Sea Fever

As I struggle to adjust to life on land, my mother has got me dusting down my old theological theories. I don’t like to force views on people, but was drawn into correspondence by her. She was questioning Post-Modernism in relation to beliefs about gods or goddesses, nihilism, and wher it leaves us. My response denotes where my state of mind ‘is at’ at the moment. (The views expressed bear no relation to beliefs held by (the death of) the author, etc, etc, disclaimer, disclaimer…):

Post-Modernist Faith

Yes, an interesting one, but actually I find I have come out the other side of a post-modern viewpoint. If there is no ‘Innate Truth’, it is not the end; it is a beginning. I see the questioning of all things which posit ‘truth’, and humanity’s search for truth in itself AS the real truth. As in, human beings hold God in their genes, rather than in their institutions. Various dangerous people have tried to fix or crystallise truth into a doctrine, like Browning freezing the Porphyria image and killing it (her) simultaneously by doing so. Notoriously christians. As a result, don’t they say more people have died in the name of Christ over the centuries than anybody else? I find this appalling.
For me, and liberation theologists like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barthes, truth is in the process, and we should all take ‘responsibility’ for keeping our own truth process alive.
This is why I avoid ‘The Church’ in my theological meanderings. And certainly the ‘White Middle-Class Commercial/Capitalist’ church. I find The Church itself a worrying comfort zone in which people who do not want to ‘shoulder responsibility for themselves’ live.
It’s a hard thing to do, being your own insurance, and for me involves sharing the ‘process of worship’ with dolphins, other sea-captains, and the stars. And taking on huge responsibility for keep myself alive and nurturing God’s gift of this interaction with nature.
In fact, I re-listened to John Masefield’s Sea Fever on Poetry Please (radio4) on Sunday. So lovely…

 I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


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