Experiment in 2nd Person: Melatonin induced, pre-sleep mindful ramblings on the philosophy and inadequacy of language

It’s funny how when you say a thing over and over again it begins to sound strange, as if you made it up just then and are trying to convince the English lexicon, or God, or just yourself, that it is actually a legitimate word.

It is a particularly jarring phenomenon when you do this with your own name. After a few repetitions, your very existence will begin to come into question. You will then move your limbs and dig your fingernails into your palms and feel the stiffness from carrying too much weight on your right shoulder. You will realize that you are quite alive and that the thing whose existence has come into question is not your being, but rather the title your parents’ bequeathed you on the day you were born.

You wonder what validity a word -a blending of sounds, a compilation of vowels and consonants -was supposed to give to your being. Was it supposed to make you or mark you as something, or someone, in particular? Was it devised merely to differentiate you from the others? If everyone is different, is such an institution of differentiation necessitated, or are you really all so alike that such differentiation is in fact necessary? Perhaps names only became necessary after globalization and the industrial age.

Why does language exist? It seems so inferior to the truths that need to be conveyed and communicated. Or is it only the best people can do now, and so they have to try to say the things that can never be said, and to try is a lie, but a lie realized in the journey towards the truth is acceptable?

And then you start to think about heaven where God has names, but maybe these names are not spoken in words -or at least are not words as you know them. You wonder if there is language in heaven, or will you communicate with concentrated directed emotions that are so vivid that specific meanings are more clearly discernible than even exhaustive verbal description would allow.

Will language in heaven be a matter of emotion -felt colors that blend into something more vibrant than art whose being you can sense more than you can see and sounds that are directing translatable into emotions you currently lack the capacity to feel?

Where will all the words go? Where have all the words gone?

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Like Sylvia Plath I suffer from insomnia. Unlike Sylvia Plath I write incoherent things about Jesus, rather than incoherent things about hopelessness and death and depression and other such depressing stuff.

Jeremiah 29:-19

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

You may say, “The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” but this is what the LORD says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— yes, this is what the LORD Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. For they have not listened to my words,” declares the LORD, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets.

 

Part of God’s plan for the Israelites’ ultimate good and the redemption of their souls, which is so much more vital than the redemption of their physical lives, was that they go into exile, brought to desperation, their hearts turned back to God, captivated once again by their True Love. He will not hide his face forever. His plan was and always had been to prosper them and not to harm them.

A life dedicated to God is a life reborn, and the thing that is reborn is not the outer man, but the inner man, and the inner man is the “you” God is talking about when he says that his plans are for hope and a future, to prosper and not to harm. The outer man is an outward manifestation of the inner man, the vessel and the temple for the inner man –the true man. The outer man can be thought of as a kind of avatar, being fueled by the inner man –and it is this man who’s salvation and redemption God is after. Focusing on the outer man is like treating the symptoms. Innate of ourselves we may be able to find temporary relief, satisfaction, or fulfillment, but a house built on the sand will inevitably fall.

When the Israelites’ would turn within their hearts and seek the Lord once again, He promised to be found and free them from captivity. The captivity He first freed them from was the captivity of their souls. They experienced this freedom when the Lord met them in their desperation and showed himself good, faithful, and loving once again.

The physical release from Babylonian captivity was manifested only after the Israelites’’ were released from spiritual captivity. The Lord promised destruction for the citizens who stayed behind while the rest of the Israelites went into exile. They ignored the prophets and the word of the Lord. They refused to consecrate their hearts, no matter the Lord’s plan in getting them to that place of consecration. Sometimes is totally sucks for the outer man, but the inner man is being transformed. As we submit our bodies as living sacrifices, the Lord promises to transform us not by changing our circumstance, but by the renewing of our minds that we might be equipped to live Spirit-led lives in the midst of the perfect will of God, and this will is also good.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Genesis 45:4-8

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

Joseph’s brothers didn’t have power over his destiny. People don’t have power over our destinies. I am a child, the beloved, and a princess in the kingdom of God. He alone has power over my destiny. Joseph’s brothers must have thought they sent him into slavery and possibly to his death, but what they didn’t know was that it was God who was sending him to Egypt, Joseph’s brothers were merely pawns in the Lord’s strategic plan, and God sent Joseph to Egypt to be lord of Pharaoh’s household and ruler of all Egypt.

It must have totally sucked to be thrown in prison, and more than even that, to be betrayed by his own brothers, but the mysterious will of God is really not that mysterious at all because He is working all things together for the good of those who love him.

The people of God will be given authority. God trusts his own, people, and creation with his own children. Perhaps Joseph’s greatest purpose for being in Egypt, and certainly the most honoring position He was given by God was to be “father to Pharaoh”. God is pursuing the hearts of all men. He cares about one heart more than all the kingdoms of the earth. I wonder if He did it all, placed Joseph there in Pharaoh’s household, for that one soul, and all that other powerful ruler stuff was just the icing on the cupcake.

Joseph was anointed to be a spiritual father to Pharaoh –the greatest position in the kingdom –humbly serving, empowering, and teaching by example the life of a faithful, passionate, obedient servant and lover in the house of the Lord. God had Pharaoh’s heart, and I wonder if that wasn’t what He was ultimately after in His grace-filled strategy to honor, bless, and love His own. He is after the one, and in the end all we have is Him. He is my great reward.

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Creation, Art, and the Spiritual Realm

I recently read the poetry of Sylvia Plath and the Bell Jar. While I enjoyed all of this literature (if you can call it enjoyment), I also found it to be rather depressing. Between Sylvia Plath, Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the book Gilead (a Pulitzer prize winner by Meredith Robinson) I started getting really depressed and worrying that I might be going clinically insane.

I am not, not going insane that is. There might have been some hypochondria going on there. But I firmly believe that art, whether it be movies, music, painting, or literature has a considerable impact on the human psyche. Art is created things, and created things are created by creators, and creators are fueled by creativity, and creativity is fueled by a spirit -and the question that I often find infiltrating my spirit when I am experiencing and ingesting a piece of art is what spirit was the inspiration for the creativity that fueled the artist to create this piece of art.

Spirits of depression, anxiety, introspection, selfishness, confusion, loneliness, anger, bitterness, fear, and the like were undeniably sources of inspiration for much of the literature I have been assigned to read recently, and I would be a naive fool if I said that these spirits have not or do not affect me.

Jonsi‘s concert this week was incredible. It could hardly be called a concert. It was more like a blast of creativity enveloping the stage. A projector screen displayed kinetic artwork, correlating with the music, not literally depicting the content of the lyrics, but depicting the emotion behind the lyrics. For example, during one particularly fierce emotional moment, a wolf was chasing a deer, and at the musical climax, the wolf took the deer down. Other pictures were more lighthearted, like a phallic parade of flowers, blossoms, hummingbirds, and proboscises during the song, Boy Lilikoi and a parade of ants carrying cigarette butts, matches, and leaves during Animal Arithmetic. Some songs were merely accompanied by abstract static snow storms and flashing lights. Jonsi came back for the encore with a full feather headress. He and his band were really feeling the feathers.

However, throughout the show it was clear that Jonsi was loving himself in the music, finding his god there like so many others find in the midst of their search for truth or love or something like it in their writing. So often artists settle for the perverted version of beauty when they doubt and lose all hope that life or love or truth in a pure, whole and untainted form could really exist. Artists feel the inner longing, perhaps more than anyone else, for a greater reality. They appreciate beauty, and unsatisfied with the poverty of the world’s beauty, they attempt to lose themselves in some form of beauty or meaning that could satisfy, whether this be seeking transcendence through substance abuse, their own creations, unhealthy relationships, 0r, involuntarily, through mental disorders.

Jonsi is certainly a spiritual being. He is definitely operating in the spiritual realm. The tragedy is that demons don’t give life and they don’t create. They abuse and pervert and twist created things into something destructive and destroyed. I cannot imagine the potential that the manifestation of redemption would bring to Jonsi’s music.

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Yoga Ezzayz are Niice

You muuzt cleek on eet to c eet   –>> Breath_Lindsey_Hurtt_RF2

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In Anticipation of Jónsi’s Tour on Tuesday

On October 26 at 7 p.m. Jónsi, real neame Jón Þór Birgisson, is playing at the Austin Music Hall. 

Go, Jónsi’s nine-track solo album, produced in collaboration with his partner, Alex Somers and Peter Katis of the National and Interpol, was released in April. Jónsi composed the songs on Go simultaneous with being front man in the Icelandic band, Sigur Rós.

The music world was captivated by the ethereal beauty and innocent joy displayed by Jónsi’s solo project. The hopeful aesthetic of Go is in stark contrast to the predominantly melancholy subject and sentiment running through the music of Sigur Rós. Coming from such a successful and talented band, it would have been easy for Go to be overshadowed, but Jónsi overcame doubters and not only held his own, but set a new standard for singer-songwriters.

Go is hard to categorize, as it transcends genre with soul-shattering beauty that borrows from classical, pop, rock, alternative, and electronic styles- Animal Arithmetic even has moments reminiscent of an extremely gorgeous interpretation of ‘90s punk rock- and adds its own style and genius to create a beautiful intricate simplicity rarely seen. With Go, Jónsi has brought something completely new to the musical landscape.

Jónsi’s live show, currently on the North American leg of its tour, is, like the album, doing something new in the world of music.  Theatrical and opera designers from the UK firm, 59 Productions, worked with Jónsi to create the show. Director, Leo Warner, introduced the idea for what ended up being the final aesthetic. Warner was inspired by pictures of a half-burnt down Parisian taxidermy shop.

As a part of the tour, Jónsi initially planned to hold free intimate acoustic sets earlier in the day in record stores in Salt Lake City, Austin, Chicago, and Asheville. After the first of these performances, held at Origami Records in Los Angeles, Jónsi has decided to cancel the remaining shows. According to his managers, whose idea the in-store performances were, the nature of performing in such a stripped-down setting proved excruciatingly uncomfortable for Jónsi. This makes sense, as part of the beauty of his music is its ethereal nature, barely resembling human sound, almost realer than life itself. Jónsi himself is a bit of an enigma, and surely putting him there in the midst of wooden floors and over-eager fans in the light of day is counter to his image and makes the man inside far too visible for even, and especially, his own comfort.

Jónsi is a part of the breath-taking, gasp-inducing sound that emanates from the spectacular panorama playing out across his stage. Jónsi’s music presents a paradox in the contrast between its light, hopeful style and the often hopeless, and sometimes literally drowning, lyrics of songs such as Sinking Friendships-

It’s the end of the end of the end

We’re sinking friendships

We drown more and more

and Tornado-

You flow through the inside

You kill everything through You kill from the inside

However, other songs, such as Animal Arithmetic, do herald a greater hope-

We should all be (Oh Oh Oh) alive!

Jónsi sings in both English and Icelandic on Go.

The world will be watching to see what comes next from this mysterious pioneer of near-heavenly sound. Meanwhile, I will await Tuesday in eager anticipation to witness what a stage set inspired by a charred taxidermy shop looks like.

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GPS’s May Seem Like a Clever Invention but…

I went to Austin this weekend like I seem to do every weekend. I should probably just move there for all the gas money I would save.

I got exceptionally lost beyond reason. I blame my GPS because it led me in circles. around the bridge, Gaudalupe, Congress, 6th Street, MLK, Red River, Lamar, Barton Springs, Deane Keaton, Cesar Chavez and Lake Austin Boulevard.

I drove in aimless circles for about thirty-five minutes, becoming increasingly frustrated, flustered and fatigued. Then I thought about all the homework that was waiting for me at home and might have started crying a teeny bit (I was feeling emotional).

Austin was beautiful this weekend. Christmas lights have started going up; never-mind the fact that it is not even Halloween yet. The bridge was illuminated in crystal and blue, and a particularly fairy-tale-esque horse-drawn carriage was being even bolder than the death-defying Austin bikers. The carriage took up a whole lane of the bridge as the horses pranced elegantly along.

I appreciated the beauty, but mostly I was frustrated with the fact that I have been to Spiderhouse a million times, and I should have trusted my directional instinct, meager though it may be, rather than laying down my pride and self-sufficiency and trusting my GPS, which completely led me astray.

I eventually turned off my GPS and got more lost for awhile until I ended up back on 6th street. We rolled down the window at the red light, and Michelle asked the guy in the truck next to us how to get where we were going. We proceeded to get there.

Here is the part where I shamelessly present a moral. I decided that in exchange for wasted time and gas I wanted something. There had to be something beneficial to take from this experience. I mean, I get lost a lot. One time I went three hours down the wrong freeway and then had to turn around and drive three hours back.

So here it is -the moral.

When I start freaking out and succumbing to anxiety and looking at all the potential streets and my internal GPS (outer man) gets me really lost and I get even more stressed, exhausted and confused, there is an explanation for this. Clearly, my sense of direction is not all that great; I didn’t make the roads; I don’t know where I’m going; and it’s not my job to find the way -even if I could find the way or even if I did get myself lost in the first place.

I want to let my perfect heavenly Daddy take me there, into my destiny. Not only is His sense of direction perfect, but He made the roads I’m driving on.

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ACL, The Best Weekend in Texas

 

Austin City Limits logo

Image via Wikipedia

 

This weekend was my first experience scalping tickets. I drove down to Austin after class with Colleen and Michelle Martin. We decided to go green and take the bus; this decision was also based on the fact that there is no parking anywhere near the park, and the Austin City Limits website seriously discourages not taking the bus or a bike. As we had not rode our bikes since graduating elementary school, we felt that the bus would be the better option.

We parked on 9th and Guadalupe and walked five blocks to 4th. We passed a guy with a cardboard sign selling 1-day passes for $120 on the way. Face value was $85. By the time we got to 5th street the tickets were selling for $100. We started getting nervous. Between the three of us we had $225, and part of that was in $1’s.

We boarded the bus with our hearts on our sleeves. Honestly, we were freaking out a little bit. The traffic coming into Austin had stretched our trip into well over two hours of delirious anticipation. Colleen had heard some (what i believe to be totally false) account from her neighbor, Will, who had supposedly scalped a 3-day pass for $60. We ran around the perimeter of the park like 5-year olds on Easter in a yard full of concealed eggs.

We finally found a $60 ticket from a girl trying to get rid of it. These private parties tend to be far kinder than the guys with bald heads, cigars, bowler hats tilted at a rakish angle, and signs that ask “trying to sell your tickets [because I will buy them from you and gouge people].” These guys’ goal is to monopolize on all the game-day sale tickets and drive up the prices. Anyways, after this girl sold us the ticket for $60 we used this info as leverage to convince the hardcore scalpers who came preaching to us about how in-demand 1-day passes were and how we should be willing to pay over $100 for them. When we pulled the “we just got a ticket for $60” card, we managed to drive down the prices of two tickets to $80 and $85. It was glorious.

We sprinted like deranged fools, weaving through the masses surging towards the entrance of Zilker Park. We caught the end of Angus and Julia Stone. I was only slightly heartbroken that we missed their song Paper Airplane and incredibly heartbroken that we arrived fifteen minutes after Miike Snow’s set had ended.

We saw Beach House, and they ruled so much more than when they were in Austin at Emo’s in April. This was partially because Emo’s totally sucks (the sound, the atmosphere, the masses of highschoolers, and the total lack of environmental control) and Victoria had been in a terrible mood. Not so at ACL. There performance was phenomenal. The cheesy 80’s foil decorations of Emo’s were replaced with a backdrop of futuristic sleet gray pyramids and a black screen that was lit up with a galaxy of tiny white lights during the climactic moments of their performance.

 

Beach House at ACL

 

At one point Victoria tried to pull the microphone off the stand above her keyboard and twirl it around behind her head in a super cool upper body dance move, but the cord was super short, and simultaneous with attempting to dismount the microphone, her voice went hoarse and cracked. After this song she praised the crowd for being the most patient and loving audience ever, which was not entirely true, but it was certainly endearing. All the guys just proclaimed their undying love for her all the louder, and it made me wonder if the guys in the band ever get annoyed with living in her shadow or if there are inter-band relationships and they get really annoyed about all the fans heckling their girlfriend.

After Beach House was Spoon. Britt Daniel‘s voice is so interesting, and the show was good. However, we were way far in the back and could not properly experience the performance. We were hoping to hear the Ghost of You Lingers, which we were fortunate enough to hear them play during the thirty minutes we stayed to listen, and which sounded just as cool as we had hoped. We left the set early to stake out for Vampire Weekend.

 

The Leaning Tower of Beer Cans

 

 

Re-enforcing the Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The producers of ACL, C3 Presents, were so kind to have free water fill ups for your Sigg or Nalgene. Just another way the festival was working to cut back on environmental exploitation this year. There was a surprising dearth of empty bottles littering the Zilker Park, and festival patrons were given official signs to wave around, discouraging littering and encouraging recycling.

Vampire Weekend totally rules!!! We started out sitting next to a guy with a giant tower of beer cans duck-taped together that he was trying to balance on his nose. His girlfriend had to fortify some of the joints with more duck-tape when the tower bent over and almost bonked someone on the head. The grown men in front of us were joking about drinking Mr. Clean and farting pine sol scent. They let us cut in front of them.

Vampire Weekend are phenomenal performers, and the entire mob of a crowd was dancing like crazy. They played Oxford Comma, Horchata, and all the other good songs. The only song they really should have played but failed to, was Ottoman, off of the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist soundtrack. We supposed, perhaps this is because it will be on the new album they are currently taking a break from touring to compose and record, and they want to save the song for their next tour.

We sat on the grass in the back for the Strokes and listened to a few songs before deciding we were tired and starving and didn’t know enough Strokes songs to fully appreciate the show. We listened to them on the way out of the park, down the windy line walled in by a chain-link fence and onto the bus. Next year I am so getting a 3-day pass.

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