Thursday, April 17, 2008

Closer to Fine

This Easter season at CWM, we have been focusing on the resurrection promises of love, joy and peace that Christ promises. We understand these not as rewards at the end of life, but real, concrete promises of resurrection in this lifetime. Inspired by the work of Christine Smith, we too have been searching for "resurrection in this life" by discerning, acknowledging and savoring moments of joy.

For me, joy often comes in the form of soul music. Soul music is music that "participates in a story, embodies a people...and sings the people's existence." (Tex Sample in White Soul, p. 71).

The music of my soul varies...from Latin American protest songs to the bluegrass tunes of Dolly Parton, from the sweet melodies of Cris Williamson to the childhood ditties from Free to Be You and Me, from hymns penned by Georgia Harkness to rock ballads by Queen, from sentimental odes to love by EmmyLou Harris to the raging rants of Ani DiFranco. These songs echo and resonate with my very being, helping me to engage both the struggle and joy of life. As I listen, it is as if my soul reverberates with the truth the music communicates and is enlivened by the hope it offers.

Of all my soul music, I confess it is the music of the Indigo Girls that most closely sings the songs of my life. It is as if their music is indeed a "letter to my soul" (lyrics from Virginia Woolf). Lyrics and melody wed together to sing my greatest fears, deepest longings, and most fervent hopes into being.

Here are just a few of my favorite lines:

"The epicenter love is the pendulum swinger." - Pendulum Swinger

"Welcome to why the church has died
In the heart of the exiled in the kingdom of hate
Who owns the land & keeps the commands
And marries itself to the state
Modern scribes write in Jesus Christ
Everyone is free
And the doors open wide to all straight men & women
But they are not open to me" - The Philosophy of Loss

"This is a message
A message of love
Love that moves from the inside out
Love that never grows tired
I come to you with strange fire
Fire" - Strange Fire

"Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load
You'll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you're learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while" - Watershed

"There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
(the less I seek my source)
The closer I am to fine" - Closer to Fine

Of course, this post could go on indefinitely, for the music of the Girls never ceases to connect with my heart. Their music indeed is the music of my soul.

Soul music sings us to and through life. Through word and melody soul music connects us to the Divine love, peace and joy that Christ promises.

What is your soul music?

1 comment:

dragonfly said...

"What is your soul music?"

How can you stand the silence
That pervades when we all cry
How can you watch the violence
That erupts before your eyes

You can't even grab a hold on
When we're hanging oh so loose
You don't even listen to us
When we talk it ain't no use

Leave your thoughtlessness behind you
Then you may begin to understand
Clear the emptiness around you
With the waving of your hand

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies to myself, to myself

Now, how can we listen to you
When we know that your talk is cheap
How can we never question
Why we give more and you keep

How can your empty laughter
Fill a room like ours with joy
When you're only playing with us
Like a child does with a toy

How can we ever feel the freedom
Or the flame lit by the spark
How can we ever come out even
When reality is stark

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies to myself, to myself

Listen, how can you tell us something
Just to keep us hanging on, yeah
Something that just don't mean nothin'
When we see you, you are gone

Clinging to some other rainbow
While we're standing waiting outside in the cold
Telling us the same sad story
Knowing time is growing old

Touch your world up with some colour
Dream you're swinging on a star
Taste it first then add some flavour
Now you know just who you are

That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs, oh yeah
I told a million lies to myself, oh yeah, to myself

Wonderful remark
And that...

That was a wonderful remark, yes it was, right on
I had my eyes closed in the dark, right on
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies to myself, alright, to myself...