gratitude and lament
I realize, in my own spiritual life, that I often vacillate between gratitude and lament, joy and sadness, exultation and despair. Of course, I also know that this is something of a continuum. I recently became aware that many of my favorite musicians seem to express these polarities, and that at times I listen to particular sings of theirs over and over. At times, I am fixated on the first two songs on Buddy Miller’s Universal United House of Prayer, “I Worry Too Much” and “There’s A Higher Power“. The first is about lament, the second gratitude. More recently, I have been enjoying Bruce Cockburn’s much older cd Humans, that includes “Grim Travelers In Dawn Skies” and “Rumors of Glory”, the first more pessimistic, the latter more upbeat.
Too much gratitude ignores the realities that are sometimes difficult; too much lament weighs heavily and can add to the occasional discouragement. The best music, the soundtrack of my actual life, includes a healthy dose of both.