Trucks are prohibited...but you are always welcome

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm a pretentious jerk.

I enjoy music of all kinds, and always have some song or another playing in my head at all times (a trait I inherited from my mother). My house was always filled with music, either my mom practicing piano or three of us cooking and singing in three-part harmony, spontaneous and unrehearsed. I like music, but some music I love. It's not specific to a genre... what I love is a musical artist who paints. But rather than painting a picture, he/she paints a feeling. Like an abstract piece of art, my favorite musicians create a canopy of sound, with vague and artful lyrics that allow me to interpret and enjoy whatever feeling they elicit. They don't force a story or meaning on me with bluntness. The feeling is my own, the meaning is my own and it hits hardest when the song resonates a current experience like a finger sliding along the edge of a crystal glass. It rings clear and perfect, leaving nothing but an echo when the moment passes. My favorite artists shift and vary to match the seasons and the weather. I like folk in the fall, I like electronic pop in the spring. I like anything acoustic when I'm in love.

My favorite song lately is one I've had for years... it's the opening track to Kishi Bashi's 151a album, "Intro/ pathos pathos". The song, aptly named, is very emotional. Mostly strings and synth, the song opens up with soft strains of melodic violin layers. It's the feeling of a slow awakening, the fibers of a dream still clinging to eyelids and the momentary confusion that comes as they slip away. The tune slowly becomes erratic and almost cacophanous. Eye lids flutter open, the chaos clears quickly and bursts forth to drum-driven, toe-tapping beats with a harmonic vocal backdrop of Japanese lyrics. This is the first draw-back of the blinds to find a brilliant early-day sun streaming in. High-pitched looping strings and vocal beats almost mimic a flock of birds. The song makes me feel the way an awesome morning feels, and I love that.

The lyrics vaguely describe a scene that fits the mood already set by the music. A couple sits beneath a tree discussing birds in the branches, urging each other to enjoy them before they fly their own separate ways. The Japanese chorus translates to "what would happen if we could meet?" and "aetara iina" means "I wish I could see you". It's a cute, bright setting with an undertone of temporality. I seems like the couple is being compared to the birds, who perch and enjoy each others' company for a time, and inevitably move on. The nature of birds and the nature of love seem implied to be both similarly flighty and impulsive. I also get a message to not let opportunities for love and life pass, because they are fleeting.

And I fully realize this makes me look and sound like a pretentious ass... but I really, really like this song. In fact, the whole album is just stellar. I could go on for ages about it. Literally.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Fault is Not in Our Stars

I guarantee the first Man and Woman never thought to compartmentalize their "religion", their bonds with God. To them, the connection to the Maker was their life's blood. It breathed through them, giving them a sense of vitality and security so potent that they knew no death or shame.
I feel my own foolishness when I realize my attempts to compartmentalize my connection to God. Sundays, occasional (often distracted) time in the Word, and unfocused and infrequent prayer; it is a sorry substitute for that all-sustaining, life-giving bond known in the Garden. I suffer quietly and unknowingly, slowly being overtaken by the symptoms of a weakening soul that hungers in silence. My spiritual body wastes away, all the while I convince myself that the diversions I crave will fulfill it. But the most decadent desserts do nothing for the malnourished, it's only farce that hastens me to the grave.
The signs of my poor diet slowly emerge almost imperceptibly. They do not even seem particularly spiritual in nature, but I know well enough after all this time walking that they very much are.
- My security, previously supplied by His heart beating in time with mine, is gone (or so faint it's barely palpable). My thoughts become as wild and wavering as the sea as doubts and worries sweep over. The ebb and flow is constant, and it seems all I can do to tread water.
- My thoughts, now untrained to Him, lie with filth and filth emerges through my pores in a feverish sweat.
- My sense of self-worth vanishes as my venom is loosed on myself in the forms of self-deprecation. Oh, how it must hurt Him to see me treat the gifts of my body so critically!

The first step to banish the disease is to purge; surrender everything holding me from Him to His control. Rather than allotting Him time in my day, I need to breathe Him. Intake every small beautiful moment and exhale gratitude for a life I do not deserve. With His permission, allow my mind to attend my business and daily tasks, and then fly back to Him upon completion. Pray without ceasing, and admit fully that I am wholly incapable of maintaining a connection with Him. Praise Him for patience in pursuing me, and ask forgiveness for my lack of response. In medicine a good doctor treats the underlying cause rather than each symptom, and I realize that once my connection with the Vine is restored, all else will fall into place.

Matthew 6:33-34 "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."