Igor Strawinsky, Die Geschichte vom Soldaten, 1964. Unknown artist. From the Philips twen record series.
Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one. To be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man, and in the South the general conception of man is still, in the main, theological. That is a large statement, and it is dangerous to make it, for almost anything you say about Southern belief can be denied in the next breath with equal propriety. But approaching the subject from the standpoint of the writer, I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted. The Southerner, who isn’t convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God. Ghosts can be very fierce and instructive. They cast strange shadows, particularly in our literature. In any case, it is when the freak can be sensed as a figure for our essential displacement that he attains some depth in literature.
Flannery O’Connor (via thatdanielgardner)
Rachmaninov, Vespers - 2. Praise The Lord, O My Soul (Greek Chant)
Valeri Polyansky, USSR Ministry Of Culture Chamber Choir
Maskentänzers: Teufelmaske, Fuchmaske und Löwenmaske.
What are you doing with the life of this little lad?
Jesus invites the possibility of changing one’s mind and heart from settled patterns into something that admits of wide open possibilities contained in our life with God. To be open to new understanding and interpretation just as Jesus tried to offer his listeners new ways of imagining God’s love.
-Br. Robert L’Esperance
Jimmy Smith – Walk on the Wild Side
At the core of the Christian teaching is redemption. Every day, every moment offers each of us an opportunity. Jesus teaches us we are not bound by our past. This is revolutionary! This same notion offers us a life full of innumerable opportunities. But these not be taken as some far flung adventures – those opportunities can be as simple and spectacular as the songs of birds, the annual life and death of blossoms, the unfolding stories of our loved ones……on and on it goes. This is offered, not demanded. We are free to try this, or not. We are free to try it without Christ, without framing this concept in any sort of mystical frame. For me, the most inspiring and, in many ways, though not all, the most logical approach to life is to seek this through that spiritual lens and for me, that is the way of Christ. There, I find hope, strength, wisdom, and creative possibility. And joy! And in that vein, Jimmy Smith is offered as an example of that creative, joyous mischief. His brilliance with the organ brought the instrument into an entirely new light. And the title of this song encourages playful creativity, something seldom associated with Christianity, and that is tragic because when properly understood and practiced, playful creativity is arguably part of the Christian call. The great Oliver Nelson arranged this masterpiece and his band serves as the band for the album “Bashin’” from which the track derives. Starting out with a sort of brooding simmer, Jimmy Smith ushers in a brassy change of pace a couple minutes into the song and from there it snaps and bounces along in a captivating way, a smoldering example of what can be attained – even if we cannot comprehend it from where we currently stand. One last observation; I’m also reminded of patience in this song. I’ve always marveled at how patiently Jimmy Smith will ride out a note, masterfully carrying it, building up the expectation until an orgasmic release finally gets ushered in. What a genius!
I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.
Johnny Cash (via thecountryfucker)