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SouthernCrossReview

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

Number 119, July - August 2018

La Orana Maria

“Ia Orana Maria"

This is Paul Guaguin's version of a nativity scene. Note that Maria and child have halos and the two women adoring them are standing on the water; in the background stands a winged angel.

Editor's Page

HeyZeus - A Second Coming in Brooklyn - A Mystery Play in Seven Scenes - Scene Seven by Frank Thomas Smith

Second Coming


To the audience] That's it. Do you see the problem? I can't expect even you, whose humble patience is kindly prayed, gently to hear, fairly to judge, who are expected to suspend disbelief – no, not even you can I expect to believe my story. You heard Bishop Casey: it's not convincing. What would I think if someone told me what I've told you? I'd be skeptical. I might even laugh. There are no witnesses. A kingdom for a witness. The disbelief of others has planted the seeds of doubt in my own mind – very fertile soil. I suppose that man is born to doubt. Without doubt, after all, there'd be no belief. Doubt and faith belong together like a couple in love, or a pair of ducks in the lake. If only it were otherwise; but how can it be? Without contradiction we'd know everything, or nothing, and couldn't stand it either way. I come here every once in a while in the hope that he'll appear again – but he hasn't, yet. And that was three years ago. Continue reading


The title has been changed from "Prospect Park" to "HeyZeus - A Second Coming in Brooklyn". You can also download the entire play as a pdf document.


Current Events

Infinite War
The Gravy Train Rolls On by Andrew J Bacevich

Soldiers

The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example. You may not have noticed. There’s no reason why you should have, fixated as we all are on the daily torrent of presidential tweets and the flood of mindless rejoinders they elicit. But let me note for the record that the centenary of the conflict once known as The Great War is well underway and before the present year ends will have concluded... Continue reading


The Lonliness of Donald Trump By Rebecca Solnit

trump-Merkel

Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires. He got a boost at the beginning from the wealth handed him and then moved among grifters and mobsters who cut him slack as long as he was useful, or maybe there’s slack in arenas where people live by personal loyalty until they betray, and not by rules, and certainly not by the law or the book. So for seven decades, he fed his appetites and exercised his license to lie, cheat, steal, and stiff working people of their wages, made messes, left them behind, grabbed more baubles, and left them in ruin. He was supposed to be a great maker of things, but he was mostly a breaker... Continue reading





Features

The Meaning of Life by Stephen L. Talbott

The celebrated Physicist Richard Feynman, skeptical of religious or mythic creation stories that focus upon humans and the meaning of their lives, once explained his doubt with arresting simplicity: "The stage is too big for the drama" (Gleick 1992, p. 372). It was a wonderfully succinct way to make his point, and suggests that Feynman had a bit of the poet in him.
The improbably large stage, which he found unsuited to our parochial origin myths, is, of course, the boundless frontier explored by cosmologists, whose probing, high-tech sensors have mapped inter-galactic dimensions of space and time so far beyond our immediate experience that we humans can scarcely hope to comprehend them... Continue reading


The Forgotten Prophet by Marcus Rediker

Quaker

In September 1738, Benjamin Lay, a radical Quaker barely four feet tall, filled an animal bladder with bright red pokeberry juice, then tucked it into the secret compartment of a book. He donned a military uniform and a sword, covered himself in an overcoat, hid the book, and set off from his home in Abington, Pennsylvania for Burlington, New Jersey, where the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia Quakers was being held, a gathering of the colony’s most powerful Quakers. Lay had a message for them. Quakers have no formal ministers, so congregants speak as the spirit moves them. Lay was a man of large and unruly spirit. In a thundering voice that belied his stature, he announced that slaveholding was the greatest sin in the world. Continue reading



Fiction

Paternostro's Promise / La Promesa de Paternostro by Frank Thomas Smith

Paternostro

The sky in the east is tinged with orange as the sun prepares to rise over the Argentine Pampa. Patches of light reach into a beehive set in the garden of an affluent suburban Buenos Aires home, signaling the start of another furiously active day. The first hunters step out onto the hive’s porch and soar off in search of the blossoms opening to receive them. Birds begin to sing softly outside the bedroom window. A shrill scream wrenches Miguel and Alicia Paternostro from sleep – a persisting cry of rage and pain. Miguel buries his head in the pillow as Alicia wearily puts her legs over the side of the bed and pulls herself erect. She looks at the clock on her night table. God, she murmurs, we’ve only slept for two hours. She walks into the adjoining room and picks an infant out of its crib. Its face is red with exertion and its tiny fingers are closed in tight fists... Continue Reading

La Promesa de Paternostro

El cielo, hacia el este, se tiñe de naranja cuando el sol se dispone a salir sobre la pampa argentina. Manchones de luz caen sobre una colmena en el jardín de una casa en un suburbio acomodado de Buenos Aires, señalando el comienzo de un nuevo día de frenética actividad. Las primeras cazadoras salen al umbral de la colmena y se elevan en busca de los capullos que se abren para recibirlas. Los pájaros comienzan a cantar suavemente afuera de la ventana del dormitorio. Un grito agudo arranca del sueño a Miguel y Alicia Paternostro – un llanto persistente de dolor y de rabia. Miguel hunde la cabeza bajo la almohada mientras Alicia, con desgano, saca las piernas de la cama y se pone de pie. Mira el reloj en su mesa de luz. “Dios”, murmura, “sólo hemos dormido dos horas”. Se dirige a la habitación contigua y levanta a un bebé de su cuna. El niño tiene la cara roja por el esfuerzo y sus pequeños dedos se cierran en puños crispados... Continuar

Love in the Life of Spies (Chapter 6) by Frank Thomas Smith

a spy lady

Second Lt. Marvin Jacks tied his sneaker shoelaces and stood up. He heard basketball sounds coming from the gym: hard bounces on a wooden floor, the clang when the ball hit the rim, a whumpf when it went through cleanly. Shouts of triumph or despair. He looked at himself in the locker-room mirror and smiled with satisfaction. Smiling back at him was a handsome young face, the only imperfection on it being a slightly bent nose broken in a street fight during adolescence. He'd never had it straightened because it provided the manly touch his baby-face needed if he was to be taken seriously. He was only slightly above average height, too small for basketball, at least for the professional sort.
He opened the door to the gym and was surprised to see one person, playing by himself, in the act of sinking a jump shot. He retrieved the ball and said "Hi" to Jacks. Continue reading



Miryam - Part Nine by Luise Rinser

Miryam

I thought and thought about it for two days and found no explanation, then I gave it up, and when I had given it up Yeshua spoke to me.
Come here and hold my arm. What is it that you are touching?
Your arm.
Say it exactly.
Your flesh.
Is it I?
Of course. Or rather no. It is the form in which you appear.
My clever one! And now think harder. When I say: eat my flesh, drink my blood, can I mean this flesh and the blood which runs in my veins?
No, not that.
What then?
Continue reading





Anthroposophy

The True Nature of the Second Coming by Rudolf Steiner

Buddha and Christ

When someone has concerned himself for a time with the conception of the world presented by Spiritual Science, and then allows the various ideas and thoughts and items of knowledge that he gains from it to work upon him, manifold questions arise, and he becomes more and more of a spiritual scientist by linking such questions — which are really questions of feeling, of the heart, of the character, in short, of life in general — with spiritual-scientific ideas. The nature of these ideas is such that they do not only satisfy our theoretical, scientific curiosity but shed light upon the riddles of life, upon the mysteries of existence, and they bear fruit in the real sense only when we no longer merely reflect about and feel their import, value and meaning, but learn under their influence to look differently at the world around us. These ideas should warm us inwardly, should become impulses, forces of heart and soul within us. And this is increasingly so when the answers received to certain questions give rise to new questions, when those answers in turn become questions followed by new answers, and so on. In this way progress is made both in spiritual knowledge and in the spiritual life... Continue reading


Bio-dynamic Agriculture Course - Lecture Seven by Rudolf Steiner

Small plant

I propose to devote the time that remains at our disposal to the consideration of the rearing of livestock and the cultivation of fruit and vegetables. Naturally there will not be time to treat the subject at very great length, but in order to obtain a fruitful starting point, we must gain insight into all the factors which come into consideration. We shall do this today, and tomorrow we shall pass on to the more practical aspect of the subject. I shall ask you today to join me in the consideration of rather more recondite matters, to follow me into what is nowadays an almost unknown territory, although the instinctive husbandry of the past was thoroughly conversant with it. The beings in Nature — minerals, plants, animals — we will disregard man for the moment — are often regarded as though they existed in completely separate realms... Continue reading


The Fifth Gospel - Lecture 2 of 7 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

Jesus Christ

Our considerations will begin with the so-called Pentecost event. In the first lecture I indicated that our investigation can at least begin with this event. For this event presents itself to clairvoyance as a kind of awakening which the personalities on a certain day, Pentecost, experienced - the personalities normally called the apostles or disciples of the Christ Jesus. It is not easy to evoke an exact perception of all those extraordinary events, and we will have to recall – from the depths of our souls, so to speak – much of what we have already gained from our anthroposophical considerations if we want to combine exact perceptions with all which our lecture cycle has to say about this subject... Continue reading





Poetry

Erlkönig / Elf King (bilingual) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Who rides so late through night so wild?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy secure from harm,
He holds him tightly, he holds him warm.
My son, why does your face show fear?
You don't see, father, the Elf King near!
The Elf King with crown and tail?
My son, it's mist within the vale.
Continue reading


The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity... Continue




Words and Music

Johnny Cash - Love´s been good to me (Rod McKuen)

Johnny Cash

I have been a rover
I have walked alone
Hiked a hundred highways
Never found a home
Still in all I'm happy
The reason is, you see
Once in a while along the way
Love's been good to me
Continue reading and listen.








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