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Monthly Archives: February 2012

stuff happens

stuff happens now

other stuff happens after

also before

stuff happens now

so that other stuff can happen later

 

either way

stuff happens

and it’s happenng now

 

in fact stuff that happens is neither good nor bad

it just feels that way

especially when it’s us who pay

and there is no bad

until the good doesn’t seem to come

 

and there is no good

until time has spoken

but time is silent

for now

 

and only time really has a view

and only time will tell

but usually not now

and time has no feelings

just like the stuff that happens

 

but we have now

it’s all we have

and we can make stuff happen

we can make stuff happen now

 

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and the wind spoke

… silently

so still

… that it roared

 

“don’t run to where you are celebrated

nor run from where you are only tolerated

stay where you are

be free to be free

be who you are

 

regardless of the cost”

 

 

freedom cannot be given

nor can freedom be taken

 

freedom cannot be bought

nor can it be sold

 

freedom is not a thing

freedom is simply free

and it is for freedom

that freedom is free

 

freedom can only appear

from within

and it is at home wherever it is

and it is within

it is not without

 

it is within

… you

 

wherever you are

 

so where are you?

the kingdom is

inside of you

he said

it comes from within,

not from without

nor from above,

or below

he said

it cannot it be dragged

or pushed

neither up

nor down

it cannot be predicted

and reveals no plan

nor can it be manipulated

or held in hand

nor let go

but it holds it’s own

and it’s own are held

tight

it cannot be understood

or grasped in mind

he said

instead it reaches in

invading space

expanding as it goes

the small becomes great

as the large hides

away

 

handle not as it ascends

he said

until it is full

until it glows

it grows

for freedom

for the sake of freedom

he said

 

for my sake

he said

 

for ours said we

 

from within not from without

he said

 

why not?

said we

 

the creator is at rest

the universes strive for nothing

all motion is balanced

what was started will flow

 

there are no surprises

except for those who will not see

but they are blind

and will not know

for they cannot

 

what is happening

will happen anyway

and either way

they will not know

 

we are the ones who judge

we who rage

who strive to be more

because we are empty

yet those who are empty and strive for more

can only be more empty

 

but the creator is at rest

the universes strive for nothing

all motion is balanced

and what was started will flow

 

but we judge ourselves

and we deserve what we get

and we

will get

what we deserve

 

but if we stop

and listen

for longer than we’ve been shouting

even then the silence will begin to sing

the noise too will cease

and we will know fully

just as we are fully known

 

then we will get what we deserve

and deserve what we get

 

 

Having been a musician virtually all my life I have often been involved in musical recording projects ranging from individual demo songs, to high-end popular artists albums, to movies, all the way across the spectrum to 30 second radio and TV advertisements recorded solely for the purpose of getting people to buy a specific product.

I have also been involved in many forms of “Christian” worship projects and meetings as a musician and on more occasions than I care to remember I have been asked or ‘instructed’ by the pastor/evangelist/preacher/teacher/worship leader etc. to play specific worshipful styles and songs with specific words, messages and cultural meaning that ‘set the tone’ for the message that they want to convey and to assist them in getting the desired response from the people.  (Usually this response is intended to be a good one that is meant to be specifically helpful to the audience in attendance – or so it is believed).

As a person who believes in what scientists might call “intelligent design” and what most religious folk might in various ways and forms refer to as “God” I have often asked myself what exactly we are doing when we do what we do.

I also believe that most of us are sincere in what we say, do and even believe (although there clearly are malicious deviants out there who intentionally manipulate others to gain personal advantage out of them. However, I believe these deviants are a small, lunatic fringe …. well, er, …I can only hope sincerely that I am correct in this personal belief).

Over the years I have begun to ask whether what we do as orthodox and sincere religious activity on a regular basis is rooted in basic and elementary aspects of our humanity (specifically our nature as physical beings in a physical world) that is more emotionally and sensually driven and not nearly as ‘spiritual’ or even as cognitively or intellectually based as we would like to believe it is.  I have often begun to ask myself whether the sense of the “presence of God” or the “rightness” of a spiritual way, thing or activity or even the ‘rightness’ of a specific community or religious grouping or order is really valid?  Is the sense we have, be it however intentional and well thought through, actually a link with the divine creator or a higher order of spiritual life or consciousness, or just an emotional and physical process of perception resulting in an experience that makes us feel that it is so?

We all want to be ‘right’ and we all want to ‘belong’ and these desires are neither good nor bad – they are natural, human, even instinctual.  They seem to be what we are, how we were created even.

The following link is to an article on some interesting research that I came across that introduces an interesting and possibly alarming angle on the way we tend to respond to certain stimuli.

(Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker) ~ http://ow.ly/98sLK

 

___________________________

… here’s an idea, if valentine’s day is really about love why not shower our love gifts and affections on those who don’t seem to love us, the ugly, the nasty, those who disagree with us and who even may plot to hurt us, even kill us?
… it’s easy to love those we love and who love us in return but that’s not love, it’s self-centered pleasure, even hedonism.
… can we just try to imagine what the world could be like if all the haters were lovers instead and all the takers were givers?

 

The other day the oldest daughter of good friends wrote on Facebook,

“Is it possible to feel trapped inside yourself?”

To which I replied, “Most definitely young lady. In fact, I would be so bold as to suggest that if one does not feel this way there is something quite wrong.  We are not bodies with a spirit – we are spirit – housed or possibly even trapped for a while in a body.”

Unawares to me over the next few hours I was once again to be ambushed by a personal lament I have had since as far back as I can remember.

In my youth I was greatly impacted by the musical “West Side Story” and one of the tunes had a profound effect on me – “Somewhere”

It spoke to me of displaced people. People seemingly born out of place, out of time. Strangers in a foreign world, aliens trapped and stranded in circumstances perhaps beyond their conscious choosing.

Over the years I have managed to draw some significant comfort from the ancient holy writings that speak of the blessings that await those who are aliens and sojourners in a strange land, those who have set their minds on pilgrimage through a dry and inhospitable land. Aliens who are armed only with the hopeful vision in the eye of their hearts of the secret ancient paths that seem to lead to a place and a domain in another realm where there is indeed peace and rest.

Living my life in South Africa as a foreigner and an alien in my own land seems only to have served to illuminate this view on reality.

But I am not totally alone…

There are a few of us out here in the wilderness…

“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us somewhere.

There’s a time for us,
Someday a time for us.
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care.
Someday, somewhere
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving,
Somewhere.

There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there,

Somehow
Someday
Somewhere… ”

Somewhere (There’s a Place for us)
Music: Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKX2J6nofE

we spend our lives trying to climb over, dig under, avoid crashing into, understand its structure…

we try to skip around it, paint it, repaint it, measure it, mend it, warn others about it or even tear it down…

‎we philosophize about it, analyse its perimeter and the implications thereof, measure the horizon by it, study its foundations and origins, assess its impact, redesign it, encourage others to ‘occupy it’…

yet there is no fence

______________________

… maybe our memories are all we’ll take with us when we leave… that, and also perhaps possibly only the occasional witness of others with whom we have walked parts of our lives together, and us with them?
… maybe “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself… as each day has enough trouble of its own…” points us to the eternal importance of actively building this record every time we draw breath … making the most and the best of each and every opportunity, seizing the moment, each and every one of them while it is still today… so that we might not be found naked and cowering in some dark corner with only fig leaves as a frail covering, our futile protection…
… and if we have no memories… well, that could be both good or bad… or maybe not…
… and forgetfulness will not be a possibility, neither will remembering…
for we all be in the all together, in all and all in
… and if the light in us is darkness that darkness might be terribly dark…
… but if the light in us is light we might well be seen clearly for who we really are and the light might then cease to be in us for we will be in it…

silence needs no promoter

… silence speaks for itself