Observe the grasses’ greeting as they wave within the wind;
They bless the ground beneath our feet as if we’d never sinned.
The quiet kindness of the trees feeds rivers in the sky;
They offer up their strength to every creature passing by.
Streams bear precious nutrients that they themselves don’t need,
Reviving weary souls of every nation, tribe and creed.
Birdsong adorns the fragrant air and sunset’s amber hues
Give otherworldly warmth to those who haven’t paid their dues.
This fount of generosity is but the faintest glimpse
Of all the Father does for us and many others, since
Eternally He gives all that He is to His own Son,
Who gave Himself to pay for all the awful things we’ve done.
His Spirit pleads on our behalf and gives gifts on our way
Of life in full abundance towards eternal day.
(I composed the above while walking around our village to give my eyes some rest from looking at computer screens, since a recurring eye problem (malfunctioning tear duct causing severe eye dryness and headaches) has flared up again. Prayers for me would be appreciated).
It’s my wedding anniversary today, here is this year’s poem/song. This one was a bit of a rush job to produce after coming back from DragonCon, so is a little less polished than I would like.
There’s no Force upon the Earth
There’s no force upon the earth
That will make me doubt your worth;
There’s no place on earth that I would rather be
Than beside you every day, united on our way
To claim the prize that shines eternally.
‘Cause your love is true, and it’s seen me through
So many times of darkness and despair;
You give me strength to stand with your loving hand
And all the signs that you so deeply care.
More than silver, more than gold,
I hope that I grow old
Surrounded by the fruits of our great love;
When bound to you I’m free, you are the one for me,
The girl in the whole world I’m most proud of.
Listening to music can be therapeutic, soothing, invigorating, inspiring, heartbreaking, or depressing, much like reading or listening to a story. In fact Hans Zimmer once said that in all the music he composes his primary purpose is to tell a story, despite using no words. Listening to one of his most famous pieces (that accompanies one of the great movie endings of all time) inspired this little effort of mine below. In Zimmer’s piece, and the film, the hero is faced with a situation where all seems lost. He did everything he could, but all he has worked for has crumbled to dust before his eyes. He sees the situation for what it is, absorbs this devastating news, and yet he still finds the strength to keep going, even to sacrifice himself and his reputation to save people he will never meet, who will almost certainly never even know, let alone appreciate, what he did for them. He is able to do it quickly this time, because he’s done it before. In these respects, these few minutes are a microcosm of his entire heroic journey.
As the piece played I was struck by the ways in which it mirrored some of my own experiences (except it took me far longer to gather up the strength to keep going, and my behaviour has been far less heroic). It encourages me to keep going, to do better, to come closer to the good example set.
This is the power of story, of archetypes, of strong heroic characters, of good examples. Let us make more of them.
My piece set to Zimmer’s music can be found here, with the lyrics below that
I have known…
I have known despair, and I will not promote it.
I have known pain, and I will not glorify it.
I have known false hope, and I will not encourage it.
I have known cowardice, and I will understand, but not praise it.
I have known self-loathing, and I will not romanticize it.
I have known brokenness, defeat, lostness, and yet emerged on the other side, not unscathed, but grown.
I have known failure, and I will learn from it.
I will defend the truth.
I will not abandon my allies.
I will keep learning, and admit when I am wrong.
I will advocate for genuine hope.
I will praise and strive to create beauty.
I will call for courage in matters great and small.
I will seek to repair the damage I have caused.
I will seek to restore friendships.
I will console those who suffer.
I will encourage those who feel they can’t go on, for I have walked that path.
As we approach the end of an eventful year, and the start of a new that promises a number of big things in the near future, I could make the standard wish to you all of success, health and comfort, but I thought I’d post a little reminder of what is most important of all:
The Greatest of These
There is no force upon the earth
That can outweigh the gift of love;
No wealth or situation
That can outbid its worth;
No jewel in all its glory
No title, honour, place
That can outshine the smile that spreads
Across your loved one’s face.
While victories are powerful joys
And justice plays its part
None can match devotion
From an honest human heart.
So dance and laugh and celebrate,
Savour and appreciate,
Stand, salute, commemorate
Console and commiserate
With those you choose to love.