November 12, 2010

This Post Dedicated to Steven Riddle...

...who noted in an email the paucity of posts (say five times fast) on this blog lately. It does feel like it's been awhile since I last virtually-ink'd the white magic of a Word document or blog post equivalent. I've looked lately askance at my little word processor, preferring instead the narcotic of OPW (other people's words), of the amazon Kindle and the fascinating Robert Reich book called Supercapitalism. It's eye-opening and a fine background to what I've seen in my own workplace; half the time I think all the corporate fads that we're exposed to would be more bearable if only we knew of them in advance. And in Supercapitalism there is described less fads than long-time processes that are shaping the workplace.

Fell in read-love with the novel "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy. He's got that Steinbech romantic streak, with a willingness to risk his prose being called sentimental or over-the-top. I appreciate the desire to be lyrical, given how rare it is these days in modern novelists. Tried my best to go at the other Arthur Philips' novels but they are a whole different animal than "The Song is You". Conroy's novel is a pretty darn appealing yarn about a man who waits eleven years for his true love, a nun, to become his wife. Fortunately she is discharged of her sisterly obligation with the full blessing of the church.

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Posting dreams is the last refuge of a shark-jumper, but last night had a repeat dream from what seems like years ago, that I discovered a huge old, finely-bound volume with the title Justice and Mercy, which I eagerly leafed through looking for the "answer", for whether mercy or judgement triumphs, only to come to the end and learn the book was printed/written by an evangelical church and was thus dogmatically suspect, even should I find the answer.

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Is there a song in the universe deeper than Rio by Duran Duran? It's the Proust of four-minute fifty-second rock songs, chock-full of the nostalgia of longing and the longing of nostalgia.

How evocative the refrain!: "Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand / Just like that river twistin' thru a dusty land / and when she shines, she really shows you all she can / Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande!"

In the foggy haze of my 20s I thought the lyric had Rio dancing "on the Sands", the casino in Vegas, but how much better is the singular sand with its pure vision of a beach full of the elemental things: heat, wind, water the saltiness of blood, and all things estrogenic. Dancing on sand is a perfect image in part because of the degree of difficulty. Anyone can dance on a slick dance floor under the cover of strobed disco lights; only the pure can dance under the transparency-providing sun on step-deadening sand. It's like dancing on water.

The next line, "just like that river twistin' through a dusty land" evokes a man thirstily in search of God and brings to mind the Brooks & Dunn lyric about a "cool glass of water." The verb "twistin'" is meant to remind us of Rio's dance and "dusty" of the great thirst of both the land for this river and the singer for Rio.

"And when she shines, she really shows you all she can" tells us that when Rio is at her best, she is telling us as much as she can safely tell about herself without losing our respect. It's important to note that she's not showing all she has, but all she can, meaning that there are unexplored depths. This is a veiled euphemism to God, to how he shows us all we are capable of grasping.

"Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande!": here we have the confirmation of what we earlier suspected, that is that Rio can dance on water. Also note the thrice repetition of "Rio" in this line. The singer achieves an ecstatic state merely by repeated the beloved's name.

Later we have "And I might find her, if I'm looking like I can."

This sings directly to the male's heart, a hunter's heart that humbly realizes that finding his prey is dependent on intangibles. "If I'm looking like I can" is as accurate a statement as was ever made because it consists not of a list of the hunter's assets but if he's looking like he can. Purists may call this tautological it is what it is.

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Sigh. It's come to this: I received a work email requesting I go to a meeting concerning how to "establish my personal brand". Branding, like sola scriptura, has come to the individual. I'm thinking my "brand" of being a beer-drinking, lame Christian perpetually longing for a vacation may not be the best thing to advertise.

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"Your comment is awaiting moderation." goes the Wordpress commentary. With God our comments are moderated in real time.

6 comments:

BettyDuffy said...

I've listened to Rio many many times in my life--but I don't think I ever would have come up with what you did.

Loved "The Song is You."

Tom said...

With God our comments are moderated in real time.

As in, a day is like a thousand years?

I've written software like that.

Steven Riddle said...

Dear TSO,

Ah, sweet water at last--I've memoed the mavens in charge of Upper management and they've agreed to forego the usual harassment, but told me further violations will not be dealt with so tolerantly.

Loved Rio.

shalom,

Steven

TS said...

Betty, you have good taste in books -- maybe I should read that "Edge of Sadness". It just sounds...melancholic.

Tom: sometimes a day feels like a thousand years when I'm coding.

Steven: thanks for calling off the dogs! Don't want to have my blogging license revoked...

BettyDuffy said...

TS, I promise, The Edge of Sadness is surprisingly uplifting.

TS said...

Thanks Betty. Want to read "Parched" first since you (& presumably others) will be reading it too.