Cave rituals, sky gods, and humility
Love is a dissolving force and the hell realms have us clinging
This week I have been designing a dress for the album-length (folk opera) film I will be shooting this summer.
Amidst this, (and very connected to it), I have been reworking a lyric for the third song on the project… that touches on a number of ancient meteorite events that devastated parts of the middle east, as well as Ireland. There is in some druidic oral traditions, the suggestion that the great megalithic structures were in part, bomb shelter, and more recent archeological research suggests that the move from cave ritual to stone circle is the shift from more earthen gods and goddesses, toward god-in-the-sky.
The combination of these catastrophic events, and then to add to that, the crisis of exile, and the crisis of occupation, and the ripple effects of movement in general… inspired new, extraordinary rituals and modes of education that were very much about being able to predict and survive with wisdom intact… especially another sky event.
Was our distant god in the sky… our Thunder Storm father… a natural, perhaps inevitable occurrence? ... a moving away from an inherent natural animism that is still with us, but was shocked into a sort of locked up compartment by a natural event?
I keep going for slow walks, opening to reworking the lyric, because I want it to be about integration… about offering tender mercy perhaps, to the roots of punitive thinking… and even to the patriarchy… while also not oversimplifying an apparent binary coming together.
Something else I’ve been spending time with is Thomas Merton’s poem Strange Islands. I couldn’t not put music to it for the Point Vierge album.
We could use a whole lot of Strange Islands in these days, as the epochal storm rages on. Sometimes it feels like the path of humility has been all but forgotten. And when one comes into an authentic encounter with it, it can feel catastrophic … like so much crust is being melted away from the heart.
The song I am working on is asking me to take us to the point of surrender in our time. That maybe the meanness we have come to embrace will be the very thing that compresses us into surrender… and we will all weep at our lack of love… and find some kind of strange joy at the release of vengeance, and defensiveness.
Love is a dissolving force. The hell realm has us clinging.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at this week.
Here is my version of Merton’s Strange Islands, with the voice of Merton himself, saying “if there’s anyone around here who hasn’t made any mistakes, please go take a bath in some holy water.”