Month: Mar 2018

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

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RESURRECTION IS MORE THAN A RITE OF SPRING: It is the profound desire of every honest heart. The cycle of physical death can only be broken by resurrection. Resurrection is not to be confused with rebirth (which is merely another opportunity to die). Resurrection means the end of death and the beginning of true life, eternal life (which cannot be obtained in this dimension of physicality). The music of Resurrection is immortalised in the 2nd Symphony of Gustav Mahler (called “The Resurrection Symphony”), which he began writing at age 28 in 1888. At around an hour and a half long, it is a massive work with a huge orchestra, two female soloists and a vast choir (which appears in the finale). To listen to this work is akin to watching an unforgettable epic film. It is easy to see why it was voted the fifth-greatest symphony of all time in a survey of conductors carried out by the BBC Music Magazine. To listen to it in its entirety is like taking a journey from a funeral into heaven and beyond. Angels defeat demons in this score with the greatest cosmic drama you can imagine, complete with huge climaxes, off-stage instrument ensembles and theatrical music canvases. Really, you have to hear it to believe it. No description of mine can adequately convey its power, might and majesty. Honestly, I can guarantee that it will blow your mind and fill you with inspiration and ecstatic joy (if you stick with it to the end). And surely Resurrection is especially appropriate in this season?

This was the first Mahler symphony I ever heard at the back end of the 1970s and I was hooked from then on. What a baptism it was! Its music regularly pops into my mind unexpectedly, like coming round the corner in a forest to find a dell of budding bluebells in a shaft of sunlight.

Here the symphony is played in a 27-year old performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle in Birmingham Symphony Hall. (That’s Birmingham, UK, not Alabama! 🙂). Although this is an older performance (which was recorded for BBC Radio 3), I have deliberately chosen it as it is from the days when Mahler was played WITH FIRE! It is a fine recording and Simon Rattle conducts with such presence too. His pre-performance meditation is a necessity. (Plus, the commentator’s concluding comments are from the days when announcers could speak English properly and reverently 😉).

I cannot urge you enough to listen to this extraordinary music. After listening once more, I am sitting here like an explorer who has climbed the highest mountain and, exhausted, grasps the heavenly summit in gratitude, for that is where I wish to stay. If this gargantuan symphony speaks to you, you will be pinned to your seat mesmerised by its spiritual power and glory.

The Poisonous World of Politics

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Poisonous World of Politics

AH, THE THEATRE OF POLITICS! What a wretched dance. All this bluster about the alleged use of nerve gas on a Russian double-agent (i.e. a betraying snitch) and his daughter. Is it mesmerising you? Don’t let it. And don’t bother trying to fathom it out. Your mind will just play tricks with you. It is programmed to play tricks with you (if you haven’t risen above that). Actors get on their hind legs in parliament and bluster about what an outrage it is that an attempted assassination has taken place on Bwitish [sic] soil, to the silly sound of people in the background going “Hear, hear!” in a mock-serious tone. When I saw Teresa May blustering in the House of Commons the other day, I just burst out laughing. Those dead, almost zombie-like eyes of hers and the silly sense of urgency as she pretended she was Winston Churchill promising to fight them on the hillsides, etc. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming! Thoroughly nauseating.

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Some Thoughts About Suffering

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Snapshot_6SOME MOONS AGO, when I was a social justice/peace campaigner type, I used to feel that I could never be happy so long as there was even one person suffering in this world. I wanted to house the world’s homeless, feed the world’s hungry and fill the wallets of the world’s poor, take the whole world’s suffering on my shoulders. (Yeah, all typical Piscean stuff 😉). I wanted to alleviate everyone’s pain, sorrow, grief, misery and heartache; create paradise on earth. But I don’t think like that anymore. It was a mighty turning point for me when I realised that such goals are not only unattainable from a global standpoint, but they are not even necessarily a desirable one because everyone has their necessary path to follow and it is not for us to live everyone’s lives for them or determine how they should be lived. I realised that suffering is not merely an unwanted anomaly in this world but is in fact the very essence of it, providing a unique opportunity for each human being according to the lives they have been allotted. One therefore has to be careful not to negate that opportunity and ensure that those who suffer are not deprived of the necessary lessons therein. Now you may find it strange for me to say that. You may even think that it sounds callous and uncaring. So please allow me to go a little deeper into these challenging thoughts.
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Mission Statement [sonnet]

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Lonely Man on Earth

Thus, deeper through the undergrowth I flow;
for soon the time will come to disappear.
When kissed beneath the cosmic mistletoe,
it shows it’s time to leave this biosphere.

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Dispossessed [poem]

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Earthy Forest Floor

Decades of weaving days drove by unnoticed
hobbling slidely through
the unkempt meadow of my brevity.
A fierce uncertain frailness flies in heavenly strands
towards the cracked unmended plate of joy
which earlier in my halcyon days had slipped
out of my tender clumsy hands

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Sonnet 69

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So now I reached the age of full consent.
My tongue at last can flutter on some clit —
her mouth a scabbard for my sword (her scent
will make me drunk with love, I must admit).

Until that day, the numbers don’t perform
to make that “three-six-oh” degree design.
But when it comes, there’ll be a thunderstorm
and on each other’s love-juice we will dine.

For cunnilingus is no common word.
Fellatio is equally obtuse.
Now, one year short of seven-oh, I’m stirred
to find some willing darling to seduce.

The time to make those body-parts align
is surely at the age of sixty-nine!


© Alan Morrison, 2018

Sexual Dysfunction and Weaponry

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BEHIND ALL THE POLITICAL TALK ABOUT GUN CONTROL lies something far more important to consider: The symbolic nature of guns and other weaponry. For underlying all the processes of division and conflict in human or transnational relationships is the huge tension caused by the sexually repressed unconscious (personal and collective) of the mass of people in this world. This is the real issue: The sexual dysfunctionality of vast swathes of humanity.

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