Born on This Day: Saint Jerome

Saint Jerome

On this day in 347, St. Jerome was born, and while I’m no longer a Catholic, I fondly recall taking Jerome as my confirmation name when I was a boy (that was already my baptismal name). I thought it was cool that he translated the Bible into Latin, as that seemed to me such an impossible task. As a young adult, I learned the story of Jerome ‘s taming a lion by removing a thorn from his paw when Jerome appeared with a lion on the cover of Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights.

In the painting of Jerome shown above, “the admonition that Jerome has fixed to the wall, ‘Cogita Mori’ (Think upon death), is made explicit by the skull. His Bible is open to an image of the Last Judgment, while the hourglass and candle, objects often found on a desk, are further reminders of the passage of time and the imminence of death” (Wikipedia).

New Dandy Warhols Song Knocks Me Out

Still from The Dandy Warhols' video, "Thick Girls Knock Me Out (Richard Starkey)"
Yesterday I heard the new single by The Dandy Warhols for the first time. “Thick Girls Knock Me Out (Richard Starkey)” provides the perfect antidote to what seems to me to be a dormant time for good new music. In addition, the Dandys have created the video I’ve always wanted them to make—no goofy scenes or themes, just great music with the focus on what I consider to be one of the best bands around. March is in like a lion, indeed. I give the band bonus points for mentioning a Beatle in the song title. Give it a listen.

Jerrys Announce New EP, ‘The Wind Cries Jerrys’

The Jerrys drums logo by ScottyRocks

It’s official: The Wind Cries Jerrys, a 6-song EP containing new original songs by Jerry Schwartz, will be released by The Jerrys in 2017. Recording is well under way and expected to be completed by spring, with mixing and mastering to follow. A new single, “Chicago USA,” which the band previewed live on WZRD Chicago in 2016, will be released ahead of the EP.

Track listing
  1. Chicago USA
  2. Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo
  3. I Think About You
  4. Ms. Wonderful
  5. Another Glorious Day
  6. Anna Marie

The new release also features Robert Porche’ (drums), Jim Losby (bass guitar), and a surprise guest. Stay tuned for new music by the Jerrys!

(Image is a photo of original print by ScottyRocks.)

The Visuddhimaga (“Path of Purification”)

buddhaghosa-with-visuddhimaga

I finally finished reading the Visuddhimaga by Buddhaghosa (translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Nyanamoli). The Visuddhimaga (“Path of Purification”) is a comprehensive summary/analysis of the Theravada understanding of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path. Written in the fifth century, this 900-page book can make reading Proust seem like a walk in the part, but the little gems tucked away in the text make it worthwhile, like the verse in the section dealing with anapanasati:

“So let a man, if he is wise,
Untiringly devote his days
To mindfulness of breathing, which
Rewards him always in these ways.”

Or the lines on aging:

“With leadenness in every limb,
With every faculty declining,
With vanishing of youthfulness,
With memory and wit grown dim,
With strength now drained by undermining,
With growing unattractiveness
To wife and family and then
With dotage coming on, what pain
Alike of body and of mind
A mortal must expect to find!
Since aging all of this will bring,
Aging is well named suffering.”

I’d already read sections of this book over the years, but it was nice to read and view the work as a whole for the first time. That said, I prefer practical Buddhism and don’t like to waste time on such ideas as rebirth-linking, supernormal abilities, etc. I’m glad I read this book. To be honest, though, I’m up for a little light reading.