26 March 2009

Songs of John, Bill, & Salvador.

We ran through Song of Songs in OT class. Beautiful. Erotic. Holy. Scary to interpret. The image of encounter with God in a physical way is intimidating, it is sometimes much easier for me to relegate God to the clouds than deal with fleshly, corporeal depictions (irony: Word became Flesh).

Three more or less contemporary pieces of art (poetry, song, painting) ring this bell for me:

1. Dr. Steinmetz brilliantly (per usual) quoted a poem by John Donne (who himself toes the uncomfortable line between smitten romantic and clergy) to illustrate the relentless and ultimately irresistible pursuit of God towards man. The language is brutal & graphic.

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,

Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,

But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

2. This VOL song got Slow Dark Train yanked from the shelves of your local Family Christian back in the day, I wonder why?

Honey, I wanna attack your flesh with abandon

I wanna look for your fruits
I wanna put my hands on them
Pump up the thermostat beneath your skin

I wanna uncover your swimming hole and dive right in

I'm a moth when I fly to the light of my doom
You wrap me up in your love
Love cocoon
There's an explosion of grace dripping in my bed

Is it somewhere else? Is it in my head?
Is it weak and tender?
Is it rough and ready?
Is it fragile and delicate? Is it rock-hard and steady?
Now the world keeps on banging, and they come and go
It's just a part of their scenery A part of their show
But I got this wedding band wrapped around my finger
Honey, I'll be your poet
Your gunslinger
Some call it freedom
Some call it shackle
Honey, let's
get together and build a tabernacle
of holy flesh and holy mirth

Let's take what's coming and enjoy every inch worth

Now the world keeps on banging
They come and go
It's just a part of their scenery A part of their show

3. Dr. Davis showed us a couple of these Dali prints. Never saw them before. Beautiful and striking. Simple, pure, & graceful. Provocative & challenging.

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