Sometimes I forget music’s efficacy and then I hear something that strikes a chord so deep in me that I can’t believe I had ever forgotten.
This weekend I am doing the Art of Living course with Dr. P. Thus far I feel wonderful. I’m not really allowed to talk about it outside of that, but I highly, highly recommend it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated. I hope you haven’t completely given up on me.
Today in Amy and my art class, we took the kids out to be little Jackson Pollocks. I have paint all over my feet but the works are masterpieces! We’re going to hang it up with a sign that reads: “Yes, your Kindergardener can do that…” and then briefly describing why Pollock was doing what he was doing. Oh, but the cutest thing happened. One of the little boys eyes lit up when we said we were going to paint with sticks and he cried, “NO WAY, STICKS!” Lost in translation perhaps, but amusing nonetheless.
Well, my life is a crazy jumbled mass of homework and extra curricular activities. I’d elaborate, but that seems exhausting.
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My sister made that her facebook status and I can’t stop thinking about it. Way cool, Aliya.
I keep thinking about the Belgian film I saw last night Eldorado. A man befriends his burglar and helps him return to his parents house, which is why he was robbing the house in the first place. The burglar is a drug addict trying to quit the habit and the man feels a sense of obligation to the struggling junkie as he wasn’t there when his brother died of the same problem. Along the journey, the duo meet a guy who tells the man that he is going to have to walk over several graves before he buries the dead. There are two scenes involving digging in the movie. The first is when the man helps the burglar clear his mothers garden and the second is when the man buries a dead dog. In the end, he is unable to save to drug attic and I think that when he buries the dog he realizes that he wouldn’t have been able to save his brother either. I can’t tell if the film was pessimistic or what, but I enjoyed it and have continued to think about it. GO SEE IT!
What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything. -Sterne
Also, John Adams liked Don Quixote – way cool!
I went home because I was feeling sick. No worries, it’s not swine flu; just a combination of fatigue and allergies.
At present, I have a severe headache. The only logical step was to complain about it on the world wide web.
Words are often inadequate when applied to the complexities of the human condition. Though some may be able to render sentences into powerful statements and expressions, many others are silenced by the shortcomings of spoken language. To qualify this statement, consider how often people say, “I don’t know how to put it” or “I just can’t find the right word.” In these situations, the problem is not merely vocabulary, but rather a fundamental discrepancy between what may be expressed in speech and what goes beyond this system. Nonetheless, it is not necessary to unravel the subjects of linguistics or logic to briefly assess the problems with language. They are self-evident. It is important, however, to reevaluate how language is defined and see if the new definition allows for better access to what may seem like inexpressible emotions. Perhaps nothing penetrates the heart of this issue better than religious experience.
In the Christian tradition the Book of Romans outlines a means by which the ineffable may be voiced, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit.” This type of spiritual intercession manifests itself in many ways, the most profound of which is music. For example, the Gospel of Luke tells how Mary was overcome with joy and sings the Magnificat in thanksgiving for the blessing of her divine pregnancy. Similarly, Simeon, upon witnessing the Christ-child, sings a hymn of praise known as the Nunc Dimittis. Both songs have been incorporated in a rich tradition of canticle and liturgical music and are an excellent example of music translating human emotion.
The palette of the composer or musician is not merely text. Although words may be incorporated in a musical composition, they are not central. Instead, the balance of various sounds, both harmony and melody, play center stage. Music is also not constricted to visual imagery. Without the confines of text, picture or any other physical existence to speak of, one may safely call music the most abstract of arts. It is completely intangible and yet wholly encompasses the senses. It expresses mood and thought without suggestion or preamble. In other words, music speaks without the strictures of syntax and thereby may evoke that which is difficult to express with a pen or typewriter.
If, therefore, music may be considered its own form of language; free from the typical problems of language, one may begin to see its indispensable value to the practice of religion. Consider the communal nature of many religious traditions. If religion is practiced within a community then the transfer of experience is important for the edification of the whole. Within Christianity there is the instruction to, “be filled with the Spirit as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.” Music provides a way for the Christian community to share common experiences and history. It is an outlet of communication that may not have been there otherwise.; as it is difficult to describe the love of God or the work of the Spirit in words. Music, in essence, is a means of intercession between the individual and God as well as the individual and her community. Hence, music is an incredibly powerful form of language vital to the transmission and practice of religion.
 Romans 8: 26-27a (NRSV)
 Luke 1:46-55
 Luke 2:29-32
 Ephesians 5: 15b-19. (NRSV)
I have a puppy on me whose name I cannot spell.
In other news? Well, school started and I am a bit swamped and mind-boggled but generally excited about all the odds and ends of this new semester. (Puppy update: He is snoring!)
I wish I could string ideas together better. It’s my biggest writing flaw. Un jour, peut-etre? (I can feel his little puppy heart beating!)
Okay, I didn’t used to like dogs… but this one is adorable… (He is licking me.. hehe)
I probably shouldn’t end on that last sentence, so I will say one last thing:
nitwit! blubber! odment! tweak! (a la Dumbledore.)
I know few people read this. But I like the idea of an acquaintance wandering onto my blog and feeling creepy that he/she knows intimate details about my life without me expressly telling him/her. (Ugh, I hate how stupid the proper use of pronoun/antecedent sounds.) I just find it interesting that in our post-facebook culture, it’s not entirely unacceptable to know information about a person that he/she hasn’t specifically shared with you. We joke about online stalking… but if truth be told, if someone puts it out there – they want others to know. Which is why I am writing this blog. I want you to know. Even if I don’t know you very well.
What did I do this evening, you ask? Well, I drove back to my college town in the middle of North-East-Nowhere. And in spite of the fact that there isn’t a chipotle in sight, I absolutely love this sleepy town. And one day, I fully anticipate to feel deep pangs of longing to be back here and wish I could remember all of the little idiosyncrasies of my friends and the local buildings. This evenings soundtrack was Homer’s Iliad. I’m on Book 16 and I like hearing the text as opposed to reading it. It seems more natural as the story was passed down via oral tradition. So far, my favorite book has been 14 in which Hera convinces Sleep to distract Zeus so Poseidon can help the Acheans. That ox-eyed woman is sneaky, that’s for sure. Is it indelicate to say that Zeus seems a bit trailer-trash when he threatens to beat Hera?