No Things Are Uninteresting

By now, you might have noticed some these around here.  My main concern is coming to terms with what the Christ-event means for all of us.  As I’m trapped inside my skull, with my experiences, perspective, education, and so on, I am limited in what I can say.  That’s why I talk a whole lot about what others say.  They’re smarter, their perspective is different, their experiences are different, and they add to my understanding giving me the opportunity to move out from behind my eyes and see things through another’s.  That’s not just a privilege.  That’s a blessing.

You might also have noticed that the main entry point for my understanding is music.  I can’t explain it.  I just know it’s true.  My brain is wired funny, I guess, because all sorts of music, from the Renaissance and Baroque through heavy metal, hip-hop, even psychedelia, move me deeply.  In fact, I’ve discovered something funny.  While I will admit to having used marijuana a few times in my youth, it’s been decades since I tried it.  Never tried any psychedelics.  Yet, music does for me, chemical-free, what it is supposed to do for those who listen while their minds are chemically altered.  I can see sounds.  I can hear shapes.  This is known as synesthesia, and it’s supposed to be debilitating.  The truth is, it enhances not only my experience of listening to music, but of life in general.  Take this song from Samsara Blues Experiment.  Listening is not just an aural experience.  I can feel the sounds, taste them.  The rhythm has color.  The echoes fold over one another in shifting shades of color that make my fingers and toes tingle.  I can’t explain it any better than that:

Music moves me intellectually and faithfully.  Yet, there are other kinds of beauty that get me thinking about faith in different ways.

Courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope

Courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope

These are what have come to be called the Pillars Of Creation.  They are in the Eagle Nebula, about 7,000 light years from earth.  They have been given the name because within these enormous clouds of gas and dust stars, and perhaps whole solar systems, are being birthed. forming from the heat and pressure and gravity within.

It isn’t just the enormous and far away that capture my mind and take my breath away.

prions

This is a prion, the most primitive form of what can be called “life” there is.  It is little more than a strand of DNA inside a thin protein sheath.  Prions are disease vectors, specifically things like mad-cow disease and its human counterpart.  Because of their size and simplicity, destroying them without destroying the host in next to impossible.  Yet, for all that, they are creatures of life, created by God, and beautiful in their simplicity, their capacity for growth, change, even evolution, and how they continue to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances of life on earth.

I find all these things, and so very much more, more than interesting.  They are awe-inspiring.

Which is why people like creationists, and the Alex-Jones-conspiratorial types, and the whole reptilian-conspiracy types, and UFO/Bigfoot/Loch Ness Monster hunters insulting.  Not just to science, or human intelligence.  They are an insult to the marvelous variety and complexity of the Universe created by God.  As much as we’ve discovered, as much as we understand, we are coming to a point as a species where we are starting to understand how little we know or understand of the Universe around us.  Those folks I mentioned before, they make the Universe small.  It isn’t small.  It’s almost beyond our ability to grasp.

IDL TIFF file

This is the Hubble Ultra Deep Space Field (HUDF).  It’s taken from an area that, to the human eye, is about the size of a postage stamp in the constellation Fornax, and the furthest images are nearly as old as the Universe itself, about 13 billion light years away.  Compared to this, the ramblings of the UFO Hunters and creationists are nonsensical babbling, tales told by idiots signifying nothing.

So music is, well, my muse.  But I am also held in awe and wonder by so much more.

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About gksafford

I'm a middle-aged theologically educated clergy spouse, living in the Midwest. My children are the most important thing in my life. Right behind them and my wife is music. I'm most interested in teaching people to listen to contemporary music with ears of faith. Everything else you read on here is straw.
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