Giving Up Everything

NatalieMerchantTigerlilyThe young miss is not as much of a music hound as I am. We have a few overlaps in what we like. I still haven’t got Raising Sand back from her. Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily is also at the bottom of her room somewhere.

I was trolling music sites and YouTube online earlier today when I ran across this thoughtful interview from Ms Merchant. I wasn’t aware she had a new recording out since the brilliant Leave Your Sleep. I liked what she had to say about aging well, about maturity as an artist and in life. I was also struck with what I perceived as a thread complementary to Ignatian spirituality in her song, “Giving Up Everything.”

not haunted by wanting this

I mercy-killed my craving.

Natalie_merchant2Lyrics here. Maybe the “no guru, master, teacher” is a bit dark. There’s Jesus for me. But I’m on board with finding none of those celebrities in this world.

Desire for passing things can certainly be a haunting. I reflect on addictions, compulsions, and stupid things. Learning about the Spiritual Exercises is not just a book-learning, but an experience each CSP student is expected to live. I can certainly get with the program on that. It’s an impossibility to think one can guide someone without having explored that inner landscape. Natalie Merchant is one artist who gets a good bit of that inner landscape of living, of exploring, and of translating that into art.

Meanwhile, my readings and personal experiences here at Creighton have me exploring that boundary between my desire and God’s desire for me. Is it really as simple as finding how I have been made and exploring that most deeply? Seems so. Simple, but not all that easy.

Basic Principle and Foundation, 23rd annotation:

Things on the face of the earth are created for (us) and that they may help (us) in prosecuting the end for which (we are) created.

And so if they help us with God, we use these things. And if they don’t, we rid ourselves of them. It seems ruthless in a way, stark and ascetic. I hear some of that in this song. Have a listen. I’m interested in your thoughts on that.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Giving Up Everything

  1. David D. says:

    It was 21 years ago this month that I, a freshly minted college grad, saw Merchant in concert as part of her final tour with 10,000 Maniacs. I see that she is touring this summer in connection with her new album. Yet another reminder for me of how quickly time passes.

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