…I said to myself, ‘I do believe in God.’ But I have the right to protest against His ways. I have the right to be angry. And so, I do it a lot, very often, and I wouldn’t change a word of my discourse to God, my appeals to God, against God. Because I came to a certain formulation saying a man can be religious or can come from a religious background, with God or against God but not without God. So I cannot live without God.”
— Elie Wiesel
“…To fallen comrades, all i have to offer is this
word of insignificance, y’all really been missed (1)
some soldiers never enlist, but find themselves
engaged in conflict where it’s life’s stakes, regardless (2)
aint nothin’ promised from the minute we started
still it’s hard feelin’ you wasn’t robbed of any part
every bar penned in your memory’s honor, my intercession
i struggle to keep the faith, i’m bereft of possession
what’s left then, of this pathetic relic i stepped in?
the cut through the core may have severed my last connection (3)
i’m expectin’ a sign of acceptance, tethered to the axiom (4)
inadequate reception, i reckon it’s from the valium (5)
a stepson of the pallium challenge and test one (6)
nebulous response said ‘it’s better not to question’ (7)
in rejection of your slant, i’m demanding an explanation
where’s the justice or the justification in takin’ nathan? ( 8 )
brother you listenin’? send the exposition
i’m sick of pretending there’s any intent to my existence (9)
i’mma lie beneath the woodbine, lookin’ for a sign
if you could find [one] – right about now’d be a good time
CHORUS: i had a dream this morning
that the rain came pourin’ better vacate the warren, and i…
i’ve never seen such mournin’
in the wake of a storm better wake up the warden, and i…
beg you to heed this warnin’
for the sake of the pure and i’mma wait here for ‘em
we gotta leave these quarters
and escape what’s in store, either face fate or break, y’all (10)
a straggling of peers in the academy
are lookin’ at me like ‘you said to move, start travelling’ (11)
a captain with no navigating skills in the galley
fightin’ to flee the feral at the peril of the menagerie (12)
within the waves [i] start waverin’
where’s this revelation when the frame comes cavin’ in? (13)
grave thoughts – where they ’bout to put mine? if you
overlook a crime, right about now’d be a good time…
it’s a long reach into vast space
lately i been slashed, maybe you could meet me halfway (14)
days passed since i got the cache tatted (15)
i’m a fast player with the match and paper in the ashtray (16)
told when i asked that the pathway is wide, though
accommodatin’ all cats attracted to the fire’s glow (17)
tough as it was i let my pride go – something said to ( 18 )
trust, but it’s nothing left inside to revive, over (19)
thin books of laws we found cause for discord
and distort every bit of wisdom it gives forth
quick to stir it up and settle shit with a fist, lord
they’d be afraid of death if they had something to live for (20)
the orb in the distance shone for the lone canoness
grantin’ ‘em amnesty for tamperin’ with the manifest (21)
my mannerism a prism and should shine, light it if you would
be so kind, right now’d be a good time
i’m tryin’ not to feel responsible
for complicating things in relation to the chronicle
you’re free to walk away, for you to stay seems improbable
if i led you astray i pray to suffer the unconscionable
but if [there's] truth therein, drop the
anchor deep and save me, thankfully your bravery
withstood mine, shook in the waves, but it looks fine
give praise – right about now’d be a good time.” (22)
(1) – this song was written several days after the tragic passing of a dedicated massline street-teamer, nate loyola. his death came at a time when my faith in god was extraordinarily delicate; the period of psycho-spiritual chaos that ensued reminded me of a scene from the classic richard adams novel.
(2) – much like the late, great j. dilla, nate fell victim to a rare illness which doctors were unable to combat. so often we sympathize with parents who lose sons and daughters in futile warfare, but even the smallest part of us acknowledges the risk inherent in military service. it takes a different type of compassion to understand the grieving process behind an unexpected death; when there is no enemy to blame, one tends to point the finger at god.
(3) – a fair amount of doubt in the divine came just after i underwent surgery for crohn’s disease. literally cut through the core, i was left weakened, debilitated and demoralized for quite some time (coincidentally, my father had surgery for a hernia shortly before committing suicide). i felt that my physical condition was a direct reflection of my spirit – both were essentially useless.
(4) – in this regard, i can relate to the elie wiesels of the world.
(5) – xanax and percocet, technically, but you get the point: the heart’s not open when the mind is closed.
(6) – when my mother remarried, our family dynamic changed drastically; i went from being “man of the house” to youngest of 5 kids overnight. one of the hardest labels for me to accept was that of “stepson,” despite the earnest efforts of my new father figure. i used to imagine how christ must have felt about joseph, and wondered if he ever said to the old man “you’re not my real dad.” what a terrible, terrible thing to say.
(7) – i had many sunday school teachers, all with one train of thought.
( 8 ) – some questions are far too complicated to be issued a patent response.
(9) – a direct plea to nate; not the first or the last time i’ve asked for assistance/confirmation from beyond.
(10) – a quick wiki on watership down and the chorus starts to make a little sense.
(11) – feelin’ like fiver. it’s nobody’s fault but mine.
(12) – you’re just gonna have to let that one sink in.
(13) – intuitive at all the wrong moments.
(14) – another reference to the surgical resectioning. click and read if you please, but let me assure you that perusing the overview provides very little insight into the physical demands of this procedure. i was forced out of bed by a contentious nurse on the first day of recovery. she was encouraging, but refused to help me limp along the hallway of the 5th floor at providence; i covered roughly fifteen feet. it occurred to me as i settled back into bed: there must be a spiritual equivalent to physical therapy; my soul is in such pain.
(15) – funny thing about tattoos – you get them to serve as a constant reminder of one moment in time, but the memory fades long before the ink, and soon enough the adornment becomes as innocuous as a natural, god-given beauty mark. i’m no more a baha’i with the tattoo than i would be without it, though it does occasionally remind me of more ardent days.
(16) – clean and sober for some time now, but it hasn’t always been that way (neither does it come easy).
(17) – some folks argue whether or not the baha’i faith is for everyone; i think the guidance is clear.
( 18 ) – leaving the church was kind of a big deal, and i admit i rushed into the faith just to expedite that process of separation. i think pride often times comes between man and god when the former is faced with the opportunity to adopt a doctrine; many of us prefer to be “spiritual” as opposed to “religious” beings. i was not all that different, so after declaring myself a member of the baha’i faith i reveled in its exclusivity (by nature of its relative obscurity, not its tenets). pride is a wicked beast.
(19) – it’s like exhuming a corpse to perform CPR. who does that?
(20) – a whole lot happenin’ in those 4 bars, right there. do the knowledge.
(21) – hell’s not big enough to house ronald reagan AND all the russians. evil doers get a pass.
(22) – there’s a downside to sharing your religious convictions with others – every once in a while someone decides they feel the same way, and they choose to join you on your path toward enlightenment. i do enjoy company – that’s not the issue. the problem is when you start contemplating whether or not you’re on the right path; at that point you start to wonder if you’ll be held accountable for inadvertently steering others in the wrong direction. guilt is an utterly useless emotion, and it has caused me much consternation. i found that once i favored the community-based over the individualistic approach to faith i fared much better. good look, kirbs.
for those who’ve ever lost someone, then lost themselves: