September 30, 2007

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

This is one of my favorite poems. Every day it seems more and more appropriate to the times in which we live.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best
lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the
Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of
Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the
indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats, January 1919

September 27, 2007

Words Of Earnest

This album came out in 1972 I believe and I probably first heard it sometime in 1974 or 1975. Don't be deceived by the cover art. This is a profound album that has worn extremely well. Just today I was listening and discovering things I had never noticed before. In the title song the words of Earnest (or Ernest) are, "Happiness is free." Simple yet profound truth. In addition to excellent song writing the musicians are all top notch. If you are not familiar with Goose Creek Symphony or this album you owe it to yourself to give it a listen. It's a hybrid of bluegrass, country, rock and more. There is even a cover of Janis Joplin's "Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz." My brother and I saw them years ago and they were still prime musicians who knew how to put on a show. More than a show really, more like an event. I wore the t-shirt from the concert so often it eventually turned to shreds.

I know this post is a bit off topic for me. Just trying to pass it on.

September 25, 2007

Still A Sojourner

Many times when looking at the quality of other blogs I realized I was a pauper among princes. No deep insights, no profound pronouncements, just a melancholy man trying to express the often inexpressible. I am in practice a very private man. I am slow to trust and quick to back off. Yet I found myself putting my life on public display. Vanity? Insanity?

I quickly discovered the hidden cost of blogging. The blog took over, leading to vanity, to skewed priorities. Often I wrote hoping for a large response. Thankfully the groundswell of adulation never materialized. My vanity, my pride would have only tempted me to seek more. For the first time in my adult life writing offered no relief.

It got to the point that even looking at the blogs I usually perused became something I had to cast aside, if only temporarily. It all was taking up too much of my time. Time that should have been used in prayer, or learning to love those who hate me, or in seeking my salvation.

Also, I let myself get caught up in moving and spending all my free time addressing the many needs of a 50-year-old house. Perhaps I was searching for a geographical cure. But I am still a sojourner so I will try to post entries more regularly.