Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sing Inside Like a Radio

‘Be careful, that edge is sharp,’ ‘You’re going to drive your father to the edge,’ ‘Don’t get close to the edge,’
our parents caution us.

‘I was at the edge of my seat,’ ‘That was cutting edge,’ ‘She’s got the edge,’ we hear as adults in the world.

Talking about the edge causes a swirl of emotions. On one hand you have all of the warning information from your youth—-harm, provocation, danger. On the other you have for what people as adults often strive--excitement innovation,adeptness. I was recently asked what my own personal edge was, this edge being very different, how my personal equanimity is received. I have waited for the moment I could say this. God plays me love songs on the radio.

Oh, Oh Deep water
Black, and cold like the night
I've stand with my arms wide open
I've run a twisted line
I'm a stranger
in the eyes of the maker*

I was pulling into work the other day thinking about what the next entry in my blog would say when Bob Dylan’s “Broken” came on the radio. I mentioned this song on one of my last blogs. Daniel Lanois produced this song, the DJ mentioned. Daniel’s name has been popping up quite a bit. I heard a bio on him on Saturday. I downloaded a podcast on him yesterday. He plays Toronto’s Massey Hall tonight and the DJ after interviewing him played the song “The Maker”. I hadn’t heard this song in years, and thought, ‘That’s it. This is what resonates with what I have to write.'

He’s done it countless times. You’ve come here and if you’ve read here, you already know. It shows up mentally most prominently in my writing. Writing keeps my pendulum sinking deeper between erudition and apathy, between listlessness and driveness.

I could not see
for the fog in my eyes
I could not feel
for the fear in my life
From across the great divide
In the distance I saw a light
Jean baptiste
walking to me with the maker

Mentally, like anyone else, I have had something preventing me from seeing the truth of myself and others, and it’s a constant noticing that lifts the haze from my life, affirming that I don’t have to be like anyone else and the uniqueness of each being. I can choose not to be haunted by fear. My faith in God can unfold like the intriguing lives in His Word, filled with individuality and a deep desire for me to know how much He loves me. I have small books and scraps of paper throughout my life demonstrating this.

My body is bent and broken
by long and dangerous sleep
I can't work the fields of Abraham
and turn my head away
I'm not a stranger
in the hands of the maker

This deep listening happens on the physical level for me with the practice of yoga. Many friends have questioned me doing this, dismissing it as it being something that would lead me into spiritual darkness or heresy in my faith. Saying this would be the equivalent of their child becoming a Buddhist from the practice of hapkido or karate. It is so far from the truth. This psychological science of mind, body, spirit relationship has at its core a non-judgemental, non-directive devoutness, any person of any religious fidelity would be at gain to practice. And it is not without the support of my pastor and spiritual director that I do practice.

Through the mystical union of spirit and breath, yoga has brought my body and mind deep healing in areas I could not describe to a physician or psychiatrist. This ritualistic repetion of the asanas of has guided me through some obscure, cold places and made me more aware of the Light I attempt to live out. It has helped me to be more calm and merciful to myself, opening me to love others more. Yoga has done all of these things so very profoundly, I have decided to share it with others and become a teacher of this ancient healing art.

Brother John
Have you seen the homeless daughters
standing there
with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
there over east of Eden
burning in the eyes of the maker

Spiritually, listening for the intertwining themes and harmonies erupting happens through an openness of mind, heart and spirit. I can't describe how this happens, but I have a sense of awe about it. It is like God playing love songs on the radio, but I am the radio constantly tuning in to everything that enters my life. I live in the city and there is a rawness about it, a grit that enters your soul and creates a sensitivity to the human condition. I belong to a church that is dedicated to their relationship with the city and fortifies me for service with words and music. There are other sudden bursts of connection--books, lectures, nature. It settles into the spaces of my solitude.

Why do I tune in? Simply because they are all eternal activities. I am one small radio that can transmit the eternal interconnectedness of what I experience. This is were I feel equanimous, at home and free.

oh river rise from your sleep....


* "The Maker" from the album Acedie by Daniel Lanois

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