Archive for November 15th, 2022

GC Myers- From a Distance  2020

From a Distance- At the West End Gallery

My life goes on in endless song
above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation
above the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing
it sounds an echo in my soul
how can I keep from singing?

–Robert Lowry, 1869,  How Can I Keep From Singing?  

I woke up this morning thinking about the 15,000 protesters arrested in recent protests in Iran who were sentenced to death yesterday by the Iranian parliament. It chills me many levels.

Mainly, on a purely human level. That a group of theocrats holding the reins of such power, using religion as both a shield and a weapon, think they have the moral right to end the lives those who simply defied them is an abomination to our humanity.

It also chills me that there are many here in this country who would willingly follow that same path and merge state and church. History shows us that this is a choice that inevitably moves to extreme positions, much like we are witnessing in Iran.

And I am chilled that the Iranian decision to execute the 15,000 didn’t garner a single mention on the National News last night. The normalization of atrocity and the devaluation of human life seems to be a hallmark of our current civilization, one that worries me for this country and all others going forward. The media’s lack of attention is the reason I bring it up this morning.

Even against the ugly lessons history teaches us in such situation, I hope that voices around the globe are raised against the inhumanity of Iran’s decision, that somehow reason prevails.

Miriam Jones Album Cover with LP

Reach For the Morning– Miriam Jones

For myself, I try to calm my fears by listening to music or reading literature or looking at works of art. Or merely looking out the window at the trees, the landscape, and animals around the studio. Things that remind me of the beauty still possible in this world.

This morning that led me to a song from my friend, singer/songwriter Miriam Jones, who you might remember used the painting at the top for the cover of her most recent album, Reach For the Morning. She does a marvelous cover of the 19th century folk hymnal, How Can I Keep From Singing? that was written by American Robert Lowry in 1869. It has been covered by a wide variety of artists over the years, but I truly believe Miriam’s interpretation is among the best versions that I have heard. It is as powerful as its message.

A good way to maintain a sense of calm and perspective in a world that seems sometimes mad.

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