Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Staring Down Horizons

What is that feline thinking about as it may be unknowing of the photographer behind it? My thought is that the quality of this picture and its content inspire me and provoke my thoughts tonight. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this cheetah is either intuitively smelling out its prey or discerning if he could ever be fast enough to catch the sun before it entirely sets.

My writing deals with one subject this morning: interpretation.
Sometimes, it frightens me how significantly history/social behaviors/etc. can be so affected by interpretation. The Bible and the Constitution are two major texts that lead readers to extremes. At this point, I wish I had the mental capacity and the wit to offer a stimulating analysis of how people should consider interpretation. I don't. My loudest call at this time is how blindly a person often reads something. A person often reads something with the motive to prove a point, he only searches for self-application, or he could only consider one area that the text is speaking towards but dismiss the rest.

I'm learning we are in a high tide of emphasizing. We don't necessarily deny the truth of something, but we rank one aspect over another. There is this contemporary Christian song out called "It's Gotta Be..." or something close to that title. The musician is vigourously promoting the idea of viewing a relationship with the Lord as falling in love. Yet it saddened me that he compromises the idea of giving our allegiance to the Almighty. Simply because you are proving a point doesn't mean you sacrifice the truth. We cannot choose to view God as only attributes that bring us that earthly comfort that we seem to enjoy. "Not as I view thee, but how You know yourself to be."

Though I am at a confusing stage in grasping firm concepts of truth and living above reproach, I retain my observations along the way. I know we cannot place ourselves above the law. My mentor, Stephen Jenks always used to say, "When read correctly, the Bible reads the reader." As I approach my Bible reading these days, I pray that I am doused in humility but also full of grit. I do intend to test the spirits, specifically my spirit of intepretation. Life is fraught with giving things meaning: When we meet someone, we shake hands with them; not because we have to, but that has been made into a formal gesture of greeting.

This topic is too far above me. I feel like I have written incomplete, if not false things tonight. I am willing to stand corrected. I am also willing to seek out and receive truth that is eternal, lasting, and transformative. He is the Messiah that won't just redeem our hearts, but our psychologies...the barren earth, all of creation, and thank goodness that he shall put the government on his shoulders. We often don't know the gravity and cost of these words, but for those who yearn for redemption (not just those who smile at the thought of it), we are bold to say, "Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!"

All this because a photographer captured a moment. A moment I interpret to be stunningly beautiful. And like a sufficient film that lets you ponder one last compelling question, I finish with a jovial spirit and a wink:

What is beauty?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Slow Return

As many cynics would predict, this blog is most likely going to join the list of the "whatever" blogs with some musical endeavors on the side. In the musical Next to Normal, the daughter sings how she can't "expect normal" from anyone basically because that's way too out of reach (i don't remember the exact lyrics!). But she "would like something next to normal..." And perhaps the title of this blog knew itself better than what i thought it was going to be...it will not be a musical blog only, it will be something next to that!

I won't waste time moaning how I have not written. Oh whoops...This summer has established a few new traits in me! First, I am now one of those creativity geeks who walks around with a pocket-sized "creativity journal" to capture ideas in those certain moments. Though I haven't gotten any farther on the music of our musical save that one awesome song that is actually posted to facebook, I have a lot of play ideas down. I am tickled pink with the idea that as I go through a string of months writing ideas down, maybe all of these thoughts will scatter across the table and somewhat form themselves. It's like a puzzle that I can forcefully make fit together, and it's justified. I take the ideas I've written down and simply avow that the personality characteristic from July 3 and the traumatic experience written on August 7th belong to the same character in my play! Inspiration is rolling me like a marble, oh yes.

I have also taken to poetry. Actually, slowly returned to it, as I am facing so many slow returns in life now. I think poetry is so elevating yet I think I used to hate it because it did not bring much glory in return. I used to very much be the man who needed to be noticed and needed to be the best. That was a bad way to go, friends. I hope I don't slowly return there. Anyways, my new goal is to write so much poetry that people will be suprised that they only saw a shaving of it. I want to kind of be an Emily Dickinson in number of poems, but DEFINITELY not in style nor in reclusivity. I also plan on wearing colors, not just white.

One day I hope to finally fuse the lyrics of my poems to music but it's just not the time right now. I don't seem to have that gift. Probably in a vain way, I love to compose music WITH people, but I find many are not willing to collaborate these days. It's a downer.

In this mosaic of thoughts, I'm realizing some of my greatest loves: piano, inked words, the idea of culture, relationship....

It seems that the only thing we usually slowly return to is our banal sin. For good modems- relatives such as charity, service, creativity, honesty in the arts, true worship - let us consider a return to these devices as well.