Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kubla's Poet

My wife (ahh.... wife!) leveraged a fantastic passage from Isaiah in one of our weekly newsletters; 
it reads,

Because I love Zion, I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her

until her righteousness shines like the dawn 

and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 

-Isaiah 62:1

It reads, it reads, it reads... how beautiful those words -- how comforting to my sad spots -- how refreshing to my inner being --- all these and more.

For the past year, I've been using an ESV journaling Bible as my main place of Bible. What I've found is that my chronic question-marking and paraphrasing on the side of the Bible slows down my speed of read. This is good. I'm seeing those words in a new way. They crystallize a little bit more.

And that's perhaps how it works.

I shall explain this by the following proclamation; our generation is dumber than those preceding. I think it rather easy to validate such a statement (and because of this supposed ease, I will skip its proofs entire). The real question then remains, 'how can this be?' How can we be stupider when we live in the age of information? My modest proposal: more information means less meditation.

We have so many answers at our fingertips that we now rarely indulge in the deeper knowing of things. Think on the rise of the mega novels: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey... and surely there will be more to come. These novels are not meant to be waded in. They are, rather, meant to be skimmed, brushed through as quickly as one can transpose the words into relevant story. 

Why does Shakespeare stay with us? It's not that his stories were novel.

Maybe the secret, the true knowledge with permanence, does not come from the text itself, but rather, our relationship with the text. It comes from the deep place -- the thin line between conscious and sub, between heaven and hell.

I liked The Amazing Spider-Man. I liked the reshaping of the origin story. I liked the mirror image feeling I got watching Uncle Ben die again. I liked that the villain was green again. 

Maybe this recasting of old stories, this remolding of things known is a good thing. Maybe there is hope. 

Maybe the remake is something a kin to a meditation. It forces us to examine the same perimeters again. It forces us to make something new out of something worn. Solomon told us there's nothing new under the sun, therefore, all that's left to explore is our ever evolving relationship with that which remains old. 

And now to meditate.

What makes Xanadu special? 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.