Twilight / Dawn

Thus turns the world to sleep
Like the thoughts, revolving
Behind my eyelids
                  I see you, there
And I shut them so much the tighter
For I hear a thousand voices
Intone so bright a chord
I know I could never quite dance
Suitably, to such a song.
Thus I clench my fists around
Every word
           and they fall,
Broken, to circumstance
And to some future skyline,
Forgotten like a picture book.
How could I ever dream of days
Filled with anything but despair
And false wells to drown in
Except...  You.
                 All,
                 except for You.
You are
        a singularity,
                      a ray: simplicity
Ebullient and towering and glorious
And altogether baffling
For countless are the days
I've spent, floundering in puddles
Of my own design, silencing
The whispered corners of my mind.
Still,
       even now
You do not forsake me
And still,
           the words I claim are rubble
They all will fade to retrospect
As dust, beside You.
                     Heard softly,
Your words are all that I shall ever need.

Not the prettiest type in the world, but until I find a better way to preserve the structure, it’ll suffice. ¬†ūüôā

Ooh, I need a song to leave y’all with, don’t I… ¬†So here’s a song about the Transfiguration. ¬†Because, why not have a song about the Transfiguration? ¬†So there you go. ¬†And it’s pretty.

Good old Sufjan never lets us down…

I hope that wherever you may be this evening, dear reader, that you are feeling the peace and joy of Christ that thaws every winter into spring. ¬†(Maybe it won’t for a little longer if you’re up north. ¬†But He will. ¬†Just you wait. ¬†ūüėČ

Peace to you, now and always.  Stay classy.

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WP Review: 7 Best Tracks of 2015

2015 was a year of grand triumphs for some, and of bitter defeat for others. ¬†Hip-hop saw the release of an incredibly acclaimed album, and the pop scene soared with the triumphant return of Adele. ¬†At the same time, indie veterans like Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie released LP’s to disappointment from fans and critics alike.

But all is not lost, as a new cast of characters appears to be emerging from the wings. ¬†Some have fully embraced the 21st century’s gradual shift toward a more intense, electronic sound. ¬†Others have rebelled into a sort of folk revival, painting lush and intricate scenes with the sparest of instrumentation. ¬†Either way, the face of music may look very different in a few years as these artists continue to grow and the stars of the 2000’s slowly wave goodbye.

We’re now halfway into this decade, and while some decry the music of this modern era, 2015 was home to a handful of standout tracks. ¬†Here are some of the ones I most enjoyed, in the hopes that you will enjoy them too.

Continue reading “WP Review: 7 Best Tracks of 2015”

Post-Mortem

Autopsy report conducted December 31, 11:50 pm EST.

Subject: Anno Domini Two-Thousand and Fifteen.

Cause of death: it’s compicated.

Other notes:  It would appear from preliminary examination of the body that the subject died of natural causes.  However, death may have been hastened by a number of causes, including but not limited to severe depression, distraction from electronic devices, and meme overdose.

What am I saying?  You can never get enough memes!

Look at it long enough. ¬†You’ll see it.

Every time the end of the year rolls around, the first thing I think to write about is the fact that New Years celebrations are really kind of arbitrary.  Important things never happen on New Years or birthdays, only on dates of entire randomness and seeming insignificance.

On the other hand, one of the things I’ve realized more this year is that even if celebrations like those are arbitrary, that doesn’t mean they’re not important. ¬†Even if one has to deal with annoying people singing annoying songs on stages with flashing lights and such.

The eve of a new year stands as a sort of moment of collective mindfulness. ¬†Mindfulness of the fact that time passes more quickly than we often think. ¬†It’s a moment when for once we slow down, take stock of where we stand and who we are. ¬†Am I on the path I truly believe I’m meant to be on? ¬†The path that God wants me to be on?

Of course, New Year’s Eve and our own birthday, fine and dandy as they are, i’m gonna keep typing the same thing over and over and see if mom notices. ¬†I’m gonna keep typing the same thing over and over and see if mom notices. ¬†I’m gonna keep typing the same thing over and over and see if mom notices. ¬†I’m gonna keep typing the same thing

There is no denying now that you can read what I’m typing mom, because you started laughing, so don’t tell me it looks like a blur because you’re not wearing your reading glasses.

Haha.

This is our family.

Anyways,

Of course, every day of the year should be dedicated to this kind of mindfulness. ¬†New Year’s Eve and our own birthday are fine and dandy, of course. ¬†I, at least, sometimes have a tendency to shove mindfulness to the back burner of my head so I can focus on more important things.

But really, can we focus on important things if we’re not mindful of what “important” means?

Maybe you’re in a place where you’ve got the hang of mindfulness a lot more than I do. ¬†And if so, that’s absolutely wonderful. ¬†I’m just thinking out loud here. ¬†ūüôā

To be honest, I have no idea what 2016 will be like. ¬†We’ll get a new president, which should be interesting. ¬†And we’ll have an extra day of February, which should be fun. ¬†Beyond that, only time and people who know more about the world than I do can tell.

It’s been the best of times. ¬†It’s been the worst of times. ¬†I feel like I’ve seen the flag flown at half-mast many times too often this year. ¬†It’s a terrible world out there. ¬†And yet there is such beauty in it. ¬†One has to wonder how the two things can exist simultaneously; beauty and evil, goodness and pain.

I suppose we can only trust in God to reconcile the two in the end.  And ask Him for the strength and wisdom to further His kingdom in this world as we advance towards the next.

So here’s to another year of advancing.

And here’s to those moments when you’re bored, your iPod is out of batteries, and it’s late, but you stop and take the time to be thankful for being alive, for the fact that you’ve just come from church, that you’ve gotten to stroll briefly around downtown Manassas, VA, and that you’re listening to U2 with your dad. ¬†(It’s been a long evening, but a good one.) ¬†Moments of unusual, healthy, necessary silence in an otherwise cacophonous world.

That’s all I got. ¬†To all of you my dear followers, I love you.

But it wouldn’t be a new year if I didn’t quote this song…

So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let’s make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogues bleed into one
I wish the world was flat like the old days
And I could travel just by folding the map
No more airplanes or speed trains or freeways
There’d be no distance that could hold us back

–¬†‚ÄúThe New Year‚ÄĚ, Death Cab for Cutie

To anyone and everyone reading this, I wish you a merry Christmastide, and a blessed new year.  Peace to you.

In Terra, Pax

‚ÄúWhat ever happened to White Christmases?‚ÄĚ is kind of a silly question where I live, because they never existed in the first place. ¬†To be honest, I hold nothing against any of the people who enjoyed a nice 6-inch-think sheet of snow outside their houses as they sipped their hot cocoa and opened gifts this morning… ¬†But even I think that a high of 70 is a bit ludicrous. ¬†Evidently it’s just not in the town budget to afford snow on Christmas Day, which is understandable. ¬†It’s definitely in high demand this time of year. ¬†As long as we get a respectable amount in January and February, I’ll be happy.

So, it was fog and not snow through which the streetlamps shone in the streets of the town below as I stood in the church parking lot last night.  And it was strange.  But I was kind of okay with it.

Funny how the more you think about things, the more sense they seem to make.  Because as I drove slowly through the ethereally backlit clouds of mist on the way home, it occurred to me that what I found so enchanting about misty evenings is being limited in how far you can see.  When the edges of reality are hidden behind a sheet of monochrome, one imagines that anything could exist behind them.  You could be on a cloud, or somewhere in Europe.  Or in an uninhabited, vaguely magical carbon copy of your own hometown.

And it occurred to me that this visual handicap is an appropriate metaphor for Christmas.  When Christ the Lord was born in Bethlehem, two-thousand and sixteen years ago, give or take, how few people realized the implications of his coming.  For though He appeared but the average child of a poor / middle class young family, His coming was heralded by an army of heavenly splendor, and a fantastical star illumining the sky.  And at the edges of reality, shrouded by the mist, lay His future, His Passion, death, and Resurrection: the future of the whole human race.

That such awe-inspiring power and divinity came down to earth contained in human form is a mystery we will never entirely understand, though many have explicated its essence well. ¬†It too hangs over our lives like a mist, and is equally as enchanting and mystifying…

Just some thoughts this Christmas Day.  Or night, that is.  I hope you, dear reader are enjoying your evening, and I wish you peace, and joy, and a very merry Christmas, and pray to God to bless you abundantly.

But what would Christmas be without the annual Window Philosopher Christmas Playlist? ¬†(And there is still plenty of time to enjoy it, right? ¬†Epiphany’s still a ways off. ¬†ūüôā

God bless, and good night.  Christus est natus!  Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax, alleluia, alleluia!

Data-Determinism

‚ÄúIn the information age, we have embraced the language and priorities of technological intelligence to the exclusion of more visceral and emotional ways of understanding human existence.‚ÄĚ

– Bill McGarvey

read more (americamagazine.org)

In a world where technology is quickly establishing itself as a sort of pseudo-religion, articles like this one stand out as particularly timely and on point.  Source: America Magazine (a publication I highly recommend).


MLA source citation (good practice for college students…)

McGarvey, Bill. ¬†‚ÄúData-Determinism.‚ÄĚ ¬†America 28 Sept. 2015: 40. ¬†Print.

On this lovely Autumn morning, a few things must be said:

  1. Hi.
  2. I hope this post finds all my fellow bloggers in good health and spirits.
  3. Just wanted to post something Ike because I kinda miss you all.

Of course, sometimes deciding what to post is the most difficult part.  Lately, the world has seemed a very serious and tragic place, judging by the news, and my propensity for silliness occasionally feels out of place.  Still, sometimes silliness has its place.

It’s about balance, really. ¬†Nothing is 100% joy or sorrow, not one passing second of our lives. ¬†Every emotion in existence is ringing through the atmosphere at light speed, guided by unseen paths to weave a tapestry of unimaginable complexity.

So, for anyone who needs a smile, these are for you.








And lastly, the one and only rap song in the world that I enjoy listening to.  Because if anyone were record such a glorious parody of rap as a genre, of course it would be the goofballs in Relient K.

Peace to you all.  Enjoy your weekend.

Like Wine Pairing, but Not Really (Also, Hi Again)

Heyyo, peoples of the internet! ¬†So… how’ve you been? ¬†*sigh* ¬†I hate being so busy. ¬†I rather feel as though I’m neglecting you all. ¬†But I’ve got a moment now, so I thought I would post something to cap off the evening.

An idea came to me the other day, you see (well, really two ideas).  The first is, since I am an avid listener of independent music, and, by His grace and blessing, a follower of Christ, to combine these two aspects into something interesting.  (Maybe.  Hopefully.)

The other idea is to post small pieces of Laudato Si, reflect on them, and open a space for discussion. ¬†So that will be coming soon. ¬†In the mean time… well, it’s probably easiest to just show you.

I thought I would take a look at what’s at number one on the Christian charts…

… and pair it with something indie.

Why?  Because I think these two songs offer some interesting contrast to one another.

Let me start off by saying I was pleasantly surprised by ‚ÄúBrother‚ÄĚ. ¬†Family and supporting one another are both awesome themes, and the song makes deft use of its genre. ¬†I don’t understand why the Christian station near my house doesn’t play this kind of stuff. ¬†I might listen to it regularly if it did.

Then we have ‚ÄúMy Body Is a Cage‚ÄĚ, a number vastly more subdued in tone that finds its crescendo two minutes in. Arcade Fire’s songwriting and ability to inspire emotion are not in full force here, but it’s still a fine song with some fantastical instrumentation, an anthem that in fact bears a lot of similarity to our first one.

The most obvious connection between the two lies in a single word: cage. Both songs speak of being locked inside a cage; Bear Rinehart has dropped the keys face down in the desert, while Win Butler maintains that the key is in his mind. They’re tied to each other by a desire to transcend the limits of this prison.

Still, a few things set these two songs apart from each other. The setting for ‚ÄúBrother‚ÄĚ is a wilderness, while ‚ÄúMy Body Is a Cage‚ÄĚ takes place on an empty stage. Despite the implied barrenness of such a landscape, salvation is only as far away as the chorus for our first suffering hero, whose brother is by his side to help lift him up. And we all have someone like that, don’t we? It doesn’t matter how much of an introvert you might be. We need people; we need community. That’s part of what church is all about. You could go and worship God on your own terms, under a tree or somewhere clich√© like that. But how would you know if you’d fallen? With whom would you share your moments of joy? After all, ‚ÄúWhere two or three are gathered in My name‚ÄĚ…

(I had to. I really did.)

Does salvation come at all in the second song? It ends almost like a cliffhanger… but I like to think so.

Though the two bands bear absolutely no relation to each other in real life, one could almost view ‚ÄúBrother‚ÄĚ as a sequel to ‚ÄúMy Body Is a Cage‚ÄĚ. Butler cries out at the end of the song, ‚ÄúSet my spirit free!‚ÄĚ He exists in a surprisingly Christian world, ‚Äúliving in an age that calls darkness light‚ÄĚ, and like a puzzle piece, his last realization is that sometimes the key in your mind is not enough.

And then Rinehart appears walking out of the desert, reaches out his hand, and sings: ‚ÄúBrother, let me be your shelter‚ÄĚ.