Cool Stuff

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For the second time in a month I have the very same U2 song lyric stuck in my mind: "We see the sun go down in your eyes" from the song "One Tree Hill" which is an ode to a dead friend on Bono's...Greg Carroll. This song sends shivers right through me every time I hear it...

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy love
The sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars
Carved into stone
On the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You run like a river, on like a sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in the world a heart of darkness
A fire zone
Where poets speak their heart
Then bleed for it
Jara sang - his song a weapon
In the hands of one
though his blood still cries
From the ground

It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses
Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill

We run like a river
Runs to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining
Raining hard
That's when the rain will
Break the heart

Raining...raining in your heart
Raining into your heart
Raining...raining into your heart
Raining, raining...raining
Raining into your heart
Raining your heart into the sea

Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea

By U2

I have always felt more "real"...more "alive" when I was sad...that's not speculation, it's FACT. That would explain my tendency toward art works by Van Gogh or Picasso or Impressionism as a whole, music by John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix..Curt Cobain. Death was never TABOO to me nor was it necessarily sad and certainly NOT bad. It just WAS...and IS. I feel more alive when I am in tune with my mortality...the fact that yep, I'm gonna die some day...OH, and that day could be TODAY!

Hence the recent FOCUS on salvation, redemption and eternal life as a FOLLOWER of GOD....

Intense songs or poems of reality really are what move me, more so then some game of "let's pretend all's well and look he other way"...Nope, that ain't my style.

Great War Poetry is also a huge influence on me because it captures the stark REALNESS, The SMELL and HARD REALITY of our daily existence at all times...One of my favorite works and I've reproduced it here on Shell Shock several times before is Wilford Owen's Spring Offensive about men about to go on an attack that more then likely they won't survive...yet they go anyway:

Halted against the shade of a last hill,
They fed, and, lying easy, were at ease
And, finding comfortable chests and knees
Carelessly slept. But many there stood still
To face the stark, blank sky beyond the ridge,
Knowing their feet had come to the end of the world.

Marvelling they stood, and watched the long grass swirled
By the May breeze, murmurous with wasp and midge,
For though the summer oozed into their veins
Like the injected drug for their bones' pains,
Sharp on their souls hung the imminent line of grass,
Fearfully flashed the sky's mysterious glass.
Hour after hour they ponder the warm field —
And the far valley behind, where the buttercups
Had blessed with gold their slow boots coming up,
Where even the little brambles would not yield,
But clutched and clung to them like sorrowing hands;
They breathe like trees unstirred.
Till like a cold gust thrilled the little word
At which each body and its soul begird
And tighten them for battle. No alarms
Of bugles, no high flags, no clamorous haste —
Only a lift and flare of eyes that faced
The sun, like a friend with whom their love is done.
O larger shone that smile against the sun, —
Mightier than his whose bounty these have spurned.
So, soon they topped the hill, and raced together
Over an open stretch of herb and heather
Exposed. And instantly the whole sky burned
With fury against them; and soft sudden cups
Opened in thousands for their blood; and the green slopes
Chasmed and steepened sheer to infinite space.
Of them who running on that last high place
Leapt to swift unseen bullets, or went up
On the hot blast and fury of hell's upsurge,
Or plunged and fell away past this world's verge,
Some say God caught them even before they fell.
But what say such as from existence' brink
Ventured but drave too swift to sink.
The few who rushed in the body to enter hell,
And there out-fiending all its fiends and flames
With superhuman inhumanities,
Long-famous glories, immemorial shames —
And crawling slowly back, have by degrees
Regained cool peaceful air in wonder —
Why speak they not of comrades that went under?

By Wilford Owen

I have always seen life through a different "LENS" then anyone else...or so I think. That would explain my love for IMPRESSIONISM.

File:Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant, 1872.jpg
(Painting: Claude Monet)

Speaking of Impressionistic all honesty, that is how I actually physically see the world on a daily mind filters reality back to me that way. Oddly I think that is somehow connected to a new phenomenon I have been experiencing while doing the Bible Reading Ministry at local Nursing Homes and for shut-ins from our church.

While I am reading out loud, I have begun to notice that I detach from what I am actually doing (reading) and I can picture what I am reading about as if it is actually happening. For instance I can  picture Jesus walking down a crowded road near Galilee, desperate, excited crowds pressing in to be healed...his disciples getting frustrated as the crowds push in and are delaying their arrival to their destination. I can "see" everything, hear the sounds, SMELL it. Animals, donkeys, dogs and sheep moving down the road...children playing about as their parents strain to hear but a single word from the "TEACHER"...and all might be better.

I can "see" it as if it exists right in front of me and the more I read...the more the story takes on life, the words and sound become multi-dimensional and I begin to lock right into the rhythm, the very cadence of the is almost like an out-of-body-experience. And I might's highly addictive...I LOVE the way that feels but can't always re-capture it every time I read out loud. I need to be careful with something so addictive or I'll end up wanting to read to people 24/7...haha!

These very thoughts, notions, ideas and thoughts I am expressing in this post, are the VERY SAME things I felt as a boy when I would later describe my feelings about them by saying that I always felt DIFFERENT from everybody else. I just KNEW that nobody else felt this stuff the same way that I did and I was afraid of admitting it publicly because I was afraid they would make fun of me or mock me for my being different...I didn't know if I was just a little more intense and "arty" then most people or if I was really screwed up, way different then the "norm" and something was really freaking wrong with me...and these same feelings have stayed with me all the way through my suicide attempt, healing and then getting/staying sober and finally my becoming a FOLLOWER of Jesus Christ. I know now I am just ME and that is great, it's who I am and nothing really else matters.

This has been a interesting blog post RIFF tonight, because I honestly didn't have ANY idea that this stuff was weighing heavily on my mind. But it has always been true that I have always been a "HEAVY PERSON" emotionally...not only letting myself feel my emotions but EMBRACING them to their fullest extent and I think that is what works the best for me...So in this post, we'll just let ME be ME and let it fly....

(Paintings By Vincent Van Gogh)


  1. More weirdness...
    "I'm gonna die some day...OH, and that day could be TODAY!"
    I've been reading here for a while, and quite often you will have written something that was pretty close to what I had been thinking about. Yesterday or the day before, I was walking down the street and something along those lines popped out of my head. Looking back now, it isn't a far stretch to say that I could probably write a checklist of all the similarities, except for the fact that you are the extreme, intense, emotional version. I know I've said this before, but I still find it rather bizarre, especially now, from all of what I recall. Now it isn't just the Great War poets, a lot of the music, including U2 and now One Tree Hill, the sleep "issue", the Impressionist painters, the being different aspect, but also your view on death and even your furnace breaking down... Of course I realize, 'tis the season, but still, these are only the parts that I do remember. It is fascinating indeed.

    As for the damn wall... Here's to you making it over it, through it or around it.

  2. I couldn't agree more SG, it's definitely weird. I just appreciate the fact that with the blog and all, today I know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do, that there are others. It makes life better for me knowing I'm not alone...