Sunday, December 18, 2005

Song: "Casimir Pulaski Day"

One evening, not too long ago, I took Lucia out for a walk up to the cupcake & coffee-shop so that Bede could take a 20 minute nap without Lucia wanting to play "Hop on Pop." As Lucia devoured her coconut cupcake (icing first), I heard for the first time the Sufijan Stevens song "Chicago" . The lyrics, "All things go, all things go," stayed with me. I downloaded the song off of iTunes, but didn't feel compelled to download any other songs by Stevens until I heard Casimir Pulaski Day on It was a free download, which was a bargain any day, but especially so on that day.

"Casimir Pulaski Day"* is about dealing with loss. Sometimes people think that having faith in the Divine makes it easier. I've always been in the "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night" camp of thought. Of the three theological virtues, the strongest one for me is hope. It's not as comforting as faith (belief that doesn't require logical proof or material evidence) nor as selfless as charity, but it gives me courage and strength to get through the days and beyond. It also helps me deal with the things I dread most, which is mainly:

1) loss of my loved ones
2) my loved ones' loss of their loved ones
3) their loved ones' loss of even more loved ones

What I appreciate about "Casimir Pulaski Day" is that Stevens does not offer simple answers. He doesn't say anything remotely resembling, "Just trust in the Lord and everything will be fine." Stevens doesn't turn his back on the Divine, but neither does he let the Divine off the hook:

"Oh the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window

Oh the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face
And He takes and He takes and He takes."

Lately, I've been thinking of a number of people close to me who are going through some rough issues dealing with mortality. Whatever blessings that may come from these thoughts, may they extend to you.

*The historical figure of the song is an American Revolutionary War hero originally from Poland. In Illinois, he is commemorated yearly on the first Monday in March.


galetea said...

I love hearing new music. Thanks for the link!

Nonny said...

I'm going through a similar experience right now with my father-in-law. He is not doing well and my husband is really down about it. It is very hard to watch someone you care about suffer. Thanks for the link and kind thoughts.