Here is another beautiful film I randomly found on vimeo. Great cinematography. Warning: Hide your passport. You will be filled with a strong desire to travel.
I am intrigued by the concept that Christ did not come and offer a full revelation of himself while on earth. He was hush-hush about his identity when performing early miracles. He often spoke in parables, not propositions. His incarnation was not global, eternal, and GLORIOUS like his second coming will be. He was born in a remote city in the middle east, lived to be thirty something, died, rose, then returned to the Father. Wouldn’t his holiness have spread throughout the earth much faster if he descended on a cloud of fire the size of Wyoming? Probably. Alas, we are left with an incomplete and distant vision of his glory and of spiritual truth. Why? And what does that mean about who God is and who we are created to be?
Maybe one (albeit sideways) way to think about some of these questions is to consider the common human response to art and music. Think of a song that is considered “well-written.” There is tension, some ambiguity, and it invites the listener to participate and enter into the art. Contemporary Christian music is often slammed for the opposite: the structure is too predictable, the lyrics are cliche propositions, there’s no tension…etc There something about that music (not all of it) that just doesn’t ring true, and therefore we call it bad art. I guess the bottom line is… I find it interesting how we are created to respond to partial revelation. It invites a deeper, more personal interaction with what’s being revealed.
Now, don’t get me wrong….all this doesn’t mean that the person of Jesus is, or should be, open for interpretation. The analogy of music only goes so far. Jesus was God. The Way Truth and Life. (he didn’t leave that very open for interpretation). And God gave us the Bible to preserve the incarnation story. Yes we have truth, but its not written out in the stars. At least not in English, and not in propositions. Glory has been revealed…but its only been revealed in part. There is room to ‘enter the art’. Room for faith. Room for freedom. Room to discover.
The Night House
Every day the body works in the fields of the world
Mending a stone wall
Or swinging a sickle through the tall grass-
The grass of civics, the grass of money-
And every night the body curls around itself
And listens for the soft bells of sleep.
But the heart is restless and rises
From the body in the middle of the night,
Leaves the trapezoidal bedroom
With its thick, pictureless walls
To sit by herself at the kitchen table
And heat some milk in a pan.
And the mind gets up too, puts on a robe
And goes downstairs, lights a cigarette,
And opens a book on engineering.
Even the conscience awakens
And roams from room to room in the dark,
Darting away from every mirror like a strange fish.
And the soul is up on the roof
In her nightdress, straddling the ridge,
Singing a song about the wildness of the sea
Until the first rip of pink appears in the sky.
Then, they all will return to the sleeping body
The way a flock of birds settles back into a tree,
Resuming their daily colloquy,
Talking to each other or themselves
Even through the heat of the long afternoons.
Which is why the body-the house of voices-
Sometimes puts down its metal tongs, its needle, or its pen
To stare into the distance,
To listen to all its names being called
Before bending again to its labor.
Filed under: Art, Music, Recommend | Tags: brad senne, folk, minneapolis music
This is a music video of Minneapolis based musician Brad Senne. Sing & Dance is track #1 on his latest album, Aerial Views, which is great for autumn ears. Let’s just say it goes well with apple cider. His style is soft and hypnotic; very inviting. You know, the kind of sad music that makes you happy. Click on the album title above and hear some of his other tracks.
Filed under: Art
Last week while rummaging through a thrift store I stumbled on an old coffee table book “Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature.” The name caught my eye, I remembered being introduced to this artist in a college art class. I bought the book and revived my fascination with the man’s unique gifts and vision.
Goldsworthy medium is strictly nature. Pure and without supplement. He uses whatever he can find: rocks, leaves, bark, snow, ice, twigs, feathers, petals–and creates striking sculpture. What I appreciate is that his work is not just enticing visually, it is also innovative and philosophical. He often creates a sculpture that is destined for destruction, whether it will come from a slight gust of wind or the looming ocean tide. He loves to embrace that tension and witness nature as a state of perpetual change and motion. Seasons, and tides, and sunlight, and temperature….they are constantly changing. His work attempts to interact with the beauty of that motion.
If you are a Net Flix person (and actually sections of it might be on youtube), and are remotely intrigued, I would highly recommend the documentary called “Rivers and Tides” which is all about the work of Goldsworthy. Sometimes you see an amazing sculpture and you say “how’d he do that?”….its cool to actually get an answer to that question in the film.
Rowan leaves laid around a hole
Knotweed stalks made complete by reflection
This poem is actually a song by Bob Dylan. So many good songs have tension in the lyrics. (“if I stay there will be trouble….If I go there will be double.”) Just kidding….maybe not the best example. But honestly I think we are drawn to songs with tension because they are more sincere and true to life. Our deepest emotions are, more often than not, layered and in competition with each other. This song is a perfect example
I can hear the turning of the key
I’ve been deceived by the clown inside of me.
I thought that he was righteous but he’s vain
Oh, something’s a-telling me I wear the ball and chain.
My patron saint is a-fighting with a ghost
He’s always off somewhere when I need him most.
The Spanish moon is rising on the hill
But my heart is a-tellin’ me I love ya still.
I come back to the town of the flaming ruins
I see you in the streets, I begin to swoon.
I love to see you dress before the mirror
Won’t you let me in your room one time, before I disappear?
Everybody’s wearing a disguise
To hide what they’ve got left behind their eyes.
But me, I can’t cover what I am
Wherever the children go I’ll follow them.
I march in the parade of liberty
But as long as I love you I’m not free.
How long must I suffer such abuse
Won’t you let me see you smile one time before I cut you loose?
I’ve given up the game, I’ve got to leave,
The pot of gold is only make-believe.
The treasure can’t be found by men who search
Whose gods are dead and whose queens are in the church.
We sat in an empty theater and we kissed,
I asked ya please to cross me off-a your list.
My head tells me it’s time to make a change
But my heart is telling me I love ya but you’re strange.
One more time at midnight, near the wall
Take off your heavy make-up and your shawl.
Won’t you descend from the throne, from where you sit?
Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it.
First Reader by Billy Collins
I can see them standing politely on the wide pages
that I was still learning to turn,
Jane in a blue jumper, Dick with his crayon-brown hair,
playing with a ball or exploring the cosmos
of the backyard, unaware they are the first characters,
the boy and girl who began fiction.
Beyond the simple illustration of their neighborhood
the other protagonists were waiting in a huddle:
frightening Heathcliff, frightened Pip, Nick Adams
carrying a fishing rod, Emma Bovary riding into Rouen.
But I would read about the perfect boy and his sister
even before I would read about Adam and Eve, garden and gate,
and before I heard the name Gutenberg, the type
of their simple talk was moving into my focusing eyes.
It was always Saturday, and he and she
were always pointing at something and shouting, “Look!”
pointing at the dog, the bicycle, or at their father
as he pushed a hand mower over the lawn,
waving at aproned Mother framed in the kitchen doorway,
pointing toward the sky, pointing at each other.
They wanted us to look but we had looked already
and seen the shaded lawn, the wagon, the postman.
We had seen the dog, walked, watered, and fed the animal,
and now it was time to discover the infinite, clicking
permutations of the alphabet’s small and capital letters.
Alphabetical ourselves in the rows of classroom desks,
we were forgetting how to look, learning how to read.