a bit preachy today

I abhor the kind of nationalism that enshrines one country or tribe over others. But I do believe strongly in citizenship as a privilege and duty.

If one believes in the common society and one knows what a privilege it is to be living in America right now (as I do in both cases), it doesn’t seem like too much to ask to do a little poking around and decide who or what you should vote vote and then get off your butt and go do it..

Just my opinion of course.

I had a good day yesterday. I did practice Mendelssohn on and off all day. I learn something everyday about my piano technique and the music I am rehearsing.

In face I have already put in a few enlightening minutes this morning on a passage in this piece.

I probably spent more time and energy cleaning house. I went out and bought three more bookshelves. Made a trip to the local thrift shop to drop off stuff.

After supper with Eileen I came home and went entirely through my playing portions of my Thursday gig. I like to do this when the gig is coming up. It not only rehearses the piece but rehearses the stamina and memory.

Then I treadmilled. All in all another good day.

Ray asked about St. John of the Cross’s use of the word “nothing.”  I think my own understanding of the gratuitous nature of being alive and finding joy in life and music (the arts) that is lived in the moment is influenced if not originally formed by Christian mystical thinking.

Covers of
Here's a Christian book that influenced me as a kid. It's all about a man who totally renounces life as usual and lives in a box. No wonder my values are the way they are. Thank you, Mr. Blue. Click on the pic for a nice article about this book.

Just this last Sunday the readings were a passage I like quite a bit. It’s the story of the man who tore down his barns to build bigger barns. Jesus tells his disciples has just told his disciples to guard against greed and that life is more than possessions.

The man who built bigger barns says to his soul:

And I will say to my soul, `Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

This is the end of the reading from Sunday but the 12th chapter of Luke goes on:

He said to (his) disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap;

they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow.

They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore.All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them.Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

I can’t believe I’m putting up Bible verses on my blog, but I think that my whole life philosophy (one that can easily understand and partially embrace the “nothing” of St. John of the Cross) grows largely out of naively hearing the stories like the one above and then retaining this most radical idea: “Don’t worry. Don’t worry about things that really don’t matter. And as the saying goes, most of it doesn’t matter.

Here endeth the lesson.

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