“All real progress in spiritual things comes gently, imperceptibly, and is the work of God. Our crude efforts spoil it. Know yourself for the childish, limited and dependent soul you are. Remember that the only growth which matters happens without our knowledge and that trying to stretch ourselves is both dangerous and silly. Think of the Infinite Goodness, never of your own state.”—Evelyn Underhill, The Fruits of The Spirit
I tried some new ideas on this one. So here’s an explanation for the geeks…
A friend of mine destroyed a grand piano with a bat in an empty warehouse and filmed it for a short film he made. I asked him for some raw camera audio from the shoot. I took a particularly explosive clip and slowed it down to 20% speed, and made a Kontakt instrument from the resulting sound. Then I created a chord progression with it, changing harmony at each strike.
A still from Resonance, a short film by Mike Jones and Travis Pollert
I also built a small Kontakt instrument from Shara Worden’s voice. I programmed her “ah” to stutter around, then bounce like a ball does, only in reverse (the longer I hold the note, the further away each “bounce” becomes).
“For many … strategies for involvement in the community are based on a volunteer or charity mentality. Our … concept of charity is one of the main stumbling blocks to real community development. This is because … charity can blind people to reality and substitute cheap action for expensive action. And when I say this to my white brothers and sisters they get very uncomfortable. But charity blinds us and keeps us from seeing that our whole system works methodically against the development of certain people—economically, educationally, spiritually and socially.”—John M. Perkins, A Quiet Revolution
The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;
Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks
From all that is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”
Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,
“Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.”
”—"Love Calls Us to the Things of This World" by Richard Wilbur
Bat houses. Tomato trellises. The Freedom Riders. That behavior was still acceptable in the 1960‘s? My gnarly fingers riddled with scabs and teeth marks. Better writing habits. My four-month-old falling asleep in the sling. Slobber. The impulse to drink stovetop espresso at 9pm on a weeknight. Eating from the tree of the knowledge that my attention span is splintering. Who really cares about the Rob Bell/Mark Driscoll melodrama? My struggle to keep calm when my son overreacts at anything. The ache and itch to mine all of mom and dad’s stories. Early twentieth century pentecostalism exhibited much more faith and flaws than its early twenty-first century counterpart. We signed up to go on a float trip with three children including an infant? This weekend? In 100º heat? What can I do with all that arugula sitting in the fridge? The sound of Goldie’s voice during the Lord’s Prayer when she says, “not into temptation.” That early morning run I have not managed to take in two weeks. Those triumphant clothesline T posts I set over the weekend. “You saw with your own eyes what the LORD did at Baal Peor.”
“How frugal educated—and uneducated—people have become regarding “joy.” How they are becoming increasingly suspicious of all joy. More and more, work enlists all good conscience on its side; the desire for joy already calls itself a “need to recuperate” and is beginning to be ashamed of itself. “One owes it to one’s health”—that is what people say when they are caught on an excursion into the country. Soon we may well reach the point where people can no longer give in to the desire for a vita contemplativa (that is, taking a walk with ideas and friends) without self-contempt and bad conscience.”—Friedrich Nietzsche