Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

I recently published my first poetry book, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile. The introduction says, "Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle." I wrote this book because, unlike difficult logistics and seemingly sophisticated, scholarly writings, media such as poetry, music, and art often seem to reach immeasurable levels of communication. Personally, I prefer reading things with a bit of "flavor" or that seem to remain open for various interpretations depending on the individual. I am not here to merely argue about the perplexities regarding theism or philosophy, but to be a light to the world and to reach out to those who long to be a part of that light (Matthew 5:14-16). When holding steadfastly onto the wing of Christ, there are countless ways of doing this. I also like creating things that any person can enjoy rather than shielding my work from those who do not already understand the beauty of Christ. 

Salomé contains a total of 65 poems written (in lyrical format over the course of several years) and selected by me. Each poem is followed by a very brief word of thought, or direction, sometimes obscure and sometimes obvious, which is vaguely intended to set the atmosphere for that poem. The majority of them focus greatly on the psychology of relationships. That is in many cases exceptionally valuable to individuals during the stage of young adulthood; hence, the suggested age range is teen and up. As social beings it is relevant for one to acknowledge his motives behind the decisions regarding love and truth; when it comes to relationships, whether friendly or romantic or rivalrous, the mystery element, the most wanted, the most sought after, is passion. I know that I would rather a romantic relationship turn into contempt than turn into apathy. The passion in the extremities make it appear as though it once meant something. We grow from hot or cold, but lukewarm is the biggest insult. I would also like to say that the book captures a number of philosophical ideas expressed in my other writings while setting others free, and it answers questions while questioning answers by way of a wordsmith rather than that of a scholar.

In closing, I want to note that love is as simple as the absence of self given to another. God, when invited, fills the void of any unrequited love; hence loving is how one is drawn closer to God no matter its most horrific repercussions. I think C.S. Lewis' words, from his book The Four Loves (1960), on the vulnerability of love, set the tone quite well:

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness.
It is like hiding the talent in a napkin and for much the same reason. 'I knew thee that thou wert a hard man.' Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is none the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not.
We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving one’s heart began in this."

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