19 October 2010

150 (70-72)

70.  who has patience?  hurry!  save me!  now!  hurry up!  we know panic.  what it looks like.  what it feels like.  quick.  urgent.  to the point.  who has time to capitalize?  "but i am poor and needy; o god, make haste unto me; thou art my help and my deliverer; o lord, tarry not."  you know what i mean?  "thou art my help and my deliverer; o lord, tarry not!"  i need to capitalize that?  (mac:  "one good minute will last me a whole year!")  srsly.

71.  "Upon Thee have I stayed myself from birth; Thou art He took me out of my mother's womb; my praise is continually of Thee."  Have I said this before?  Forgive me for repeating myself.  When I was a small boy, I used to stay awake at night, imagining an alleviation of the anxiety of darkness by becoming a small vessel, afloat on the sea, at one with the water of life.  My mother taught me to pray, bless her soul.  She came into our room at night, after washed faces and brushed teeth, and directed:  "Say your prayers."  And then we recited what she taught us.  We thanked God for the gift of sleep, for the security of morning light, the horizon of which was arrived at through the benevolent protection of the Source of Life and the Generosity of Spirit, thereof; followed by a delineation of gratitude for having all those in my life who I'd then list.

"Cast me not off in the time of old age; when my strength faileth, forsake me not (isn't that the name of a flower?)

That fear of sleep; of darkness; of old age; of death.

When Jon and Helen got married, they had a barbecue the day before the wedding.  The Sundowners played--old Southern guys, living in exile in Chicago, in Helen's driveway.  Tradition.  Music.  Men. 

"I will also give thanks unto Thee with the psaltery, even unto Thy truth, O God, I will sing praises unto Thee with the harp, O Thou Holy One of Israel."

Have you ever really listened to Johnny Cash's last recordings--the last recordings of a musical giant, knowing he was going to die, before he died?  Don't think David didn't know this.  Don't delude yourself for a minute.  He knew.

Every transition a death, accompanied by a song, a psalm. That's the point.  Selah.

72.  Every transition a death, accompanied by a song, a psalm.  That's the point.  Selah.  

The scholars say this is the last of David's psalms and here following are those of other authors.  We face, in other words, loss of a poetic voice, a personality.  The Soncino commentary in the English language hints toward the idea that this psalm is an expression about God's idea king.  Given the sad state of affairs in American democracy today, go ahead: have a party--read this psalm.  You want to compare David's last great effort to the DREK out there today?  Look at this:  righteousness, generosity, decency, compassion, concern for the oppressed--"while the sun endureth, and so long as the moon, throughout the generations."  Would that it were.

And these words:

Seventeen:  May his name endure forever; may his name be continued as long as the sun; may men also bless themselves by him; may all nations call him happy.

Eighteen:  Blessed be the Eternal God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things

Nineteen:  And blessed be His glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory, Amen and Amen.

Twenty:  The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

David's dad's name was Jesse?

See what you learn reading this stuff?

1 comment:

Marco Siegel-Acevedo said...

Ah. Johnny Cash, circa "The Man Comes Around"-- I think that'll be the voice I hear, reading Psalms from here on in.