A comment with query to a recent entry caused me to acquire a November Journal. I haven't yet perused it cap-a-pie, and I do not come to bury or praise this Caesar. To paraphrase Antony once again, if I seem to love the Journal and Sentinel less it is because I love Christian Science more. I know my reach is extremely limited and my influence even less, but once again I would like to encourage any of "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers [and sisters]" to submit something fresh, something you yourself would like to read, to the periodicals. They need it.
I am a poor one to say it, but the periodicals cannot be abandoned to the bog of mediocrity and "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". Every sincere Christian Scientist should have something helpful to say. If one decides to dip a reluctant tootsie into the waters, don't expect the first, or second, or maybe even tenth submission to be accepted. Initial efforts are seldom, if ever, very good, no matter how devotedly we may be attached to each of our precious offspring, especially the first, and how much we may resent in high dudgeon our child's barbaric rejection. Persist, persist.
Do not use what is currently there as a model. The numbing blandness and prolixity of much of the prose can be exasperating, and tired cliches poke up their insolent heads with crabgrass-like persistence. Think freshly. We all reflect the one infinite Mind and are uniquely individual. Share the inspiration you have gleaned from your studies, prayers, and experiences. Don't be discouraged by or resentful of rejection. It won't help, and others may as a result be denied what you have to offer. Ask God for help and protect the help He freely gives. Get a copy of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. It's short and full of helpful hints. A varied menu of high-quality supplementary reading won't hurt either.
It is off-putting that almost every article, in this Journal at least--Mrs. Eddy's Christian Science Journal--seems aimed at a reader for whom that article will be his or her first exposure to C.S. Why does nearly every article need to revisit ad nauseam elementary concepts? Is every reader seen as a metaphysical toddler in diapers? My recent accusation of CSPS humorlessness was maybe a bit unfair, which the back cover of the November Journal will verify. For the actual or perennial 5-10 year-old it might be a delight, but I wonder if Mrs. Eddy would find this embarrassingly juvenile material acceptable in or on her Journal? One might think it was a kiddie magazine.
The inquiry that gave rise to all this had to do with the three quatrains on page 54. It was stated that the first was really Omar Khayyam, but whose were the other two? The first is indeed from "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" [italics on the fritz again] (Edward Fitzgerald translation) with a few small changes. The other two quotations I do not recognize. They are probably original with her and don't seem to me to be particularly noteworthy. She was not, to me at any rate, a particularly fine poet, much as she loved poetry and wrote it all her life. Her borrowings from others are a curious fact, but they are, I believe, the borrowings of an unconsciously sympathetic and retentive heart rather than a dishonest head. The subject has no doubt been well served by many of her vicious detractors. Start with Gill if the subject interests you.