Friday, December 25, 2009


I have really taken to Hawaiian music, at least what I have heard so far.  We have two CD's by Iz (Israel) Kamakawiwoʻole.

One of the songs is"You are the wind beneath my wings".  The singer tells of his mate, calmly standing by and making a good life for them both while he gets all the fame and attention.  The image of someone being the wind that allows wings to function reminds me of this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, called "Brahma".  Emerson and the other American transcendentalists knew about Eastern, Hindu and Buddhist thought, writings and poetry.  Since that part of the world has been thinking about spiritual things for several thousand years, their literature is rich with great ideas.

If the red slayer think he slays,
  Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
  I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near, 
  Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
  And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
  When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
  And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
  And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
  Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

1856 [1857]

I love the poetic image that when I doubt God, the doubt itself is also God.  When I flee God, he is the feet I run away on and the path I am traveling.

Hope this is a wonderful and fulfilling Christmas and the beginning of a lovely 2010! 
(I get a lift just writing "2010".  A year with such good characters in it has got to be good.)

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