Beards and dwarfs (dwarves?) rabbit trail
I want to finish my beard series from last summer this week, circumstances permitting. I am strongly, strongly pro-beard, and not only or even primarily on aesthetic grounds. However, in the interest of equal time, I want to acknowledge first two negative responses to Richard Armitage’s reappearance, in beard, last weekend: Pinup; Judiang. I love you, my friends, but the beard has a lot of meaning for me.
These pictures of Armitage on buildings always make me think of Marian apparitions, which are likely to occur on buildings in the U.S., especially in the south, where it’s sunny. Here’s a famous one, from Clearwater, Florida, a few years ago:
[Serious moment: Servetus is agnostic with regard to all divine, saintly, and other apparitions. Although Servetus is basically a rationalist, she also opines that if the Virgin Mary exists and has the qualities the Church says she has, she can certainly appear on the sides of buildings or anywhere else she likes. Let it be known that should the Virgin Mary ever appear to Servetus, Servetus has had a list of interview questions prepared for the encounter since the summer of 1989. Speaking as a historian, Servetus is also a moderate fan of the Catholic Church, although not enough to be a Catholic, so would appreciate it if a spirit of peace prevailed in any discussion of this topic. Servetus thinks the point, as with relics, isn't with the relic itself, but what it helps you with.]
Luckily for us, Armitage is a bit easier to distinguish when he appears on the side of a building. I particularly loved this apparition, in Sydney.
Anyway (Servetus’s odd train of thinking) it made me wonder, if Thorin is appearing all over the place, does he have a feast day? Of course, he doesn’t because he isn’t a Christian saint. Which made me ask whether dwarfs have a patron saint. Apparently they do not. There was a dwarf saint, however: St John the Dwarf. He was known for having a short body and a short temper until he became a monk and his faith increased. Then, he became known for his obedience. After his superior ordered him to water a dry stick, he did so for three years although the water source was twelve miles way. Eventually, it blossomed. It is called the “tree of obedience” and can be visited in the deserted monastery where he lived in Egypt. (This region of Egypt is also apparently where Saint-Exupéry crashed, an experience he documented in Wind, Sand, and Stars). Anyway, John the Dwarf’s feast day is October 17 following the Latin calendar and he died in 409 C.E. Somewhat oddly, there is also a St Richard with a feast day of October 17th (one of the Forty Martyrs, victims of Protestant persecution in early modern England, who were canonized in 1970).
Internet is bad for my brain, frankly. I’d concentrate more if I couldn’t always just aggregate more information …
and now to work on finishing those beard posts. Before he shows up at Comic-Con clean-shaven …