I love books. I have more books than I can ever hope to read and will buy more anyway so there will never be hope of reading them all. I do e-books as well, and there it is mainly convenience but no art, no tangibles, no love. You can’t smell it, hold it, praise it: you merely get done with it and then push the button that takes you back to your main library.
I have about 350 e-books and I can say one thing about them. They are a lot easier to move than the other 700 or whatever number of real books I have!
Anyway when I was growing up my mother had (probably still has) one of those giant family bibles that used to be popular through I guess the 70’s. There was a declaration page where you filled out your name and dated it. It had the family record of marriages, births, baptisms, grand colorful photos of the famous religious paintings. The gilded pages, the leather cover, the fancy writing at the opening of each book, etc. They were beautiful works of art. Heavy enough to be a bludgeon, yes, but beautiful.
Nowadays the best you can hope for is something in imitation leather. They just don’t make them like that anymore – at least not that I have been able to find.
And I’ve been looking, periodically, for years. Even wanted one as a committed atheist simply on esthetic grounds alone.
Today I found one, and it’s a keeper.
It is a 1970 edition of the NAB (that’s New American Bible to you) Marian Edition. Half-Priced Books rocks. I found a single solitary copy of this edition on Amazon for $80, I got mine for $20. That picture above is not too clear, it is a separate section of the Sermon on the Mount done up in great font and trim. The book also has a complete section on Mariology (hence the name of the edition) the stations of the cross (which I only knew from a South Park episode) a pictorial presentation of the sacrifice of the mass, almost every religious painting I’ve ever seen then some, and then some other some common to most Bible editions.
And the gloss photos are very nice as well.
Then later last evening Brenda and I were out for a walk and we got the most brilliant photo opportunity… but we don’t carry our phones with us. Within less than 2 minutes walking time from our apartment are two churches. One is Living Hope Bible Church – Evangelical (arf) so close I could huck a baseball from my apartment and hit it, the other, right across the street from it, is St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
It was about an hour from sunset so the sun is far to the west and behind some clouds. The humidity was high so the air was wet. When that happens it causes the sun’s rays to “stream” from behind the clouds. We were walking the dogs through the parking lot of the Bible Church and Brenda sees the magnificent streamers of cloudy light across the sky (there might be a term for that, not sure). She points it out and mentions it’s funny we are seeing it from a church (when the sun and clouds do that it is very biblical looking). Behind her several steps I look up and I see something even more impressive.
“Come here and check out something even more awesome!”
St. Joseph’s is about 30 feet higher in elevation than the other church. And between a valley of tree peaks that line the parking lot of the Living Hope Church you can see the tall cross that sits atop St. Joseph’s roof. And about that was the sun behind the clouds with its streaming light.
It was pure artwork.
So we haul ass home to get our cameras. Unfortunately Brenda is wearing flip flops so we are hindered. We rush back out there because these things do not last long. It wasn’t as majestic when we got back but I took several pictures anyway.
Then I rounded the parking lot to get in the road in front of St. Joseph’s. The priest of St. Joseph’s, Father Todd, was talking to a parishioner (I presume) at the gates or entrance. He sees me stepping in the middle of the road walking towards them holding my camera up. I wave for him to duck but he was already doing it “you have something going on above you!” I yell, and take my pictures. “I know!” he yelled back.
It is not as good as it could have been and I wish I had a real camera because the shot below could have been really beautiful. But you can tell from the photo I did get that 5 minutes or so earlier it was quite a great sight!
Here is another one. Notice Father Todd is still trying to stay out of my way.
The hill that I live on has some fantastic views especially some hauntingly midnight moon shots. I’m taking my camera with me from now on.