Saturday, December 20, 2008

A New Hymn

It's hard to shake my conditioning, raised, as I was, slanted as a row of pews. It's hard to delete the want of soulful communion with fellow travelers. Or to end the search for a liturgy that I can get behind, some kind of text that speaks to the bursts of reverence emanating from my own heart. Because those bursts seem to have a very uncommon frequency, and I've never found a hymnal that could contain them, let alone enough kindred spirits to form a choir.

I've been going out a lot the past few weeks. Some of it has been edifying, some of it simply fun. I've tried reconciling the irreconcilable. I've tried stretching my heart. Holding my liquor. Owning the room. Reaching always deeper. Sometimes you can make a little church in a bar, but the little preacher's kid in me occasionally wakes up wanting to shower off the noise and smoke and projecting in dark rooms to make way for something brighter, quieter and more reflective. When I feel that way, I wish there was a church for my people, with hymns of peaceful uncertainty, blessings of affirmation, a congregation lit in the eyes and hot for the joyful noise.

In another world, my kind of world, 2006 would have been the date entered in Wikipedia for the creation of a new, timeless hymn. A fresh entry into the cannon of Works of Truth. Brian Eno would have been the author. I fantasize about whole groups of people singing, in booming unison, a text this confused and sacred: High above the single bird/ it drifts above the dead volcanoes/ Who's to lose and who's to find/ There's nothing here that I could choose at all.

I imagine that and it's hard not to feel the pang of spiritual exile. But then I think, if Eno wrote this there is at least one other. And probably more.

Brian Eno "Caught Between"

Caught between the earth and the sky
One too low, and one too high
Falling free
and holding on
Nothing there at all

and lifted
Gotta breathe
Bottom drifting
on the wave
Holding just a few poor words
or nothing at all

Reaching out to still the sand
The light connects the breaking moments
Drifting to another shore
There's nothing here that I could change at all
Nothing at all

Forced to bend a broken line
Let to hold what we can't find
Then to let it go again
Nothing said at all

High above the single bird
it drifts above the dead volcanoes
Who's to lose and who's to find
There's nothing here that I could choose at all

1 comment:

Marie Lasferatu said...

He's a wonderful man.

So, um, are you saying there's a place I can SEE The Wrestler? Cuz I am all over that piece.

If you like Van Damme, you'll have no problems enjoying JCVD.