Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mountain Song Revisited

My friend Technobabe frequently comes with cogent comments to my infrequent posts here. Her comment here on Mountain Song:

I like this song. Wanting to put into words things that words cannot say is something I understand. And the part about the useless crutch, truly true. The only thing I would change is the last line, I would say sweetness sorrows bring instead of sorrows sweetness brings.

needs more than the simple thank you as it touches on the insights and visions which are the spring well of these song-poems.

Thank you very much, Techno-babe, for the suggestion - if the line stood alone, your suggestion would likely be the better choice.

However, the line should be seen in context with what comes before, "I want to climb a mountain...", a classical image, in fact, even a method for spiritual work. If there was any doubt, "where a lot of real angels fly" should make it clear. As we know from the popular imagination, angels "sing", that is play harps, praise God and all that sort of thing - so here, God's glory is the "sweetness" of which angels sing for joy with "silver wings" [you might think of a fluttering, tinkling sounds of magical silver bells].

It is an old idea that the angels really don't understand what human being really is all about - heck, this is Satan's problem in Milton's "Paradise Lost" and why he falls from heaven, it can't comprehend why magnificent being like Itself should bow down before soft worms, bags of dirty water the Elohim have brought forth in their creation. It's not surprising that the angels don't understand because they are not sexual beings and cannot grasp how it is that in the reality of things as they are, the physical and spiritual are inseparably intertwined. Therefor, human beings "sing with other wings", that is in love's embrace of the "sorrows [such] sweetness brings".

I don't know how to get closer to what is being said without stepping on it and squishing the life out of it. Let me put it this way, if we don't embrace life, then life is worthless, barren. On the other hand, if we embrace life, we stand there, arms full of rosebuds with the thorns sticking out. All we can do is demand an answer of Eternity - is there anything, was there any meaning to it all?

A pink happy spirit realm in heaven is not enough - it can't answer what all us poor boys and girls have gone through down here below! There must be meaning in this human existence in itself, in these "bloody truths". Job asked the question and the answer was in the whirlwind. Jesus, as historical Christ, lived the question unto the ultimate moment of utter despair and, in Christian terminology the answer is in the mystery of the Resurrection.

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