Monday, April 16, 2012

believe in sheltering skies and stable earth beneath

1. 21 Cats Imitating Art. Not all of these are very good, so in order to save you some time, here are the best ones:

2. 60 Minutes' story "Joy in the Congo: a Musical Miracle." Try to ignore the condescension in the way it's framed, there's a beautiful story there. 

After a Month of Rain

Everything I thought I wanted
is right here,
particularly when the sun
is making such a comeback,

and the lilac engorged
with purple has recovered
from its severe pruning,
and you will be back soon

to dispel whatever it is
that overtakes me like leaf blight,
even on a day like this. I can still
hear remnants of the rain

in the swollen stream
behind the house, in the faint
dripping under the eaves,
persistent as memory.

And all the things I didn’t think
I wanted, cut like the lilac back
to the root, push up again
from underground.

- Linda Pastan

3. I saw a Northern Flicker today. It was beautiful! I backed up the car so that I could look at it again.

3. I'm about to go out on a limb here, so bear with me. A series of recent events have led me to think more carefully about what I believe (in terms of God, fate, souls, kindness, faith, etc), and also about how I express that to other people. I don't, really. A lot of my closest friends don't know what I believe about God, and I don't really know what they believe. I'm not going to turn this into a God Blog, but I might start trying to integrate more faith-related stuff. Because, dear readers, I like God.  Phew! I said it. 
As part of this new initiative, I'm going to try to share a song or poem that reflects my spiritual beliefs in some way with every post. You can always skip over it if it doesn't interest you. 
Today, I bring you "Never Quite Free" by the Mountain Goats. I've heard that John Darnielle is puzzled by everyone saying how comforting/inspiring the song is, because he intended it to be about how you can never escape some things. And I can't argue with him, because, well, he wrote the song, BUT what the song means to me is that despite the inescapability of some things, there is always hope. To me, it's about giving yourself permission to move on. Cheesy yes, but also one of my favorite songs of all time. 

It's so good to learn that right outside your window
There's only friendly fields and open roads
And you'll sleep better when you think you've stepped back from the brink
And found some peace inside yourself; lay down your heavy load

It gets alright
to dream at night
Believe in solid skies and slate blue earth below
But when you see him, you'll know

It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
There's no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night have set you on dry land

It gets okay
to praise the day
Believe in sheltering skies and stable earth beneath
But hear his breath come through his teeth

Walk by faith
Tell no one what you've seen

It's so good to learn that from right here the view goes on forever
And you'll never want for comfort, and you'll never be alone
See the sunset turning red, let all be quiet in your head
And look about, all the stars are coming out

They shine like steel swords
Wish me well where I go
But when you see me, you'll know

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