According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Love and Time Explored Through Prose, Video, and Poem




Love in Pictures

Love pictures our lives placed like mirrors facing each other in timeless, or endless, reflection played as unending symphonies expressing being. A being that is innumerably, relentlessly, persistently expressed against all else which would undo its hold.

Love's melody plays in the background of our lives. It's tempo threads throughout our identity, relationships, existence. It confounds the human breast unsure its truth but driven by its madness.

Within its mystery comes the crescendos and decrecendos of our lives. It persists, can destroy, wreck, or ruin us till in weakness we turn to its destructive force to rebuild, restore, absolve, and become.

In our becoming, love lives best even as it rends all else apart until a balance is found restoring our lives back to the sublime symphonies we bear heard upon the winds of creation and within our very hearts beating its mystery.

In both the pauses, and the sustained chords, love finds recreation - as it must - until all comes to rest within the bosom of its melodious nocturne.

R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017


Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror)
for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)




Spiegel im Spiegel ('Mirror in the Mirror') is a piece of music written by Arvo Pärt in 1978, just before his departure from Estonia. The piece is in the tintinnabular style of composition, wherein a melodic voice, operating over diatonic scales, and tintinnabular voice, operating within a triad on the tonic, accompany each other. It is about ten minutes long.

The piece was originally written for a single piano and violin – though the violin has often been replaced with either a cello or a viola. Versions also exist for double bassclarinethornflugelhornflutebassoontrombone, and percussion. The piece is an example of minimal music.

The piece is in F major in 6/4 time, with the piano playing rising crotchet triads and the second instrument playing slow F major scales, alternately rising and falling, of increasing length, which all end on the note A (the mediant of F). The piano's left hand also plays notes, synchronised with the violin (or other instrument).

"Spiegel im Spiegel" in German literally can mean both "mirror in the mirror" as well as "mirrors in the mirror", referring to an infinity mirror, which produces an infinity of images reflected by parallel plane mirrors: the tonic triads are endlessly repeated with small variations as if reflected back and forth. The structure of melody is made by couple of phrases characterized by the alternation between ascending and descending movement with the fulcrum on the note A. This, with also the overturning of the final intervals between adjacent phrases (for example, ascending sixth in the question - descending sixth in the answer), contribute to give the impression of a figure reflecting on a mirror and walking back and towards it.

In 2011, the piece was the focus of a half-hour BBC Radio 4 programme, Soul Music, which examined pieces of music "with a powerful emotional impact". Violinist Tasmin Little discussed her relationship to the piece.





* * * * * * * *

Love

Love transcends the dialation of time.
It moves and morphs
    by that aspect we know as relationality,
    so entwined within the fabric of creative chaos,
    whose entropy destroys all we had,
    or have,
    or will.

And yet love, like gravity,
    binds all time,
    across its spaces,
    whatever the time slice,
    whatever the moment,
    whatever the distance.

Love's pain is bourne -
    in the losses we feel.
It's relevance -
    in the groundedness we experience.
It's possibility -
    in the willingness to lose oneself in another,
    that it might be held briefly as a living thing,
    before becoming mere memory,
    leaving only lingering trace winds,
    of feeling and memory.

Love is the binding metaphysical gravity
of all human chaos-recreation.
    It transcends,
    it brings near distant objects,
    moves to action the necessary,
    and refuses any kind of objectivity,
    it is an elemental mystery.

Though the mind dissects it the heart lives it.
    It lives unnoticed most of the time,
    but its force overturns our lives,
    at every stage of our being,
    both the bad and the good.

Its force, like gravity,
    is seemingly weak in daily transactions,
    but is exceedingly strong across large distances,
    unrealized until we take the backwards look
    of introspection to life's biography.

Love is always present,
    yet, like the beating heart,
    or, act of breathing,
    unnoticed, until displayed.
It exists because we exist.
    And we exist because it exists.

Love is the breath of life
    we most depend, need, want, and crave.
Its addiction can do phenomenal things
    in the lives of those willing its power.
Its what we call God's image
    which we image back,
    to the Divine mystery,
    through ferocity,
    passion,
    hope,
    longing,
    or, grief.


Love is,
    and its capture is what gives to us meaning.
Nothing else exists so pervasively,
    so powerfully,
    so beautifully,
   or, so independently.

Love just is.

Love is the why,
    the what,
    the sustenance,
    to all else.
Love transects all living
    past,
    present,
    or, future.

Love's process is unlike
    any other force we know,
    or will ever know,
    so complete is its knowledge,
    of both divine and human,

Love is us and we are it.


R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017



Transcending Time | Interstellar's Hidden Meaning



Arrival | Facing the Fear of Existence









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