Friday, November 25, 2011

"I can't get through the smoke that's surrounding you"

Our Friday traditio for this Thanksgiving week is the Afro Celt Sound System's wonderful song, When You're Falling, featuring guest vocalist Peter Gabriel.

This is one of those really lovely tunes that we all too easily forget, which is why I am putting it up. I could post some commentary, but one of the wonderful things about songs like this is the polyvalence it possesses.

This past week, I posted the video for my favorite song off REM's very last studio album, Collapse Into Now, It Happened Today, on Facebook. Someone expressed puzzlement as to what the video meant. While I am not into abstraction just for the sake of abstraction, I like that not everything has to be representational all the time. I guess that is why I like a lot of the literature I like, such as the works of David Foster Wallace, who I have finally been able to read again just this past week, something I had been unable to do since his suicide. In his novel Broom of the System, for example, there appear random ideas for writing fiction, the jottings of Rick Vigorous:
Ideas for Monroe Fieldbinder Story Collection, 27 August

1. Monroe watches a house burn down. Or Monroe's house burns down, symbolizing destruction of the structure of his life as estate attorney, a plunging into chaos and disorientation
, etc... [skipping 2.]

3. Monroe Fieldbinder sees psychologist to bounce ideas off him. One of Fieldbinder's ideas is that the phenomenon of modern party-dance is incompatible with self-consciousness, makes for staggeringly unpleasant situations (obvious resource: Amherst/Mt. Holyoke mixer '68) for the at all self-conscious person. Modern party-dance is simply writhing to the suggestive music. It is ridiculous, silly to watch and excruciatingly embarrassing to perform. It is ridiculous and yet absolutely everyone does it, so that it is the person who does not want to do the ridiculous thing who feels out of place and uncomfortable and self-conscious... in a word, ridiculous. Right out of Kafka: the person who does not want to do the ridiculous thing is the person who is ridiculous. (Idea: Kafka at an Amherst/Mt. Holyoke mixer, never referred to by name, only as "F.K.," only one not dancing) Modern party-dance an evil thing... [skipping 4. also]
I can see through the clouds/I can walk right through the walls/Hang me off the ceiling/But I can't take the fall/Should have crossed the river/But I may get swept away/Out there on the water/You can still see me wave


  1. Thanksgiving was a beautiful day. For me, a reminder that prayers are heard, people change, everything is possible -- because of God.

    Music brought me to this site again today. I awakened to the song Forever Young playing in my head... I thought I might find something here -- I did.

    Lady Gaga's tribute to a youth, Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide. Many issues of the times we live in: bullying, longing for acceptance, gay...

    I find it most important to recognize the commonalities of all people. I don't necessarily understand 'gay' but I do know how it feels to be rejected and different from most others. I appreciate the inability to change in order to meet the expectations of society as whole.

    My greatest struggle with choosing Catholic faith was based on this truth. I didn't want to be mistaken for a person who wouldn't love and accept another for who they are -- as they are. The defining line between loving, accepting the person and recognizing sins of a person appears a bit muddy (in my opinion) at times.

    I recently learned my half-sister died briefly while in surgery. I had wanted desperately to be at the hospital, to support her - but due to family issues, I recognized my best support was through prayer at home. My half sister tells a tale of what occurred during her surgery. She 'talked' with God. Those present at the time: me, my stepfather, my grandmother. God told her to return- my mom needed her. Until recently, I thought this was a dream. I felt blessed that God allowed me to know that even though I wasn't there, I was of some comfort -- present in some manner. Discovering she died changes perspective a bit. My step father was a pedophile during his days on earth. He was a sinner. If seen in the presence of God, then... it seems affirmation of all I believe. God is judge. Only He knows the entirety of another person.

    We know the guidelines. Taught the ways of action through the Bible. Jesus loved those who were to take his very life. He died as much for his executioners as for the rest of us. Curiously, neither the Bible or the life of Jesus suggest a church or a people needing to judge anyone's sin outside of their own. Even in end times, we see our own lives. There isn't exception for the most holy or most faithful to rise up and assist the Lord in judgement. We are the same, equal... just bearing different crosses.

    I am grateful for God's justice. I don't understand it completely -- I cannot being human. It is simply beyond me. I do recognize it cuts through the fog and lovingly addresses the core. I trust His justice. For this very reason, I am free to love all people. I don't need to judge or weigh their actions. Nor do I find creedence in attempting to sway anothers course. Only God can move the heart/being of a person in such profound manner. I often believe those who are judged by society, and those who cannot find acceptance within the church as a whole, are those who need love and prayers most.

    I have lovingly chosen the Catholic faith. Great care has been taken to safeguard against misinterpretations. At times, mistakes are made. The church has suffered because of this. The Bible teaches to repent. Consequences for acts done are expected (God's justice cannot overlook) -- but blessings for repenting and seeking right action ensue. In my eyes, the Catholic Church stands, once again, as a pillar, a model for society while it struggles to face individual role, accountability and responsibility to following God's design/plan/word.

    Trust does not come easily or readily to me. I can trust the Catholic Church because I can see She lives as She teaches.

  2. Some lovely thoughts and experiences, which I appreciate you sharing very much.