing Happy Birthday to You and he opens his presents, which have been placed around a candle on the living room table. They call it the "birthday table". It is covered with a light-green cloth on the children's birthdays and the only light is from the beeswax candle, which sheds a magical glow throughout the room. Their dog Frodo, who is very old, for a dog that is, watches everything and wags his tail slowly from time to time... Continue




Anthroposophy

Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum - Volume Two, Lesson Thirteen by Rudolf Steiner

   
Well, my dear sisters and brothers, in the previous lesson we tried to find the inner psychic words which can bring our humanity into contact with what is revealed by the spiritual hierarchies – with which the human spirit is closely related.  We placed before our souls how by concentrating on the field of thinking we could rise up to the region where the beings of the third hierarchy reside, so to speak: the Angels, Archangels and Archai. Not meant is our everyday thinking, but the thinking which acts behind that everyday thinking, which we can only achieve from our whole being by meditating deeply on the words which begin with: “Perceive the field of thinking.” Continue


The Fifth Gospel - Cologne, Lecture 1 by Rudolf Steiner

 
This evening and tomorrow I feel obliged to speak to you of what we have become accustomed to call the Mystery of Golgotha, but I will attempt to speak of it in a somewhat different way than until now. What has been said previously, although certainly esoteric, has had a more esoteric-theoretical content. I have spoken about the essence and significance of the Mystery of Golgotha for humanity. That it is to a certain extent the central phenomenon for the whole evolution of humanity on earth and to what extent it is the central phenomenon has been considered. Continue




Karmic Relations, Volume II, Lecture Eleven by Rudolf Steiner

In my last lecture here I spoke of how man is related to the Spiritual Hierarchies during the different periods of his life. I should like to repeat that the aim of all these lectures is to lead us to a better understanding of how karma works in human life and in human evolution. Everything is really a preparation for this. I told you that from a person's birth until about his 21st year, the Third Hierarchy [Angeloi. Archangeloi, Archai], is related to him in a special way; at the age of puberty the Second Hierarchy — Exusiai, Dynamis, Kyriotetes — begins to be active. Continue



History of the Anthroposophical Movement - Lecture 8 - Self-reflection and the Invisible Being of Anthroposophia by Rudolf Steiner

Today we will have reached a kind of conclusion in our deliberations. Clearly that will have to include the consequences which arise for the future activities of the Anthroposophical Society. In order to gain a better understanding of what these activities might be, let us take another look at the way anthroposophy emerged in modern civilization. Continue



Legends

The Day the World Burned - a Legend of the Toba Indians of South America

   
A very long time ago a yellow dog appeared in a Toba village in the north of Argentina. No one knew where it came from, it was suddenly just there. It had a pretty face and, strangely, a little beard as some monkeys do. That made it interesting. Nevertheless, nobody wanted it because it was very dirty and covered with scaly sores. When it approached people they shouted at it to go away and threw things at it. Then the dog would put its tail between its legs and look back sorrowfully. One man, Dabu, took pity on it though. He called it to him and gave it something to eat. He let it stay in his house with his family. He even covered it with his poncho because it was cold and the poor dog was shivering... Continue




Poetry

A Trek Through the Himalayas – and other poems by Srinjay Chakravarti

   
The journey lasts for days and days.
We trek up valley, hill and slope
We carry with ourselves the hope
To traverse strange, untrodden ways.

We enter now a world of clouds.
Along the way we hear the call
Of mountain wind and waterfall.
The pallid mist is spreading shrouds.

At last we reach the final peak. Continue


A View from the Brooklyn Bridge by Frank Thomas Smith

   
Now is today,
which will be
yesterday,
and was once
tomorrow.
Render time as you would
a bouquet of roses to your love.
They,
like all the beauties of the world,
will,
quicker than a lie,
whimper and die.
They lived for a time,
an eternal instant,
a touchdown eternity... Continue




Letters to the Editor

  
I wept at parts of this essay as I thought of my dad in WWII , a glider pilot sent behind enemy lines to transport supplies, only to be stranded for many months, never realizing he was duped by his government to be the American equivalent of a Kamikaze. Indeed, he bore deep scars but the shrapnel was the least of it.  He lost himself in an ideal that never was and struggled to come to grips with it for the rest of his life.  He did not know  then that he was brainwashed by the military. ...continue


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