Sacred and Profane


20131119-000352.jpg“Between the sacred and the profane,”
This is just one of the lines in “Tribute”, a Charlotte Martin song.

This is where most of us live, hopefully edging closer to sacred, maybe spiking periodically to the profane. It is a daily, if not hourly choice.

I’m very fond of Martin’s music and the lyrics of this song tracks with many listeners, mystified by the hold of love & passion, particularly when it is not generally acceptable for one reason or another.

It’s as if we have no choices. It is clearly dramatic and possibly tragic, when feelings grow in impossible directions. It is the source for so much of our art, drama and music. It is a connective story.

I made that category up. A connective story is one that the culture broadly relates on a personal level. The details may differ but the beginning, the middle, and the end, are very familiar. It’s the kind of story that once you start telling it, everybody’s head nods with affirmation. The story points to our connective experiences.

The thing about this particular story is that it doesn’t have to follow the expected line. There are choices to be made. We are not zombie like, forced to walk a certain direction because of our feelings.

Feelings are wonderful, but very bad guides. Unfortunately we have too many catch phrases and movie tag lines that blur the concept.

“Trust your feelings, Luke” or worse yet, “This feels just right so it can’t be bad.”

Great for movies, not so good for living.

First, feelings are not the best things for labeling “Good” or “Bad”. Feelings are a response to stimuli, and may require action, or perhaps just alertness.

An analogy might be a blind person’s desire to cross a complicated room. The goal is set, the direction of movement is made, and off the person goes. Bumping into a table is like a feeling, you can use the information to assist you in your original direction, or you can eat the poppies of Homer, and never leave the comfort of tableness. “If I wasn’t meant to experience table, then it wouldn’t have been placed in my path. “. Meh!

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