A World in Pain v2

Nick said this much Hell needed a ray of hope.

Version 2.

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A World in Pain v1

I decided to adapt the 9/11 lament into a more generalized piece for use in the St. Drogo installation. It occurred to me that, beyond the sounds of the church itself, the saint would also hear the world beyond, still suffering under the burden of sin.

To that end, A World in Pain is now available on Soundcloud. There are some distinct changes from the 9/11 piece.

I’d really like detailed feedback on this piece, as I’m not at all sure where to go with it.

My Song of Lament

[This is not an “All This Time” or “Through the Window of St. Drogo” piece, per se, but I am using those categories because this, to me, is what music is really for. Expressing pain for which there can be no words.]

Twelve years ago, a group of deluded people were tricked by evil men into killing themselves to make a point. The point they sought to make was that the United States of America had spent many decades treating the rest of the world like our ill behaved children and it was about time we swallowed all that pride that made us think we could force the whole world to behave in our best interests all the time.

Sadly, we didn’t learn the lesson. We decided the best thing to do was to prove that we could make everyone behave in our best interests all the time.

We started two wars, killed a lot of people, ruined two countries and basically proved those deluded people and evil men to be correct.

Now we find ourselves on the brink of making an even bigger mistake.

The Syrian uprising two years ago was no “Arab Spring”. It was poor, rural people demanding that their government take care of them. But Western journalists working for a mainstream media deep in the pockets of our government decided to report it as a violent rebellion demanding an overthrow of the government. We reported that so often, eventually Saudi Arabia and Qatar realized it was perfectly safe to spend something like $3 billion to fund an actually violent civil war in Syria. Remember, these are monarchies with no constitutions. They don’t want to create Western style democracy in Syria or anywhere else. They simply want Wahabi control over the whole planet.

Make no mistake, our arrogance created this war. Because we think we know it all, and we think we know best. We opened the doors for this violence.

And now we’re on the brink of dropping bombs, not to choose a side, not to try to end the fighting, but to… make a moral point about sarin gas.

There isn’t enough space here to explain how absurd this is.

But I will say that Syria is one of the oldest Christian presences on the planet. Saint Paul was converted near Damascus. Antioch has been a Patriarchate of the church since the beginning. We were first called Christians there.

And if the USA doesn’t stop talking about bombs, and start talking about refugee crises, UN peace keeping actions and replace this nonsense about the manifesting of Western style democracy with outcry about Islamic sectarian violence destabilizing entire countries, it will not be long before the oldest Christian presence is the most recent Christian disappearance.

For all we have done wrong the past twelve years…

For all we seem about to do wrong…

For all we did wrong long before these recent times which prompted so much hatred…

For all these things, this is my song of lament.

Crape Myrtle Bonsai Project – Pruning

I noticed over the weekend that the long branches were beginning to actively back bud. This is a good sign. So I decided to remove all that length, full of clearly dead leaves, and let the plant focus on those buds down at the points where I want the branching and twigging to begin in earnest.

This is a bit early. I’d wanted to wait for genuine dormancy. But, perhaps, given the controlled green house conditions, I can get enough new growth in place before that dormancy so that I can do some wiring over the winter.

Notice each cut is just above a bud. Sorry they are hard to see in some cases, it was difficult to get the photos sufficiently close up and still 100% in focus.

Back budding

Back budding

Very dead leaves

Very dead leaves

Counter directional branch

I’m keeping this counter directional branch to offer balance to the shape.

Horizontal Cuts

Each cut is parallel to the floor so that I don’t end up with new branches growing down — which I’d end up removing eventually anyway.

Cut above the bud

Notice each cut is just above a bud.

Proportional lengths

I’m not making each main branch the exact same height, but I am making them all relatively proportional.

All pruned

Yes, this looks drastic, but you should see what people do to crape myrtle in my neighborhood.

Slanting shape

You can see here the slanting shape, set to create balance in the pot, and also the counter directional branch to offer some three dimensional interest.

And there you go!

Hopefully I will have photos of happy, fresh, new growth soon.