13 May 2012

On Psalm 6

King David had the blues on occasion, that's clear.  How many of his songs of lament were introduced with a nod to the instrument in hand.

Take Psalm Six for example:  "For the leader with string music on the 8-stringed harp."  Spring warming into Summer.  Moon closer to Earth.  A stillness captures the night.  An the conscience awakens.

"Let not your anger rebuke me, Eternal; let not your rage chasten me."  Sometimes an uncommon beauty in the air, like a work of art, reflects a perfection which is the obverse of our own inherent faults.

Jerusalem can do that to a man.  He's alone in the night and his consciousness is rattled awake by the clear, dark surrounding of a low black sky.  He begs for grace in his suffering, for his rattling bones to be healed of their anxiousness, their fitful state.

He imagines his own death and like all early-stage mourners, bargains.  If you do this, I'll do that.  "For in death, there is no remembrance of you, Eternal!  Who will offer words of thanks to you, Source of Life, down there, below?"

The silence, a prison.

And then sighs, deep sighs, and tears.  His bed at sea; his couch washed away.

Taken down.  Reduced to his element substance.  Primordial creation.  Water separated from water.  The black sky upon him, the heavy rule of truth:  "Anger has blinded my eyes; troubles have aged me."

An abandoned ancient.  An ill wind blows.

What happens next is nothing less than miraculous.  The stuff of legend.  What he does with his guitar; how his voice rings out; the artist holds you in his spell.  Your words, your soul, are his.

"Depart from me all ye workers of iniquity, for the Eternal hath heard the voice of my weeping."

The music fulfills the promise.  Lights the night.  Lays to rest, again, the tremors of anger and anguish.

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