Thursday, May 22, 2008


There is a trend that has started with one of the professors. When he is allotted 2 minutes for addressing us in a meeting he inevitably far exceeds 20 and when he begins to stray off topic during lecture instead of meandering back he takes the line and reels us in an arbitrary direction until we have been more off topic than on for an hour.

I love it.

Monday he got off talking about this and ended up rambling for 45 minutes straight, but what he had to say was the most fantastic rambling I've heard in a long time.

His main points were that our bodies and spirit need constant feeding. Often feeding of the spirit comes through others and God simultaneously. Many times it comes through art. Art works through a very subtle medium since it doesn't just use the five senses but it engages them. All forms of art express, touch, and feed us in unique and important ways feeding different parts of our spirits to varying extents. He (being a professor of English) focused on literature for a bit, pointing out that only words can express the details of thought, but the majority of his lecture revolved around music. Music sends messages in completely abstract forms, but those forms somehow fit so comfortable inside us we are many times unaware of the gentle ways it is working inside us. This can be a scary thing. There is great power in music and other forms of art.

But there are also impostors, posing as powerful works of art when in reality they are really just cheap, sick and dirty. It is our job to seek for the good, substantial and meaningful art and be fed by it. He made an analogy about food and how if you sustain yourself off of cheep food, it provides immediately pleasure and maybe a bit of nourishment, but eventually you do yourself more harm than good. In essence, Bad Art = McDonald's. Cheap art is thin gruel and sustaining yourself off of rubbish can only last for so long before you have poisoned your body and incapacitated your soul.

His last point was that art is a gift but like with all gifts, they come with an amount of responsibility. The responsibility of the gift can't exceed that which the receiver can handle. Driving is a gift, but giving that gift to an 8-year-old would mean certain death. Marriage is a gift, but imposing that on someone immature and ill-prepared only sets them up for failure. Misery and gifts often come side by side. The greatest gifts in life are reserved for those who love the work required to receive the responsibility of the gift. The atonement is a gift, but understanding it and accepting it takes a measure of responsibility and a whole lot of work. The best gifts are often the hardest to accept. We have to work to accept. We are in line to inherit a tremendous gift; the kingdom of our Father. To think of the work and responsibility required to handle this amazing gift is mind-blowing and daunting in every sense of the word. It makes me feel small and inable, inadequate and irresponsible. I mean, spiritually I'm a pygmy. I have so much to work on, to improve, to build, before I am even partially prepared to have the weighty responsibility of that gift bestowed on my shoulders.

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