April 24, 2009

7:15 PM. The air temperature is 92 degrees; the pool temperature 79.5. The pineapple lights bathe the patio in a soft, happy yellow light. My workday isn’t finished yet – I’ve got still two India calls to get through, and there’s a bug in my glass of Pinot Grigio I feel compelled to rescue.

I’m not afraid to admit it – I’m swishing around in the water as the dusk starts to close in all around me, and tonight I’m feeling that darkness in a different way than I’m accustomed to. The demons have returned in a big way, and I’m feeling disoriented and lost – spritually, physically, mentally.

I’ve got the Tropical Breezes mp3 going and Jimmy Buffett’s rendition of Bruce Cockburn’s marvelous “Pacing The Cage” comes on, and I can only think about how Cockburn’s lyrics absolutely nail the way I’m feeling tonight – not just in my own wayward walk with God, but everything in my life right now. Call it from my stereo speakers to God’s ears:

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it’s pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you’ve lived too long, the days drip slowly on the page
And you catch yourself
Pacing the cage

I’ve proved who I am so many times,
The magnetic strip’s worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And everyone was taken in.
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage.

I never knew what you all wanted
So I gave you everything.
All that I could pillage
All the spells that I could sing
It’s as if the thing were written
In the constitution of the age
Sooner or later you’ll wind up
Pacing the cage

Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can’t see what’s round the bend.
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend.
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land,
For the coming of the outbound stage.
Pacing the cage.

Dark places. Darkness. Outbound stage. Abandonment. The Cross – it’s always there. But tonight it’s more than that, it’s all-encompassing, in my brain, my blood, my bones. I not only can’t shake it, I don’t want to shake it. So I embrace the darkness.

I truly wish there were some outbound stage, but I know the ticket I’d want to have punched for ain’t a destination that exists. It’s a place called “Peace With Yourself”, and it’s a location I know I’ll go to my grave never finding. Why? Who knows – maybe it’s just the way the genes are organized, or the brain is wired. Either way, it’s an all too familiar place I find myself trapped in, one I’ve grown all too accustomed to. Talk about the darkness being your friend…

Brian Wilson knew this place all too well – that’s where the marvelous Pet Sounds. Just goes to show how you can have what seems from the outside to be everything anyone would ever want in life and still find yourself unable to escape whatever darkness it is that either exists or that you make for yourself.

Phew. I’m glad the next song that comes on is Alan Jackson’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”. Guess your mp3 player is like your life, you just move on…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:34 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. I think someone once said, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. Maybe a silent retreat in Sedona is in order. I have begun to trust the notion of asking for what I want and sending out to the “Universe”/God. I make it a daily mantra/prayer.

    Comment by Jana — April 25, 2009 @ 4:32 am

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