THE E’ER INSCRUTABLE | Alpha and Omega: The Light in the Abyss

Standing beneath McGraw Tower at midnight is akin to experiencing the prolonged death throes of an eternity. Every day becomes as the instar of all time en miniature. Sunrise came today at 7:16, and sunset came at 16:34. Every passing minute sends another crumpled leaf falling in a perishing semicircle; long-since dead, each has now given up clinging to even a semblance of its former life. The flood of light at the sun’s rising and the onset of twilight mimic the life-story of the universe as a whole, the first inklings of energy stretching the cosmic fabric outward, and, having vented their smoldering fury to the point of exhaustion, their eventual extinguishment.

THE E’ER INSCRUTABLE | Alpha and Omega: Approaching the Issue of Time

“’Εν ἀρχή ῆν ὁ λὀγος, καì ὁ λóγος ῆν πρòς τòν θεóν, καì θεòς ῆν ὁ λóγος. οὗτος ῆν ἐν ἀρχὴ πρòς τòν θεóν. πάντα δι’ αύτοῦ  έγένετο, καì χωρìς αύτοῦ έγένετο ούδὲ ἔν. ὃ γέγονεν έν αύτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καì ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τò φῶς τῶν άνθρώπων· καì τò φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτíᾳ φαíνει, καì ἡ σκοτíα αὐτò οὐ κατέλαβεν.”

“In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word. This was in the beginning with God.

THE E’ER INSCRUTABLE | Fimbulwinter: My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

“WIr sind doch nunmehr gantz / ja mehr alß gantz vertorben. Der frechen Völcker schar / die rasende Posaun /
Daß vom Blutt feiste Schwerd / die donnernde Carthaun /
Hat alles diß hinweg / was mancher sawr erworben /
Die alte Redligkeit vnnd Tugend ist gestorben;
Die Kirchen sind verheert / die Starcken vmbgehawn /
Die Jungfrawn sind geschänd; vnd wo wir hin nur schawn /
Ist Fewr / Pest / Mord vnd Todt / hier zwischen Schantz vñ Korbẽ
Dort zwischen Mawr vñ Stad / rint allzeit frisches Blutt
Dreymal sind schon sechs Jahr als vnser Ströme Flutt
Von so viel Leichen schwer / sich langsam fortgedrungen.
Ich schweige noch von dehm / was stärcker als der Todt /
(Du Straßburg weist es wol) der grimmen Hungersnoth /
Vnd daß der Seelen=Schatz gar vielen abgezwungen.” — “Tränen des Vaterlandes”

It is the most logical thing in the world to yearn for the rigidity of the medieval cosmology, the moral landscape to which a stonemason, manuscript illuminator or painter could turn for artistic solace, and from whose ethereal, luminescent matter parabolic universes could take shape. This bedrock of the European imagination held fast even in its deepest moments of crisis, before its eventual exhaustion. The peculiarly medieval aura, which thrived on the starkest contrasts between light and dark, good and evil, changeability and eternity, could always create, as if from antediluvian clay, the antidote to its own blood curdling nightmares. For every grisly, teeth-gnashing demon in the grottos and impenetrable abysses of Byzantine-Romanesque architecture, there stood in sublimely-opposed chiasma, up above the clerestory or enthroned in the tympanum, the shining redeemer, Christ Pantokrator.