Since I mentioned Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs in last week's traditio I have had this song (These Are Days) on my mind, along with a lot of Mazzy Star, which I have been listening to while driving, especially at night, I thought this would make a nice early Spring traditio for a Friday. Besides having such a distinctive and powerful voice and being a great artist, Natalie is one of those women who have appeared on the American music scene whose life is so very consonant with her art. For further proof of this check out her Wonder video. Like Patti's live performance last week, this performance is a trip down nostalgia lane. I remember hearing this song once in a dark period and it gave me hope, it is translucent, the light just shines through it and through Natalie, like a lovely stained glass window. It is a song of gratitude, which is the beginning of authentic spirituality, there is no other starting point than realizing "it's true
"That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you"
Our mission is nothing more or less than showing every human being this truth about herself and all of us together, nothing else really matters except becoming who we are, who God created us to be. In order to do this we need each other. Don Giussani gives us our working definition of the human person: "direct relationship with the Mystery". Dear friends, this is the fundamental truth of our existence and the very reason that there is anything at all. So, I offer this song, Wonder, and many other things (i.e., songs, poems, films, novels, plays, etc.) from our contemporary culture in refutation of the many "prophets of doom". I feel really compelled this morning, largely at the instigation of Brother Bluebird, who has returned to once again inhabit our backyard this Spring and Summer, to quote Il Papa Buono, who once observed: "In the daily exercise of our pastoral ministry -- and much to our sorrow -- we must sometimes listen to those who, consumed with zeal, have scant judgment or balance. To such ones the modern world is nothing but betrayal and ruin. They claim that this age is far worse than previous ages, and they rant on as if they had learned nothing at all from history-and yet, history is the great Teacher of Life." With Papa Roncalli, I, too, "feel bound to disagree with these prophets of doom who are forever forecasting calamity -- as though the world's end were imminent. Today, rather, Providence is guiding us toward a new order of human relationships, which, thanks to human effort and yet far surpassing human hopes, will bring us to the realization of still higher and undreamed of expectations."
While I am on the subject of remarkable women, courtesy of my dear friend Rocco over at Whispers, here is a link to an article in the latest edition of the U.K.'s Tablet on Dorothy Day in anticipation of the forthcoming publication of her diaries. Robert Ellsberg also remembers Dorothy in Commonweal- subscription required to read the article and otherwise highly recommended. A bit closer to earth and to home, Sharon, writing over on Clarity Daily, shares a life-giving experience that, too, is about remarkable women.