Thursday, 1 April 2010

Seeing Straight

We're dreamers in castles made of sand,
The road to Eden's overgrown,
Don't you sometimes wish your heart was made of stone.

Cher - Heart of Stone

I seem to be only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself by every now and then only finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay still undiscovered before me”.

Issac Newton.

It's often spoken of as a wonderful thing, which has often struck me as odd.
In most cases, to 'edit' another famous phrase, another statement would seem to apply -
"If history teaches us anything, it teaches us that we learn nothing to change history".

And why should it not be so?
Gaia enthusiast James Lovelock spoke candidly on British radio this week regarding the issue of global warming, noting that just as, of necessity, we 'pulled the hammer' (caused what is currently deemed climate change by our actions), so we will have to live with whatever comes next, and to seek to propound the notion that we can just resource our way out of such a crisis, somehow turn back the clock, is plain nonsense.

The thing is broken, and no amount of hindsight or even sober thinking is going to change things - we all eat due to sweat and toil, bruised by the thorns of briers of this life, until death claims us,
so why not just forget the past, live for the moment, and 'burn out rather than fade away'?

As an artist, I know well how the desire to somehow draw alongside the deep, profound undercurrent of reality resonates. Like Newton on his beach, holding the few things gathered in a lifetime, I can look with wonder at the future, because there are 'pointers' in what's discovered about who and what we are, and these truly make a person both tremble and laugh at their very core.

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus used a very simple, common moment in a meal to announce the astonishing event that was about to happen. Through what He was about to do and undergo for us, what seemed totally beyond repair was about to be eternally fixed - God would once again 'tabernacle' with humanity, not just on brief moments, or tents, or via other means of mediation, but by living with us in our decimated world, redeeming our very death-struck lives and making us ready for the great age that is closing - a world made anew by Christ.

Hindsight, then, is good, at least in one context - when it placards how we were created, how we fell from there, and how we were rescued from that plight.

Like some of the disciples, no doubt, who dined with Jesus that very night, I often don't understand the mechanics of how the cycle can be broken amidst all the overgrowth, the dreamers in castles, the sheer callousness we can convey,
but Easter Sunday is close by, and after the desolation of the garden, of Good Friday,
it tells me that I can look beyond the here and now,
and to do so isn't pie in the sky.

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