Friday, November 27, 2009

Reductionist memes

Doug at the Ker's instigation but up a meme to summarize the message of the canon in 5 phrases from one word to 5 words in length - starting at one word and continuing to 5 words.

This is an intriguing question. When one awakes, and the spirit is meditating in the early morning, there is a theme that may run from the accumulated love and lore of the land that may find expression in a thought. Perhaps the thought could be poetically morphed into a 1 x 5 triangle. The word I have chosen to begin is


as in the French désolé? perhaps - but I chose it from Psalm 46 - what desolations he has wrought in the earth. אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם שַׁמֹּות בָּאַרֶץ This word is also rendered astonishment and will be found in a related form in Isaiah 52:14. כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמְמוּ עָלֶיךָ - so it encompasses both creation and redemption.

The two word follow on is in Song 2:15

Let-us-catch foxes

- some words don't count - as shown in the Hebrew  אֶחֱזוּ־לָנוּ שׁוּעָלִים  This word was my tag line for ages. What foxes are there in your life?

For three words I was going to choose Romans 16:16 but it will be misunderstood by all - so forget it. What is must fall before it can rise. So I choose Job 42:5 morphing from desolation to hearing. לְשֵׁמַע אֹזֶן שְׁמַעְתִּיךָ

of-the-hearing of-an-ear I-had-heard-of-you

Surely hearing is good - and its consequences.

Four words are in Psalm 67 - of the harvest: The earth shall bring forth her increase - but this is only three words so I will chose the last verse where three, four and five words can be had depending on where you put your hyphens: וְיִירְאוּ אֹתֹו כָּל־אַפְסֵי־אַרֶץ

and they-will-fear him - all-the-extremities-of earth

taking earth as including all her inhabitants in all spheres of sentience of all forms in their joy and astonishment at the mercy of God who brings such fruit from the dust of the created order. Earth cannot be a narrow strip of land in the context of this psalm.

And for the five words? - Deuteronomy 6:4 - if you add 6 to 4 and divide by two you get 5. And one word is repeated so it counts only once.

Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד

There is no contradiction in the unity of the unnameable. This also has the advantage of ending with one.

In summary

אֶחֱזוּ־לָנוּ שׁוּעָלִים
לְשֵׁמַע אֹזֶן שְׁמַעְתִּיךָ
וְיִירְאוּ אֹתֹו כָּל־אַפְסֵי־אַרֶץ
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One
and-they-will-fear him - all-the-extremities-of earth
of-the-hearing of-an-ear I-had-heard-of-you
Let-us-catch foxes

No comments: