Thursday, April 13, 2006


"It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return" (52).
That was Annie Dillard in a quote you may have heard before. It leads one to lament domesticated Christianity, but then again perhaps we need it that way. Who among us could stand ten minutes of the real thing? In the meantime Nick Cave gets pretty close to about five. His song Hiding All Away strangely expresses (I think) that terrifying quality of Christian faith, which is highlighted in the Triduum, but, perhaps for our sanity, is often glossed over. Here's a sample (that does little justice), and here are some of the lyrics.

Hiding All Away

You went looking for me, dear,
Down by the sea
You found some Iittle silver fish
But you didn't find me
I was hiding, dear, hiding all way [2x]

You went to the museum
You climbed a spiral stair
You searched for me all among
The knowledgeable air
I was hidden, babe, hiding all away
I was hidden, dear, hiding all away

You entered the cathedral
When you heard the solemn knell
I was not sitting with the gargoyles
I was not swinging from the bell
I was hiding, dear, I was hiding all away [2x]

You asked an electrician
If he'd seen me round his place
He touched you with his fingers
Sent sparks zapping out your face
I was hidden, dear, hiding all away
I was not there, dear, hiding all away

You went and asked your doctor
To get some advice
He shot you full of Pethidine
And then he billed you twice
But I was hiding, dear, hiding all away [2x]

You searched through all my poets
From Sappho through to Auden
I saw the book fall from your hands
As you slowly died of boredom
I had been there, dear,
But I was not there anymore
I had been there, now I'm hiding all way

Some of us we hide away
Some of us we don't
Some will live to love another day
And some of us won't
But we all know there is a law
And that law, it is love
And we all know there's a war coming
Coming from above

There is a war coming [2x]