Saturday, April 18, 2009

Style and substance

I once saw Martin Crowe, one of NZ's greatest batsmen, score 50 runs or so (i.e. for those not blessed with a heritage in the British Empire, playing cricket). It was a scratchy innings; yet even on a below par day his style was breathtaking, easily distinguishing him from the lesser mortals around him in the team. Style does not make a batsmen great, there has to be substance too - Martin Crowe provided that with many high-scoring innings.

In the world of blogging some individuals stand out for the style as well as the substance of their writing. For me one of those individuals is a fellow Anglican 'down under', Kelvin Wright, author of Available Light, Vicar of St. John's, Roslyn, Dunedin, N.Z. Currently he is on a pilgrimage through Europe. Apparently there are internet cafes over there, because he is writing as he goes. Here is an excerpt from Rome:

"More uplifting was to stand in the Sistine chapel, albeit in company with about two thousand others, and look upward at that ceiling. It is so familiar and there it was, with God in the middle of it, reaching out for Adam. God is on his cloud and he is straining forward, so far he is almost falling out of the sky. The angels struggle to keep him safely in place. His arm is taut with exertion as he reaches for Adam, his gaze directly at the man he has made. Adam by contrast rests on his back, glancing at his maker out of the corner of his eye. One hand is languidly flicked up to God, and just fails to make contact. Every fibre in God's being; all his body language and posture screams "Adam! Here I am! I love you!" "

Read the whole piece here. It brilliantly juxtaposes the evil of humanity's inhumanity represented in the Coliseum with the grace of God found in the Chapel. It is a triumph of style with substance!

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