The Ottomen at The Heavy Anchor – St. Louis, Missouri

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More on The Ottomen here.
More on The Heavy Anchor here.

Easter Wine – Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rose – Parker’s Table – St. Louis

For most of my life, looking at this picture, I would have felt obliged to caption it with part of a saying in Psalm 23, “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!” Indeed, I still believe that there is wisdom in that saying in its complete context. And, yet, only tonight in Bible study we read and talked about Jesus being the new wine, which was not to be poured into old wineskins. And you can read for yourself here about how he produced the finest of wines for the wedding of friends as his beautiful, beneficent first miracle. I think it must have been a rose.

Speaking of new wine, this rose from the Casal Garcia winery in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, in my mind, was perfect for Easter day–light and sweet and fresh, like life returning–without being at all cloying. There will, thank God, be time and time and time again for the dark, dark red of Good Friday wine, of communion wine, but on Easter and Pentecost, though, the light and new seem fitting to me!

This particular rose has such a pretty label, too.

-image from Tony Fletcher’s Jamming

And if you live in St. Louis and like fine wines and beers, you really ought to know about Parker’s Table where this wine was bought, centrally located close to the southwest corner of Forest Park. Go and show them some love; they will return the favor.

St. Paul Brings the Pain – The Keys of St. Peter – St. Peter and Paul Cemetary – St. Louis – A Very Narnian Sword

The Sinking of the Titanic – James Cameron, M. Night Shyamalan, Max Beckmann, and Some Haiku – 100 Year Anniversary

One hundred years from this coming Saturday night, the HMS Titanic struck an iceberg, broke into pieces, and slipped into the cold Atlantic and into legend.

It would be quite a task to collect all the reams of paper, the miles of celluloid, and the billions of bytes that have been dedicated to discussing the mysteries or assigning the blame or drawing the lessons–all the visions and revisions–of that sad night.

James Cameron, the director of Titanic (newly re-released in 3D) has spent a considerable portion of his life and fortune toward both significant real life discovery and fictional storytelling about the ship.

Several years ago I used to try this Titanic joke–though it was really quite short–out on friends:

Me: “Hey, I just read on the Internet that James Cameron is going to team up with M. Night Shyamalan to make a sequel to Titanic.

Friend: No way!

Me: Yeah. It’s going to be a metaphysical, disaster thriller called “Icy Dead People.”

And as an aside, a freak iceberg–perhaps a mystical, imaginary one–would be as good as an explanation as any as to the mystery of the disintegration and sinking of M. Night’s movie career…but I digress.

To reflect rather more seriously on the Titanic tragedy though, the painting above by Max Beckmann hangs in the Saint Louis Art Museum and is a pretty effective depiction of the harsh, cold sea in contrast with the ironically warm lights of the doomed ship. Though in reality the sea was quite a bit more calm on that night–at least until the ship went down–the painting works as an expressionist piece depicting the turmoil and despair that the people must have experienced.

And, to add my own tiny poetic contribution to the titanic Titanic colloquy, here are some linked haiku:

glimmering city
on waves, portholes like strata,
ship as metaphor

ship as metaphor
a horizontal babel
towering in waves

towering in waves
the snows from ten thousand years
chilling black waters

chilling black waters
pour through the jagged gash in
the pride of an age

the pride of an age
is settling down, down, down
the cold atlantic