This is my personal blog. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the congregations or presbytery I serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild Goose 11.

   The music at the festival was outstanding.  You could almost have done nothing but listen to music for the 4 days.  I already talked about the first night's performers.  There was somebody good every night.  But the last night, Saturday, was phenomenal.  I think the highlight of the whole event in terms of the music was Sarah Masen singing Bob Dylan's, "It's Not Dark Yet."  She interpreted this haunting song like opera. It was breathtaking.
   The song has that Dylanesque apocalyptic flavor of so many of his greatest songs.  Here it is:

Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writing what was in her mind
I just don’t see why I should even care
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Well, I’ve been to London and I’ve been to gay Paree
I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea
I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Copyright © 1997 by Special Rider Music

   It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.  That sentiment sums up a lot of our situation right now.  I can only wonder if events like Wild Goose aren't too little too late.  This sense is intensified by some of the reaction to the festival in the media.  The festival was reviewed in The Economist, of all places.  They gave their customary, superior, dismissive, self-righteous take on something they don't particularly understand, or want to.  According to them this was an insignificant gathering of hippies and anachronistic liberals.  One wonders why they gave it space.
   The media connected to the religious right has been more vicious, led by the Institute for Religion and Democracy.  The IRD worships Capitalism and hates just about everything anyone does who attempts to follow Jesus Christ.  They charge the festival with being "gnostic" which only means they don't know the difference between gnosticism and mysticism.
   My point is that the darkness deepens in these days when our society is convulsed by paranoia, hysteria, bigotry, and lies, as evidenced by the Tea Party and its deliberate paralysis of government.  That much of this masquerades as "Christian" is even more depressing, but, of course, nothing new.  
   More and more the prescription to counteract all this darkness is simply to follow Jesus.  And that is what Wild Goose was about.  It was a gathering of people seeking to deepen and strengthen their discipleship of Jesus Christ.  
   It looks like it will get darker before it gets brighter.  But Wild Goose was a hint of a new dawn.   

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