As I have said/confessed/sung/prayed more than once, "I grieve not grieving."
Life is ruthless, indiscriminate....and ultimately loving....in supplying us the traumascape and holy ground of grief.
I've seen for myself, there's no end to grief/That's how I know
And why I need to know/That there is no end to love
All I know/And all I need to know is There is no end to love
That doesn't preclude anger..even yelling at life, grief, the grieved...and God.
"I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Comfort me, COMFORT ME, COMFORT ME!!!" -Bono at end of "Wolves." #RIPDennis #U2ieTour— Tim Neufeld (@timneufeld) May 28, 2015
Last night, at the end of "Raised by Wolves," itself a stunning public griefsong, Bono snippeted Psalm 23 in the outro (as usual), this time followed by "Comfort me. COMFORT ME, COMFORT ME!" (see video below). Psalm 22 and 23 are two sides of the same whole and holistic grieflove lamentjoyprayer (see"The Lord Be With You...Even When He’s Not!")
....Is this then a reinforcement, from a musical point of view, for Dorothy L. Sayers’ thesis in The Mind of the Maker, to which I referred earlier? Is there then indeed a Trinitarian pattern to the work of the artist or writer which, reflected back, provides some kind of evidence of who God may be? I am not sure that this thesis can be sustained by itself, or that a natural theology built up by that means without help from elsewhere would arrive at anything approximating to the God and Father of Jesus, the giver of the Spirit. But when the creative and aesthetic project meets the scriptural revelation — mediated, of course, through the thinking of the household of faith — then the two can perhaps at least be complementary. I have explored elsewhere what I have called ‘an epistemology of love’, in which the sterile opposition between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ reductions of ‘knowing’ are transcended. I think, and hope, that what Paul Spicer and I discovered in our work on the Oratorio was something like that: a love for the subject-matter, a love worked out in art and scholarship, through which we both learned and grew and grasped afresh some of the central matters of Christian faith. And if this is true it may be a pointer to something else - something which the whole Theology Through the Arts project is all about: the non-reducible, and not merely decorative, function of imagination within historical work (as Collingwood insisted) and also theological endeavour, as well as in musical composition and performance.
I realize that I have thus arrived, as a non-specialist, at more or less what Aquinas says in his famous formulation: ‘As grace does not destroy but perfects nature, it is right that natural reason should serve faith just as the natural loving tendency of the will serves charity.’ There is of course a dangerous circularity about reaching that conclusion about method precisely by engaging in what, I hope, might be an instance of it happening in practice. But I think I have said enough to show that this is a fruitful area for further enquiry and experiment, especially if — though this would be a matter for specialists to enlighten me further — what Aquinas meant by ‘natural reason’ is a large enough category to embrace aesthetic and artistic integrity, the composer’s and conductor’s sense of ‘what works’. Certainly in this case the composer’s — and conductor’s — aesthetic and artistic integrity ‘served faith’ in a way that makes the ordinary jobbing theologian and preacher jealous. If all theology, all sermons, had to be set to music, our teaching and preaching would not only be more mellifluous; it might also approximate more closely to God’s truth, the truth revealed in and as the Word made flesh, crucified and risen.