Friday, February 25, 2011

Going and Staying

I think it is common for us to wish the bad things away while somehow not losing the good. We want forgetfulness on the one hand, and eternal rememberance on the other. I recently wrote this song, which expressed the desire for remembrance:

Book of Memory (P. Erlandson, 2011)

Frozen moments, sparks were flashing,
Smiles that pierced me to the core.
But I'm nothing to you now, and
Never shall be any more.

All you taught me is forgotten,
All I taught you, gone the same.
All that's left is endless sorrow,
Every time I hear your name.

But in God's own book of memory,
Everything we vowed, still true.
Nothing can erase our chapter;
God remembers I loved you.

All our days of secret sharing,
All our times of joyous prayer.
All our highest hopes and fancies,
Faithfully recorded there.

Each is captured, none forgotten,
Like a jewel of great price.
Every promise, kept unbroken,
Every act of sacrifice.

There in God's own book of memory,
Still we live beyond the pain.
All our kindnesses remembered,
All our love was not in vain.

But perhaps that is not realistic. Perhaps a more possible view is that express by Thomas Hardy in his poem Going and Staying, in which the blind arm of Time brushes away both pleasant and unpleasant memories in an indescriminate fashion:

Going and Staying

The moving sun-shapes on the spray,
The sparkles where the brook was flowing,
Pink faces, plightings, moonlit May,
These were the things we wished would stay;
But they were going.

Seasons of blankness as of snow,
The silent bleed of a world decaying,
The moan of multitudes in woe,
These were the things we wished would go;
But they were staying.

Then we looked closelier at Time,
And saw his ghostly arms revolving
To sweep off woeful things with prime,
Things sinister with things sublime
Alike dissolving.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beauty Matters

No matter how many people (Christians, mostly) tell me that beauty does not matter, I am unable and unwilling to believe this. Their reasoning is that it does not matter to God and therefore it should not matter to the Christian.

That is so bizarre and unthinkable to me. For God to have created all the manifold kinds of beauty He created, and then for that to be to Him either (A) of no consequence whatever; or (B) actually a negative thing, since beauty is such a temptation to idolatry ... is a thought that I hate with my entire being.

I was talking once to Doug Pinnick (of King's X fame) and he was telling me and some other people about a Christian speed metal band that he had heard in Europe. He talked to the band's lead guitarist, who told him that all their technical proficiency, all their virtuosity, all the beauty of their music, was worth absolutely nothing. It was only a means to get their metaphorical foot in the door to preach the Gospel. The beauty of it meant nothing at all. Doug related to us how shocked he was to hear the guy say this; he was in stunned disbelief at what he heard. I agree with Doug.

Beauty is valuable. It means something.