Author Topic: Strange Connections  (Read 51127 times)

Offline Daniel

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Strange Connections
« on: November 10, 2006, 02:10:29 pm »
Due to the Performance Thread, I have recently revitalized my interest in the music of Loreena McKennitt (I'm hoping to get her new CD as a Christmas Present). Her last two CDs (released in 96 and 97, I believe) are my two top favorite CDs of all time right now, followed closely by Lesiem's "Auracle" and "Aria 2: New Horizons".

"The Mask and the Mirror" This is the older of the two CDs that I so love, and the title makes reference to a line from Shakespeare's "The Tempest". A musical rendition of Profion's speech is the last track on the CD. The CD is overall beautiful, but two songs stand out in my mind: "The Dark Night of The Soul" written by St. John of the Cross (14th or 15th century) was incorporated as a beautiful musical piece. I have no idea if St. John was gay or not, but I have an immense fondness for his writings and find it strange that several translations of the poem include intimate imagery in relations to another male. It may be that this was intended to be Christ, but that is not made clear in the poem, so it leaves a universe of possibilities. (My favorite type of writing). It is also strange to think that William Shakespeare might himself have been bisexual, as made clear by several of his lesser known sonnets and poems, and with that knowledge firmly in hand how much more meaningful are the plays "Romeo and Juliet", "Twelfth Night", "The Merchant of Verona" and other plays which glorify or romanticize difficult or socially unacceptable relationships. The other song is a musical rendition of "The Two Trees" which once again, deals with forbidden or difficult love, and is a classic poem.

"The Book of Secrets" This is the newer CD (97), and her last before she went on tour. I find this interesting because the title of the CD is the same as a book written by an openly gay Sufi mystic Farid ud-Din Attar (12th Century). His chief works are "The Book of the Divine" "The Book of Affliction" and "The Book of Secrets". He wrote another book entitled "The Conference of the Birds" in which homosexual love is frequently praised for its intensity and passion, and the homosexual's ability to give up all respectability in the name of love is represented as mirroring the necessity of abandoning all restrictions and social shibboleths in the search for God.

"Abbasseh told a wondering scholar once:
' The man who's kindled by love's radiance
Will give birth to a woman; when love's fire
Quickens within a woman this desire,
She gives birth to a man; it is denied
That Adam bore a woman from his side,
That Mary bore a man? Until this light
Shines out, such truths are hidden from your sight;
But when its glory comes you will receive
Blessings far greater than you can conceive.
Count this as wealth; here is the faith you need.
But if the world's base glory is your creed,
Your soul is lost - seek the wealth insight gives;
In insight our eternal kingdom lives.
Whoever drinks the mystics' wine is king
Of all the world can show, of everything -
Its realms are specks of his authority,
The heavens but a ship on his wide sea;
If all the sultans of the world could know
That shoreless sea, its mighty ebb and flow,
They'd sit and mourn their wretched impotence
With eyes ashamed to meet each other's glance.'"

Farid un-Din Attar was the favorite poet of a number of the Sufi mystics that followed him, including Rumi.

Anyway, back to the CD... :)

The songs in "The Book of Secrets" are less romantic than those in "The Mask and the Mirror", but I find this refreshing as most popular music seems devoted to the elusive material romance, but no less spiritually intense. While listening to her music there is some crossing that occurs within, a crossing of experiences of the divine and of the physical, a strange awareness that everything is in fact one and the same, and that the pinings of physical desire are the pinings of spiritual desire just more intensely wrapped up in consciousness and physicality. In other words, Loreenna grants us a taste of the mystical traditions of the ancient world, lovingly and beautifully I might add.

I have to go to work right now, but I'll come back and try to get to a point.... (Do I have a point? I think so, :D)

« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 02:13:14 pm by Daniel »
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 12:15:36 pm »
I suppose what I find strange about the whole connection is that I wonder if it was done intentionally, or if this is just something that happened to spring into existence from the mental foundations of the universe. I suppose you could argue that as being intentional also, but I am referring to Ms. McKennitt's intentions. I can see no specific defense on her part for any agenda; only a beautiful attention to the spiritual and the physical at once.

I also question why I think this is so important, but that is another question for another day, and perhaps one for an avid reader of me sometime after my death. I am too lost in the experience and exploring its distinct avenues and broad applications to our understanding of the universe that I do not wish to question why it is so, and just accept it as it is. If that can be defined as a fault, I hope it is my only very obvious one.

For too long have I been succinctly aware that there is more to life, the universe, and everything than meets the physical senses. Human intention, rationality, and emotionality deems it so, but few have attempted to comprehend this sense of extraordinariness that our human consciousness seems to revolve around. It is a purely psychic experience, and still one which lacks solid definition, but there is no doubt in my mind that this experience is part of what maintains the evolution of consciousness at a universal level.
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 12:54:31 pm »
For reference sake, here are lyrical renditions of the two poems I was telling you about.

"The Two Trees"
by William Butler Yeats


Beloved, gaze in thine own heart
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody.
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee,
There the Loves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart
Thine eyes grow full of tender care;
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile,
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For all things turn to bareness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings: alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care;
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

And "The Dark Night of the Soul"
by St. John of the Cross


Upon a darkened night
the flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest

Shrouded by the night
And by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
while all within lay quiet as the dead

CHORUS
Oh night thou was my guide
of night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
to the beloved one
transforming each of them into the other

Upon that misty night
in secrecy, beyond such mortal sight
Without a guide or light
than that which burned so deeply in my heart
That fire t'was led me on
and shone more bright than of the midday sun
To where he waited still
it was a place where no one else could come

CHORUS

Within my pounding heart
which kept itself entirely for him
He fell into his sleep
beneath the cedars all my love I gave
From o'er the fortress walls
the wind would his hair against his brow
And with its smoothest hand
caressed my every sense it would allow

CHORUS

I lost myself to him
and laid my face upon my lover's breast
And care and grief grew dim
as in the morning's mist became the light
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
there they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
there they dimmed amongst the lilies fair 
 
 
 
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 01:12:22 pm »
Beautiful.  I'm busy copying and pasting your excerpts.  Thanks for posting.  Listening to Loreena McKennitt's music is for me sometimes a spiritual experience. 

Thank you for your very sharp observations.  I knew how multilayered her music was, but this is a revelation.  I will listen to her music again with a new eye and ear.

I, too,  hope I get her new CD as a holiday gift.

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006, 06:36:54 pm »
Speaking of music being a spiritual experience ..

I bought Josh Groban's new CD "AWAKE" yesterday and I am even more in love with his music than before! *sigh*
Danny, I know you love his music as well, you gotta get the new CD!  :)

~Milli


Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2006, 12:21:08 am »
I went in to our local Barnes and Noble earlier this evening where there was a full cardboard standup display of Josh Groban's new CD. As I have absolutely no money right now, I wonder why I went in. Loreena's new CD won't be released until Nov. 21, but I found out today that if you purchase her CD at B&N, it includes an extra track (Raglan Road or something like that.)

I hope you all are beginning to see why this thread is entitled Strange Connections. Josh Groban and Lorenna McKennitt have nothing to do with one another, except that they are both musical artists, and yet I go into Barnes & Noble on a day shortly after discussing some of the deeper meanings that her music has for me, and I find promotional materials for both CDs near the front of the store... Absolutely fascinating.

I noticed with a little tugging smile that the Josh Groban cardboard display had a "Reserve for Scott" post-it stuck to the back of it. Yeah for Scott.

Before I left B&N, I got my free tall hot beverage (A Chai Latte with added nutmeg powder) and an almond biscotti (only 94 cents after the 10% discount), and sat down to enjoy my beverage, noticing that a customer near me was reading "The Dummy's Guide To Communicating Effectively", and had a stack of books near him: "The Inner Fire of the Soul" and "Life Coaching" among them. I had previously purchased "The Inner Fire of the Soul" at Half-Price Books, and knew what an extraordinary accomplishment that book was. I left bemoaning the fact that People Magazine seems to have gone down the trendy road and focused upon celebrity gossip instead of any stories of particular human interest. That in turn led me to realize that so much of what is offered in our media in this current day and age (as opposed to 10 or even 5 years ago) is the maggot infested remnants of a materialistic, sadistic, voyeuristic society, and that shows such as "Jerry Springer" and the various courtroom shows cater entirely to this society. To be honest, I cannot even be in the same room as someone watching one of those programs without feeling my brain slowly turning to mush. If I can, I insist that it be turned off, otherwise I leave.
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

injest

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2006, 12:35:13 am »
sneaking on to tell this

I have a scroll across the top of my computer screen with headlines...one of them is: Lohan calls Paris a four letter word

this is news? what is wrong with us?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2006, 12:52:33 am »
Loreena McKennit's new CD is entitled "An Ancient Muse" and makes reference to Homer's invocation to the muses in the telling of his tales. What is arguably one of the greatest Homeric epic is of course the Iliad, which was portrayed relatively correctly in the film "Troy", a film which was ultimately unsatisfying because it does not portray the homosexual relationship between Achilles and his shield-bearer Patrocles. To a reader of the Iliad, the absence of this passionate union takes out the main source for Achilles' anger, so in the film he looks like an idiot, or worse, just a plain ***hole.

I suppose this can be compared with "Alexander", the theatrical release that painted a human standard so Homeric that the American audience had difficulty connecting with it and which spawned a Director's Cut where the scenes make even less sense than the theatrical version. In other words, I suppose there are some things that should remain in the written or oral traditions because they make the most sense there and not converted to a theatrical rendition.

Overall, both films failed to incorporate the ancient Greek or Hellenistic ideals that made the stories so great for their time period, and wondrous for those that can grasp even the barest hints of those ideals: masculine softness, emotionally complex subtlety, a ponderous or inquisitive nature, and the most important one of all, human fallibility.  The films paint the Greek and Hellenistic armies as savage, trained warriors and while some may have had a little military training, it is more likely that the armies would have been composed of civilian conscripts.  This is made very clear in the Homeric epics, where he does what he can to paint the warriors' private and civilian lives in addition to their military ones.  These are not bloodthirsty savages but gentle country folk being forced by their kings to fight against those who were previously trading partners and competitors.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 01:02:17 am by Daniel »
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2006, 04:57:49 pm »
Today I heard two interesting songs on the radio, and I find this strange because it was not my favorite type of music or even a station I listen to regularly. The song "Unwritten". It took me a moment to realize that that was the title of the song and not just that the artist had never given it a title... lol. And the song "Waiting On The World To Change"

Unwritten

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah

Waiting On The World To Change

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

-----

Between these two songs I managed to find a sign advertising man purses (I didn't realize that was a legitimate term for business bags), and was surprised to find a recipe for Black Gold (1/4 Coca-cola, 3/4 Dr. Pepper) in a very unusual location. Considering that these two products are made by different companies, it is indeed surprising to find any public endorsement of a combination of the two. But then I recall that I live in Texas, where Dr. Pepper is the milk and honey. People still drive 150 miles or more to get the original recipe Dr. Pepper in Dublin, Tx. (It comes in the glass bottles and is made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.)

Are these connected? - not really. It's only interesting to note that strange things keep cropping up one right after the other.

In fact, there have been little connections that have occurred today, so I am still waiting for that strange and bizarre moment which will connect all the other strange and bizarre moments to provide a trail of hidden potential. I have them pretty regularly, so I'm certain that my signpost will come today at some point.



Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Online Front-Ranger

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2006, 05:08:29 pm »
I was just reading Scott (moremojo)'s words about Dr. Pepper on this same forum. Great minds think alike!!
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