We Are Photons Released From A Dying Star


In his latest album Ghosteen, singer, songwriter and shadowy raconteur Nick Cave wrestles with life, death, loss, truth and beauty.  It's a fine addition to Cave's forty year musical career, a lyrical study in existentialism that is both moving and haunting all at once. 

That's a pretty good album review, right?  I used to work in the music business a hundred years ago, so once in a while I feel the urge to write about music that moves me. 

There's a wonderful song on Ghosteen entitled "Fireflies," that contains these amazing lyrics.  They moved me so that I had to write them down, and I've been thinking about them for weeks: 
Jesus lying in his mother's arms
is a photon released from a dying star.
We move through the forest at night
the sky is full of momentary light.
And everything we need is just too far
We are photons released from a dying star.
There's so much I love about this.  Cave seems to be picturing Michelangelo's Pieta, with Mary holding the body of Jesus after he was taken off of the cross.  

Cave then mixes in a bit quantum physics, and some thoughts on creation and planetary composition, and creates a beautifully poignant and thoughtful moment.

At the center of this stanza of the song are these words:  We move through the forest at night/the sky is full of momentary light/And everything we need is just too far.

Cave connects this moment with all moments of loss, marked by the fragility and brevity of life, the oneness of the Universe---all part of a greater Something that often seems out of reach. 

Or is it?  

Sometimes we are forced to confront the fact that our time on earth is short, and often marked by loss.  We face trials and tribulations almost every day.  Our loved ones die.  We die.    

But there's something greater at work here.  We are all connected--all things are connected.  

And even though it might seem as though we are moving through our difficult seasons (nights in the forest), and the light guiding us feels as transient as we are... 

We are not alone.  

Through Jesus, God embraces our frailty, and brevity.  God fully comprehends the weighty and urgent knowledge that we are as momentary as the flickering lights above us.  

It might seem that everything we need is out of reach---that God is out of reach.  But God is not out of reach... not at all.   

God is in us, through us and all around us.  God is the ground of our being, the energy between, the name we speak with our breath and the flickering light that guides us home.  

We are stardust and ancient memories.  And we know this deep down inside because we are part of God because God is embedded and enmeshed in all of Creation, including us.   

May this give you hope today and every day to live this brief life you have been given to the fullest.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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