Posts Tagged 'love'

The One I Love.

“This one goes out to the one I love”.

From “The One I Love” by R.E.M.

One of the best books I have read this year is “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller.  The passage below is probably the most beautiful thing I have digested in years.  It comes from a monologue for a play Donald Miller wrote called “Polaroids” which recounts a man’s life from birth to death. 

In the play the man and his wife experience tension after their son dies in a car accident.  Don Miller was originally going to portray the ugliness of divorce as a result of this tragedy.  He changed his mind, however, after a deep and meaningful conversation with one of his married friends whilst sat on the roof of a house.  

The reality is 50% of marriages in the UK end in divorce or separation.  I have friends who long to be married more than anything in the world.  I have other friends who wish the reality of their marriages was different to their daily experiences.  And, yet, there is the mystery of marriage being symbolic of something so much bigger.

“What great gravity is this that drew my soul toward yours?  What great force, that though I went falsely, went kicking, went disguising myself to earn your love, also disguised to earn your keeping, your resting, your staying, your will fleshed into mine, rasped by a slowly revealed truth, the barter of my soul, the soul that I fear, the soul that I loathe, the soul that: if you will love, I will love.  I will redeem you, if you will redeem me?  Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay?

I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared of me.

I went looking, I wrote out a list, I drew an image, I bled a poem for you.  You were pretty, and my friends believed that I was worthy of you.  You were clever, but I was smarter, perhaps the only one smarter, the only one able to lead you.  You see, love, I did not love you, I loved me.  And you were only a tool that I used to fix myself, to fool myself, to redeem myself.  And though I have taught you to lay your lily hand in mine, I walk alone, for I cannot talk to you, lest you talk it back to me, lest I believe that I am not worthy, not deserving, not redeemed.

I want desperately for you to be my friend.  But you are not my friend; you have slid up warmly to the man I wanted to be, the man I pretended to be, and I was your Jesus and, you were mine.  Should I show you who I am, we may crumble.  I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared you me. 

I want to be known and loved anyway.  Can you do this?  I trust by your easy breathing that you are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me.  My love, do I know you?   What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other?  Why do we not connect?  Will we be forever fleshing this out?  And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other?  Is this God’s way of meriting grace, of teaching us of the labyrinth of His love for us, teaching us, in degrees, that which he is sacrificing to join ourselves to Him?  Or better yet, has He formed our being fractional so that we might conclude one great hope, plodding and sighing and breathing into one another in such a great push that we might break through into the known and being loved, only to cave into a greater perdition and fall down at His throne still begging for our acceptance?  Begging for our completion?

We were fools to believe that we would redeem each other.

Were I some sleeping Adam, to wake and find you resting at my rib, to share these things that God has done, to walk you through the garden, to counsel your timid steps, your bewildered eye, your heart so slow to love, so careful to love, so sheepish that I stepped up my aim and became a man.  Is this what God intended?  That though He made you from my rib, it is you who is making me, humbling me, destroying me, and in so doing revealing Him. 

Will we be in ashes before we are one? 

What great gravity is this that drew my heart toward yours?  What great force collapsed my orbit, my lonesome state?  What is this that wants in me the want in you?  Don’t we go at each other with yielded eyes, with cumbered hands and feet, with clunky tongues?  This deed is unattainable!  We cannot know each other!

I am quitting this thing, but not what you think.  I am not going away.

I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer.  I will love you, as sure as He has loved me.  I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me.  And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.

I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God.  I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love.  I will simply love.  I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again.  I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.

God risked Himself on me.  I will risk myself on you.  And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then and only then understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us”.

This one goes out to the one I love –  happy 12th anniversary.


These Are Days

“These are the days.
These are days you’ll remember.
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky.
It’s true that you
Are touched by something.
That will grow and bloom in you”.

From “These Are Days” by 10,000 Maniacs.


The little small group collective that gather around our dining table and inhabit our home and hearts have been working through a series looking at the topics of simplicity, love and justice in recent weeks. 

There are some big and small ideas that seem to challenge me to the core weekly.  Some little changes I can make and some bigger ones I am trying to work through. 

It’s good to enjoy food and laughs with friends who are also determined to encourage one another to grapple with things it’s easier to dismiss.  For each of us to become who we are meant to be and to think and live counter-culturally at times.

I seem to be hearing lots about consumerism at the minute.  I always falter with that when the new Howies or SAS catalogues arrive.  Mind you, this little piece made me smile:

“Come rain (and there will be), come shine (here’s hoping).  Even if our knees have knobbles and our calves are like sticks, we’ll be hunting through our wardrobes for our favourite shorts.  Because just a few hours of sunshine is all we need to remember those summers when we were kids.  When the sun shone for longer, the days were endless and our only deadline was tea on the table.  And when we got up in the morning and threw on our shorts and t-shirts, grabbed some toast and our bikes or skateboards and left for the day we knew that one day in the future the sun would be shining and we’d be putting on our shorts and remembering that feeling.

These are the days and they always were.”



“My old man always swore that hell would have no flames.
Just a front row seat to watch you true love pack her things and drive away.”

From “Poison” by Pedro The Lion.


How much great art, film and music has been inspired by the notion of love? 

Ask someone to describe what love feels like and either a stream of metaphors and pictures ensue or there is a pregnant pause whilst we try to grasp the language to capture something so huge.  At our core we were all made for relationship and we long to be loved.  When we listen to songs about love breaking down,  it pains us at times because most of us have been there at one point or another.  None of us want to lose something so special, to acknowledge that feelings change, to recognise a thrill has gone or to feel rejected.

The lyrics above come from a desperately sad song about the breakdown of a relationship and the failure to cope in the aftermath.  This week I have watched it unfold in the lives of two people I hold dear.  It seems to be beyond being able to fix and I see them cancelling their wedding arrangements and dealing with who owns what and who keeps the house they have spent the last few years rennovating. 

How do I offer more than trite concern?  How do I offer support, understanding, love and hope?  I feel helpless and insufficient and a deep sadness for my friends.

“It’s finished” sounds so final.  So bleak.  So empty.  So devoid of purpose.

Someone else cried “It is finished” and they accomplished something that gives me a hope and a purpose no matter how tired of life I feel at times. 

How do I convey that to my friends whilst one smiles and jokes with me safe in the knowledge I know what is going on and whilst the other forces a smile through pursed lips and wet eyes?  How do I reach out as their relationship disintegrates in front of us all and they and I feel so broken inside?

Casimir Pulaski Day

On my most recent post, I quoted extensively from an engaging interview with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine which appeared in Paste magazine.  You can link to that post here.  He commented that the three main topics which he believes will really affect someone as a human being are: love; God; and death. 

Are those the topics that really seperate “great” art (in whatever media i.e painting, sculpture, photography, literature, film, music, whatever) from “good” art?  For me, I think that notion certainly rings very true.  Faced with any one of those issues in isolation and, in our most quiet and honest moments, I reckon that we stop pretending.

I asked what these things would look or sound like?

For me, I think it might be something very much like the attached you tube clip.  This is a song that speaks more truth to me about these subjects than many others.  The video is something that has not been prepared by some high budget commission by the musician involved, but is simply someone having lovingly story-boarded the sentiment and imagery and story of the song.  The result gets me every time I watch and listen to it.  I know there can be a tendency to skip people’s video links on blogs, but I would encourage you to click the arrow below and watch this.


And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care?
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on”

From “October” by U2

Twenty seven years after its release, these two minutes and twenty seconds remain some of my favourites within U2’s catalogue.  Autumn leaves are such a common metaphor for life and love and loss.  In these days of global financial crisis, the line about kingdoms rising and falling resonates with me together with the thought of something eternal and everlasting and bigger than all of this mess we find ourselves in.

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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