Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

JOY and the triumph over life and death

My dear friend Ryan (excuse the term...) "bitch slapped" me - figuratively and in a loving way last night... and I began to understand emotionally what God had taught me intellectually.

Discipline thy self to joy. All thee needs is inside thee.

How hard can life be, sure I have had a few real tragedies of late, sure things are bad... but why not joy? I now feel as much know that the young Iroquoian warriors sang joyfully as the Hurons led them to be tortured... they sang in joy for all life is measured by joy and death. If thee cannot sing praise for thy life as the water closes over thy head, well thee dies a sad death, if the can, thee dies in triumph.

Who can forget the life, the joy, and triumphant death of Victor Jara. Born in a land of hardship and struggle, Victor wrote songs of joy to the life of the people of Chile. In 1973, when the coup took place, Victor was arrested and his jailers broke his hands, taunting him to play the guitar. They beat him and taunted him to sing, and those who heard him tell us he sang magnificently ... so they shot him and he died in pure triumph - life over death.

And joy in life, to simply dance for the joy of spring like Snoopy in the dead of winter, this is to live in triumph. To care for all and live without care.

I have recaptured joy, and my fervent prayer is to replace the sorrow bred into my bones with joy forever. To feel joy in sorrow, hope where there is none, peace in the midst of war, satisfied when starved, drunk on life when much too sober, to pour all these things into this vessel that has been so emptied out.


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