Creatio ex Fury – listening to Whiskeytown on the Sabbath…

“He [Jesus] never shed his peace on this land/ so I started this damn Country band…” – Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown – “Faithless Street”

I wonder (along with Ryan Adams) how much contemporary music is started where faith ends – amidst the disappointment and discouragement found in the wake of God’s seeming silence. The more I listen to the neo-cynics (writers, singer-songwriters, bloggers, etc) I find such a longing for God just to punch back. As if the vitriol waged is not for humanity, but the post code is actually the divine abyss – a message in a whiskey bottle thrown in fury and tears into the canyon-shaped darkness of our over-worn echoes crying out for love and acknowledgement.

If we hear the whiskey bottle explode upon impact – at least we will know something is at the bottom of all things. Maybe our tears will find a resting place amidst the broken shards of frustration as well.

I think this is what Elliott Smith was after with “Bottle Up and Explode” and everything afterword including the third self-inflicted thrust of the knife into his own heart – if I can’t figure out why this heart should keep beating, then maybe stopping it will be something…


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  1. I’m trying to find a quote right now by Flannery O’Connor, but I’m not hitting upon the combination of words for a good Google search. Essentially, she makes the point that great fiction writing comes out of understanding that we have all born with original sin and that we can all move towards redemption. Without recognizing this, there is essentially, no worthwhile journey, for a character, or piece of art, per se, to make. Having said that, I think art spawns from a place of wondering, coping, healing. And it is a blessing that God gives even those who don’t bow down to him, art at all.

  2. great post mishabomb – good to have the artists chime in from time to time. My sense is that Flannery o’Conner was certainly a figure worthy of blogging with…

    Your comments regard original sin is interesting. Are you saying that art finds its home in original sin?

  3. Hm, wow. I think art finds its REAL home when it intends to unify, glorify and beautify. In that sense, I think we all realize our fallenness to some degree, God-trusting people and those who aren’t, and hence, we create with a desire to (sub)consciously make this world a more unified, glorious or beautiful place.

  4. I agree with the notion of home – authentic and ‘real’- as finding its true expression in the glory and beauty that is the ultimate concern of the Creator. I think that art is challenging for that very reason – it is so ‘real’ and the desire for such truth drains us of cynicism and leave us breathless… so that we need CPR divine breathed to live again…

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