Following on their first two albums dealing with adolescence (Boy) and spirituality (October), U2’s third studio album turned political in 1983 with War. Besides the album title, songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day” issue their comment on the world at the time, when Bono said, “War seemed to be the motif for 1982. Everywhere you looked, from the Falklands to the Middle East and South Africa, there was war. By calling the album War we’re giving people a slap in the face and at the same time getting away from the cozy image a lot of people have of U2.”
It’s difficult to describe to a non-writer exactly why we write. Somerset Maugham said, “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” This makes a lot of sense to me. In my inaugural post here, I said, “We write to know who we are.” Both, I believe, are true. I really never had any idea how deeply I felt the compulsion to write until I started giving in to it, slowly at first. Often I find it easier to write than to read. I mean, I love to read and most people would still consider me an avid reader… I just don’t read that quickly. I’m simply astounded that Julie Clawson could read all of Agatha Christie’s works in just three weeks! (Ah, but Julie, have you read Star Over Bethlehem?) I wish I could read like that. But to write, that’s different. Sometimes — as now — we write in hopes of catharsis. And sometimes — as now — we write in hopes of finding understanding of ourselves and our experiences.
I’ve been working up to this all week, and I doubt I can cover it off in a single entry, but let’s see what we come up with, shall we? Just piecing together some themes following the Seabeck Gathering sponsored by Allelon, I have begun to consider The Role of The Rule (and other disciplines) as part of The Subversive Nature of the Ordinary in helping to keep us on the path during a mapless quest or an aimful wandering — a Peregrinatio. Len picked up a theme from me of covenant renewal, which I commented further upon, saying I didn’t plan to hit the theme until today, that I was just foreshadowing. Well, the pressure’s on.
I’ve had an old post based on an older idea brewing for several years, and in honour of Blog Action Day, I’m pressing myself to rework and publish it. Blog Action Day is an experiment in response to the premise, “What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.” The issue? The environment. As I write, there are 11,320 blogs participating… I don’t know what that number will when it’s published.
I recently wrote On the Loss of Wonder and its follow-up visiting distinctly environmental themes just ahead of my mention of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment. Thoughts on the environment in connection to the Christian faith go back some way, but unfortunately there’s been a period of chosen ignorance on the matter. I hope to continue with corrective thought.
This is part two of a two-part essay. Yesterday I wrapped up part one by saying that nature and the city are at spiritual cross-purposes.
I’m thinking about the doctrine of general revelation. General revelation is the way in which God speaks through natural means to tell us of his existence. General revelation gives birth to wonder, to the search for God. As an indirect and incomplete knowledge of God, it is inadequate to satisfy, but in part, that’s the point — it’s the spark to yearn for more of God. The idea is that general revelation through the wonders of creation alerts us to the fact that God exists, but doesn’t give us enough revelation to find him, only to spark our search for him.