Monday, September 22, 2008

Lovers' Requiem

I take you in my arms, and we leap into the air,

Breaking the shackles of gravity and physics.

We soar into the night as you shiver and hold me tight,

Resting your head softly upon my chest.

We fly farther and higher than man ought dare;

Higher than Icarus’ flight into foolishness.

And suddenly, we are high above all we’ve known,

We stand on a ceiling of clouds, beyond this mortal realm.

Our lips touch, ever so softly, afraid this isn’t real,

And we lose ourselves in the moment,

Lost in the ecstasy of our deep-abiding love;

We lose ourselves in an ocean of joy and devotion.

And then, as suddenly as this enigmatic dream began,

We find ourselves rushing back toward the earth,

Not in a deadly fall, but wafting gently, as a feather.

We awaken and the dream is over: our lips part.

And I find myself back where I began: embracing you.

Then I breathe in the beauteous rhapsody of our tryst.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All Hail Mother Church and the Parishioner's Utopia

I've been thinking lately about the nature of relationship. Something my "postmodern, postliberal, postchurch, postpost" friends often place a high emphasis on in the life of the Christian believer is community, i.e. relationship. Some might try and play a semantics game and tell me that relationship and community aren't the same thing. Please, don't be one of those people. I often find myself wondering as I wander whether I believe that to be a fully fuctional human being I have to be communal, and on good days, I do. However, there are a lot of times that I find my experience of reality doesn't seem to map anyone else's. I worry this might be due to psychological factors in my family history, but I also worry that perhaps there is no community for me. I do not mean that I feel reject from the communion of Christian faith and fellowship, but I do feel as though I have little common ground with the rest of humanity, and I know that historically I am not the only one who has felt such intuitions. Writers like Soren Kierkegaard and Henry David Thoreau often questioned the validity of needing others to experience God. While I do believe there are drawbacks to such a system, I must admit it has a certain appeal. Perhaps I feel isolated, perhaps I grow weary of the shortcomings of other people (I am not speaking of anyone or anything in specific; I speak merely in vague generalizations). The answers seem unclear. For now, I will simply continue to wonder as I wander.
“The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a wilderness.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Your Lovely Lighting Up My Eyes

What follows is quite possibly the most incoherent worship song I have ever heard. If you enjoy this song, I sincerely apologize for both my comments about it and for your lack of taste.

Artist: Rock 'N Roll Worship Circus
Song: A Beautiful Glow

Everyday I've lived alone from You
Separated from the Love I knew
And no one else can tell me how to feel
'Cuz there has never been
A love more real - than anyone but You...

So come on, come on and open me,
There's A Beautiful Glow for You to see
(You're livin' in a heart made for me
to shine through shine through me)

With Your glory spinning in my mind
And Your lovely lighting up my eyes
I have never known a Love so true
And I could never give my heart away to
Anyone but You
To anyone but You...
And all I have is all I am in You
(All I am is all I have in You)
And all I have is all I am in You
(All I am is all I have)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Abyss

I stand upon a precipice, prolific and daunting,

Staring down into the abyss below,

And all I’ve ever wanted to do is jump:

To dive into the unknown with both feet.

Long and often I’ve stared into this crevice,

And the result is always the same:

I rationalize and walk away, plunge untaken,

And wonder why I could not jump.

Perhaps I fear that it will not measure up,

That the romance is greater than reality felt.

Or, perhaps I cannot truly let myself go,

Embracing the freefall into the mysterious.

So I come, day after day, to stare into the abyss,

And I wonder what might lie ahead.

But perhaps I shall never truly experience

The reality of visions that dance in my head.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not All Who Wander Are Lost...But Maybe I Am

I've been thinking a lot lately about the issue of personal identity. To ask the trite and overused proverbial question: "Who Am I?" And I find that the answer is often a bundle of contradictions. Who I am is both light-hearted and stoic; poetic and analytical; right and wrong; a loner who longs to be with people, and a shameful conformist. When I think about who I am, my biggest concern is that I might never know.

Self-reference is a sticky wicket, and often quite biased. I'm not sure we can consciously avoid seeing ourselves not as we are, but as we think we are. This may be by believing that we are a worse or better person than we might be in actuality, but ultimately brings about the same result: we cannot self-referentially know who we are.

However, the same problem arises in relying on the accounts of others to know who we are. Other people may certainly be able to offer important insight into who we are in spite of who we believe ourselves to be, but they do not know our thoughts or intentions, and therefore receive an incomplete analysis of who we are. This ultimately brings about the same result: we cannot know who we are simply from the testimony of the others.

Some sort of synthesis is required, but the problem is that we are unsure how to balance our own personal experiences of who we are with the testimony of others. Ultimately, regardless of who we are at this exact moment, our identities are in a constant state of flux and change, especially in a culture so adept at personal re-invention. It seems that we must turn to the words of existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: "As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become...Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have." We are still becoming who we are.

“The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a wilderness.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008