21 October, 2009

To Ford A Faith That High

In the times you get the blues
What's the pain that you don't know?
Or perhaps you simply need
For my love to let you go.

To ford a faith that high
Seems to me kinda low
So kindly leave if you do not need
This attention from your beau.

There's a goodness in most folks
Though in some, its hard to see
The preening joke of our selfish hopes
Can make love a shopping spree.

To ford a faith that high
Seems to me kinda low
So kindly leave if you do not need
This attention from your beau.

There's a river, I once learned
Just behind the mind of man
It's waters cold and clean and clear
But to drink you must command

For if your hands will never reach
Though so thirsty you remain
The flooding graceful river runs
Regardless of your claims.

To ford a faith that high
Seems to me kinda low.
So kindly leave if you do not need
This attention from your beau.

For a faith that is not in you
Seems not the way to go
Rich behind the mind of man
For the kindest way to go...
For the kindest way to go.


I've thought for some time about grace.  It's a subject spoken of often but only, really, tangentially in my childhood and culture at large.  More often than not it has seemed a word meant for religion and the State.  A symbolic word too sacred for man.  Or woman.

Once I reached a place of manhood (which was a mercy given my nature) I was forced to really ask myself why I do the things I do.  Decisions seemed to both empower and plague me.

Freedom is clearly the prospect of making ones own decisions about things.  And yet, in this modern world freedom is spoken of as an unvarnished good, while making decisions is oftentimes cast in a dark, and vexing shadow of pain and suspicion.  It is the clueless soul indeed who tells the tortured friend to make a decision, where the friend clearly fears such an act above all.  Most of us are tortured at times. Who doesn't make poor decisions?

My revelation about grace was that it was available to me, but not through thinking and rational cognition, but rather, through the decision to "reach" for it.  To simply decide, what I have heard is the simple, and right path, rather than to search for and "find" it.  This illumination was partly made possible by the understanding that adulthood brings to the observer of how very little we can finally know about things.  Somehow when I was young, I thought that answers were out there for me to eventually adopt, but which required a great and dangerous journey to achieve.  In the meantime, of course, I was free to act like an ass, and make scores, even hundreds of self destructive and antisocial decisions.  How much better than the paralyzed moralist was the amoral jerk who simply lived for himself!

Eventually I found the river of grace, behind my left ear, and came to know it would be there long after any of my selfish little problems faded into the bland little neighborhoods from whence they came.

While this song seems to merely be about a romantic relationship, it is also about a persons preening love for themselves.  Ultimately our ego must, by its nature, have unerring faith in us.  And while it would do no good to simply take a dark attitude toward yourself, it can do enormous good to ask what kind of friend, to even you, your ego ultimately really is.

So where the ego has boundless faith in your tiny perspectives (and prejudice) you are free to never "ford a faith that high" and claim yourself amongst the remainder of your family of people, loved ones, enemies, and adversaries.  Sometimes even laughing at your predictable "eternally springing hope."  So far, of course, as the hope, is for yourself.

15 comments:

Midnight Whisperer said...

You are very fortunate. So few people ever understand all that you have seemed to grasp, and therefore, never find the peace that accompanies it. Your song expresses the whole concept beautifully.

Andy Coffey said...

Midnight Whisperer,

Yes. You are correct. I am fortunate. I have always been fortunate, privileged, and more or less confident that happiness belongs to me.
It is a burden, of course, to live so well in this broken world. Some do not. However, life seems to be about much more than happiness. And isn't it possible that that is how we found one another.
Thanks. It's funny to have a reader who shares, more or less, my bedtime.
Nice to see you again.

Midnight Whisperer said...

I agree, life is about so much more than happiness. What is pleasure without pain, winning is bitter if you have never known loss, etc. I am fortunate that "we found one another", I am addicted to your words and long to hear the music which accompanies them.

Jasmine said...

I love the bit about the shopping spree. I find that type of love isn't really love, its the ego's need to feel loved, by everyone it desires. So that makes the ego a rash and selfish friend pursuing the quick fix rush of endorphines but not really caring...

'It is the clueless soul indeed who tells the tortured friend to make a decision, where the friend clearly fears such an act above all'.

Another wise observation.

Jukka said...

Yes a fine song. Oh sods, I have been into trouble for my ego. I belive it is the hopeful body whisper in the ear of every persons that they are the best people ever to have walked the earth. If I only
"try, a little bit harder" I will succeed. We need this to get out there and fight. I know I will lose.

Andy Coffey said...

So nice to see you Jasmine. Yes, the shopping spree. Of course there is a parallel, here, or on Facebook, where I find myself craving attention. Or when I throw a big dinner party and just want to blow peoples minds. My ego is rather large indeed. Otherwise I wouldn't need to go to so much trouble, simply to notice it!
Thanks for your comments.

Andy Coffey said...

Jukka,

I certainly agree that we need our "hopeful body whisperers," our egos. I am not one to believe in God's and Devils. And I believe the ego does play a big role in getting stuff accomplished.
I suppose very little of grandeur would have ever been accomplished, were it not for people egotistical enough to do something crazy.
Great to see you here.

Jenny said...

Hi Andy,

I like that your songs and texts always make me think. The ego is an interesting issue.

I think it is nice to have left the teenager or 20 year old kind of ego, though, that insecurity and need to assert myself all the time. Now at 33, I do not care that much what other people think of me. However, I am still self-centered and I like attention, but in a different sort of way.

I agree with you that egos are important when it comes to getting things done. I admire Sweden’s belief in helping the deprived in society a lot. But Sweden does not appreciate individuals with own initiatives and thoughts (it is even considered a little shameful!), unfortunately. I wonder if there exist a place that priorities both?

Andy Coffey said...

Jenny,

It is interesting that you describe Sweden as a place that places just a bit of shame on individualism. My Korean and Japanese friends say the same. And the Chinese, if some of my favorite journalists are to be believed, at times consider their actions as almost entirely separate from the meaning of their life. Some of them, not all of the Chinese, of course. But all over China you will meet people doing incredible things who claim that they have never thought much about the nature of the things they do. Of course, to some extent, that must be true of all of human endeavor. You think about stuff too much and before long you aren't able to smoothly transition from thing to thing in life, without neurosis, or something.
But as far as a social welfare ethic standing beside of proud tradition of individualism, I have no idea if such a thing exists. It'd be nice.
Thanks.

Ande said...

I agree to some of the comments above.
A fine song about love and the ego. What is the ego, the "I" which makes us secure. An interesting philosophical discussion, too.

Andy Coffey said...

Ande,

Makes us secure, or draws boundaries (like borders of countries) that do not in fact exist.
Thanks.

Mule said...

I listened to folk songs when I was young. They gave me hope and a sense of belonging. Now, I'm an old man and my back hurts. I have my community though. I'm happy for this. And man my community is myself these days.

Andy Coffey said...

Mule,

I don't recognize you, though I certainly am thrilled to see you here. Community is a tension running through any number of realms. Many people long for what they in fact despise (when they encounter it.) Most of us want a freedom that costs nothing at all, on our own terms. And the funny thing is that we are just rich and powerful enough (as a society) to give ourselves this. The cost: a fair degree of mental illness (which is most prevalent when people are looked upon as discreet individuals) and a widespread sense of insecurity which drives behaviors that everyone knows are unhealthy and immoral. If I am to take from your comment that you are lonely, I am sorry for that, but hardly surprised. It's extremely common: even with people who's backs feel fine.
Thanks for being here Mule: here's to your burdens being fewer, and your path downhill.

Mule said...

Your words cheered me up.. I am an old man now. I admit its a bit naughty writing on other peoples fine works while not having a blog myself. This blog thing is a new thing for me. It's for you young people perhaps. Quite funny, though. You are right about freedom, I can't help it, I like community better the older I get. A sense of belonging. I don't mean to disapprove of young peoples freedom rage. We are born alone into this world, and we die alone. The rest of the time we need the tribe. I certainly need mine.

Andy Coffey said...

Trust Me Mule,

From this narcissists perspective, your comments are (since their directed in my favorite direction) far from naughty. This diary's lock gave out a long time ago.

Thanks.