Apropos of Atropos

They don’t teach you the facts of death,
Your Mum and Dad. They give you pets.

– The Secret Book of the Dead, Terry Pratchett

We go on buying them. We must be mad.

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Decency

So that day on the bus there was this old uncle sitting with a folded perambulator, backpack and groceries including a huge packet of diapers. And I watched him move his stuff into really uncomfortable positions just so that a husband could sit next to his already seated pregnant wife. There were other empty seats elsewhere. He chose to look beyond his own burdens and needs and inconvenience to make that little difference for someone else.

And then on the train, this tattooed Malay teen with his friends and back-canted cap and an attitude to match sitting two spaces from the priority seat quickly and quietly giving up his seat, as soon as he saw an old lady come into the carriage and glancing over seeing that the man in the priority seat was sleeping. She didn’t even have to move to stand in front of him, as soon as she was in through the doors he was up like it was the most natural thing in the world.

When human beings choose to be nice to other human beings, it brings that simple light into your day and a smile to your face.

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Vox Populi

This is a call to arms
Gather soldiers
Time to go to war
This is a battle song
Brothers and sisters
Time to go to war

Did you ever believe?
Were you ever a dreamer?
Ever imagine heart open and free?
Did you ever deny?
Were you ever a traitor?
Ever in love with your bloodlust and need?

Ever want to be free?
Do you even remember?
Want to beguile the devil like me?
Ever want to just stop?
Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?

Here we are at the start
I can feel the beating of our hearts
Here we are at the start

Darkness falls / here comes the rain
To wash away / the past and the names

Far, far away / in a land that time can’t change
Long, long ago / in a place of hearts and ghosts
Far, far away / in a land that time can’t change
Long, long ago / in a place of hearts and ghosts

This is our call to arms
We own the night
This is our battle song
We own the night

Electronica lead and siren sfx segueing into choral declaration, pausing before exploding into a blazing juggernaut of an anthem. Everything keeps tearing in with great intensity, drums, electrics, shouts, stomps, claps. One of those all-out songs. Vox populi indeed; the voice of the people really makes the song.

#overcome

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Feet don’t fail me now

Give me strength to cross this water
Keep my heart upon your altar (rain down)
Give me strength to cross this water
Keep my feet don’t let me falter (rain down)

I finally got to sing Delirious?’s Rain Down in a church setting recently and it sparked off one of those nostalgia-waves where I went hunting for all my childhood CCM bands to see what happened to them or what I missed. Wikipedia-surfing, as always, tends to turn up interesting things.

  1. In their early years Sonicflood covers many artists. Covers are pretty common in the very interconnected Christian music industry but they really did quite an especial number of them, some of which are big names who are still very active in the CCM or worship industries. Martin Smith (of Delirious?, twice), Redman, Baloche, Tomlin, Ingram, Tim Hughes, Marty Sampson (of Hillsong). They did I Lift My Eyes Up long before I first encountered it on Kutless’ Strong God album.
  2. And in that album, Kutless covered Redman, Tomlin, Wickham, Brenton Brown and Bart Millard (of MercyMe). See what I mean by pretty common?
  3. Switchfoot uses the word “pedantic” in Easier Than Love. So I probably sang the word long before I learned what it meant.
  4. Starfield’s Great In All The Earth is a puzzling mystery to me. When I first encountered the song in 2011, I found myself thinking; oh wow, this is an interesting remake of a familiar song, that’s a nice twist with the electric guitar intro. But as it turns out now, I’m shocked to discover that it’s an original by them! Google gives absolutely nothing else. It’s strange because I remember it as a song from my earlier childhood but that cannot possibly be the case if Starfield are the originators; the album was released in 2008.
  5. FFH wasn’t always Far From Home, they started out as Four For Harmony.
  6. One of my most vivid childhood memories was playing You Are My All In All on a Windows ME laptop with the Windows Player and either the Firestorm or Scope visual effect and the blue tracking-ball instead of a touchpad. It had the distinct children’s choir chorus and now that I went hunting for the song, it was remarkably easy to find. Nichole Nordeman’s version.
  7. Jump5’s God Bless The USA and one of my favourite Delirious? Songs, White Ribbon Day were both related to the September 11 attacks; the former was arranged due to it, the latter a free download and re-release.

How can it be / that God is just
When flesh is torn / from young and old
And children run / in bloody fields
Where is the hope / oh God we cry
For White Ribbon Day

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Memorare

“Self-love does it better than almost anything. I’ve been walking down the street and seen a big angry-looking guy with a beat-up face, and thought he looks like trouble. Two more steps, and I realised I was seeing my reflection in a shop window. When I look into a mirror, knowing it’s a mirror, I don’t look like that. Not to me, I dont.”

-March Wildspring, Memorare by Gene Wolfe

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Be My Escape

But the beauty of grace is how it makes life not fair
– Matt Thiessen, Relient K

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Fruit

So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
– Matt 7:19-20

Choosing to say, I will settle it, I will get it done. Because competency is valued.
Because I can. Because doing is where it’s at.

Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids! You want to work here? Close.
– Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross

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