LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

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JOURNAL 2014

The poetics of grace

On shells and nests

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SPRING 2014

A little book of hours

Index 2014

The messenger

A mystical conversation

The golden hour

A nest for the word

The gifts of wonder

The ninth hour

The miracle of the palm trees

The sun, the moon, and the stars

A little book of hours

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LIFEWORKS

About

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SPRING 2014
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THE MIRACLE OF THE PALM TREES

The flight into Egypt.  Vittore Carpaccio.  1555.  The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.  The flight into Egypt. Giotto di Bondone. 1267-1337. Cappella Scrovegni a Padova.

Evensong or Vespers [Greek εσπερινός and Latin vesper, evening] is the traditional evening prayer service. The service is observed before sunset [i.e. at some point between 4 pm and 6 pm] and consecrates the day to God. Mary and Venus mythologies link again here, around the word vesper, with its connection to the earlier goddess and the planet "Venus" also known as the evening star.

Vespers is one of the most ancient and solemn of the church offices. In The little office of the blessed Virgin Mary, Vespers is associated with the flight to Egypt.

And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
When he arose, he took the child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod.

Matthew 2:13-14 [KJV]

 

 

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There are two mythic traditions around this narrative.  In the first, "The miracle of the palm trees", the Christ child orders a palm tree to bend toward his mother and provide her with food during the journey to Egypt.

In the second myth, corn miraculously grows to maturity overnight, allowing shepherds to report to Herod's soldiers that the family had passed by before the corn had grown. This manipulation of time enabled the shepherds to protect the holy family from the pursuit of Herod's soldiers. Pagan statues also tumbled to the ground as the holy family traveled, according to this myth.

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