15 January 2009

In Motorhead We Trust

Synchronicity. Chaos theory. Strange attractors. And possibly my new favorite theory that I don’t really understand, but may be running my life: Quantum entanglement, which allows for the possibility for objects separated in space to have physical effects on each other with no known mediator of the action (like gravity, as an example). These are all ideas and theories that take on the Herculean task of trying to make sense of the mysterious behaviors and events in the Universe that have such a far-reaching effect on how our lives unfold. From the simple level of “Why did that person say that to me?” up to the complexities of the turbulence at the tip of an airplane wing, the unseen and unknown can and do make our lives interesting. Sometimes, they can make us feel glad to be alive.

Recently I let slip, in a fit of fatigue or unresolved anger or perhaps unleashed honesty, some of my dissatisfactions with the influence that certain Unknowns have had on the course of my life. I look on it as being similar to punching a hole in a gas line that I knew was there, but not in the location I thought. A huge gas leak is an emergency situation with far-reaching implications and must be dealt with immediately to avoid further damage and heartache. Having punched the hole with my own errant backhoe, I immediately switched into ‘hazmat cleanup’ mode scrambling to figure out a way to stop the leak and get the mess cleaned up. In the midst of those efforts I was blessed to receive plenty of advice and suggestions on what to do, from people I have not met or seen in the physical world. Some of these offerings were sympathetic, some practical, some “tough love”, and all were useful in some capacity. I am grateful to have been able to receive it all.

Some of the correspondences I have had began to stand out in particular, as they relate to my efforts to get some peace of mind. And in some ways, they seemed almost accidental as to how I came across them in my search for information. I call it a search for information, but in some cases in was more of a search for non-information, more a search for relief and distraction. I tell you, my head hurt, I was stressing out so much. One of the items I came across in my fevered trips through the electron cloud that is the internet was a post by my new friend The Mister, entitled “Contradictions” (click it, read it, it’s good) in which he offers up three contradictions he encountered in a single day, that made him think deeply about the state of things. It made me think deeply about the state of things too, especially Contradiction #3, which I will quote from:

“How can it be that I love Jesus and Motörhead too?”

There is much more to it than that sentence alone, but it knocked my hand out from under my chin, leaving me to smack my face on the table. How indeed? Well, it got me to thinking (will I ever learn?) so I went back and reread the comments on the post that had generated all of this navel gazing, wherein I realized there was another gem from The Mister:

“I wish your path had run in a different direction. But if it had, would I have ever read your words?”

Another gobsmack in a week full of them. I should also point out that The Mister’s other half, The Missus, had left a comment that dovetailed nicely with what I just read. All of this had the effect of making me realize that I was indeed, a very fortunate man, and I had no idea. Here I was agonizing over God or the lack thereof, and the confusion and betrayal I had felt, realizing the sheer difficulty I had with trying to understand the what and the why.

Remember what I said about strange attractors and quantum entanglement? I didn’t realize it, but I was already experimenting with those concepts. I hemmed and hawed, turning those remarks over and over in my head. Finally, after a lot of hesitation, I sent Mister and Missus and e-mail with some thoughts about what had been said. I don’t often do that, but in this case it felt like it made sense.* The replies I received dispelled any misgivings I had about a cold contact like that, and I was very glad I had decided to reach out.

We covered a lot of ground in that exchange, far too much to discuss in this post. But one of the things that really grabbed me was related to the Motorhead quote above, and it was about music. The music that we listened to at various times in our lives and what it means given the context of our circumstances. It turns out Mister and I both have a penchant for driving home blasting the music LOUD and singing (shouting) the lyrics, just because we feel the need. I recalled something similar in my Braino post from November, and I had been wondering, just like Mister, how do I reconcile that with trying to be close to God, knowing that the two things seemed to be at odds with one another? Traditional takes on religion don’t look favorably on folks who like to sing ‘Face Pollution’ or ‘All Gone to Hell’. I never was comfortable with that gap myself, so I stayed on one side of it.

As it turns out, there does not have to be a gap. What I learned, as The Mister and The Missus so eloquently explained to me, is that you can have God in you and you can listen to the music you like, just because you like it**. Doing so is not incompatible with the idea of belief in God. This is a simplification of what we discussed; the music is really just a stand in for a set of larger issues that speak to personality, attitude and (most importantly) what is in your heart. Belief does not equate with repudiation of what you are or were. It matters greatly in how you look at it, what you choose to do with it.

I cannot say that I had some great ‘conversion’, that I was flooded with Grace and ended up dancing down the street singing praises at the top of my lungs. As The Mister said to me, it isn’t that simple, and these things happen bit by bit. I believe he is right. This is good advice. I may not be a convert now and maybe never, but it is getting me closer to understanding what I want to know about God. As my friend cIII at The Goat and Tater said:

“…every time you're really down, you know, really deep in the fucking Weeds, folk will sometimes give advice. and they give this Advice a definition. Defining a solution to a problem makes it an Availability.”

True dat. Availability to a solution. This is what I am looking for, and I am getting it. Of course, I don’t have the total solution, not yet, maybe never will. It is the search that is crucial. I don’t mind searching, I’ve been doing it all my life, and I’m good at it.

Strange attractors. Quantum entanglement. Unseen forces acting on me at a distance. That sounds suspiciously like…God? Maybe. More likely, it is those chance encounters, those songs heard in passing, those voices that you hear when you decide to quit building walls and start opening doors: These are the things that allow for the possibility of grace. One day, it may happen to me. In the meantime, I’ll crank up the radio, stick my head out the window and shout the songs to my heart’s content. I’ll be cruising the highway and flying my freak flag, emblazoned with a guitar and the words “IN MOTORHEAD WE TRUST”.

*I also sent e-mails to a number of other folks on the same topics. For the record they all have been forthright, honest, and extremely generous with their time. Another debt that I am scratching my head as to how to repay. Special blessings to Braja and ChurchPunkMom!
** I also had this insight from my discussions with the aforementioned CPM.


  1. Life is a journey, not a destination, no? Keep on that journey.

    My own head is a bit foggy and grumbly today.. as I mentioned in my email this morning. :P

    We all have our 'issues', it's how we choose to use them (rather than letting them use us) that matters most.

  2. and "the man" will be riding shotgun, throwing up the rock horns and head banging right along with you.

    trust it daddy.

  3. Yer catching on... :-)
    Having so much fun reading along with you. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. "Who would win in a wrestling match between Lemmy and god?"



    "No! Wait! God!"

    "Trick question Asshole. Lemmy is God."


    Fuckin' "A".

  5. These are the things that allow for the possibility of grace.
    Whul, yeah.
    And by shouting out the songs to your heart's content is not just peeking through the eye hole of the door that's opening, it's throwing those doors wide open! You go!
    What a wonderful example for your Wee Lass!

  6. i have these same contemplations... but i figure, if God made me then he's gotta like me just as i am, right?

  7. You should check out the "Super String Theory" of quantum physics fame.

    I'm obsessed with it. If you google NOVA and this topic you can watch a laymans user friendly description.

    It's so interesting.

  8. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

    There's the link. Enjoy my friend.

  9. Unseen forces acting on me at a distance--I've experienced those. I wasn't sure what to make of it from a scientific standpoint but it made sense from a spiritual standpoint.

  10. Top ten comments? It's been ages.. be right back, gone to read!

  11. All manner of things happen to us, come to us all the time. But we only really see them when we are ready.

  12. That's why I love blogs--you run across all different kinds of people, and then you connect.

    Also, what I've learned is that staying open is the most useful thing. Staying open brings you all kinds of opportunities. Some you end up kicking yourself for taking, but then...had you NOT taken them, how would you have ended up where you eventually ended up? And usually, where you eventually end up is good. It's a deep belief of mine that everything that happens in the world has a reason, and that all is working out toward the greater good. I know: I'm such a Pollyanna. :-)

    For the record, I think God likes all kinds of music. Except for that crazy stuff I heard the other night on public radio. What the heck WAS that?? It was like a cat dying. I bet the Universe is scratching its head, too, trying to figure out how to squeeze something good out of that mess.

  13. Ahhh...Gumby...you are feeling the meaning behind my comment about walking alone. Remember when Wee Lass learned to walk by herself? You helped her keep her balance, you held her hand, you made her feel safe...and SHE did it alone. These changes in your life are now YOUR steps, we are all here to keep you steady, hold your hand, and make you feel safe so that you can learn to walk alone too. Do you see? :)
    ~Sweet Cheeks~

  14. So this is basically the blogging equivalent to The Butterfly Effect? Well, you are so much cooler than Ashton Kucher, so much cooler.

  15. "More likely, it is those chance encounters, those songs heard in passing, those voices that you hear when you decide to quit building walls and start opening doors"

    I love it!


  16. Motorhead rulz! Not sure about that other guy, though. Conventional wisdom says Satan has the best tunes, which is okay by me.

  17. Hmmm. I got nothin, but I didn't want to be a lurker.

  18. I'm still laughing at Captain Dumbass's comment...lol...

    bless you too Mr Irish

  19. Okay, I love the Mister. He's related to one of my favorite Missuses. When you started out your post with the title of a Police album, I thought this post was going to be a rant about Sting's hair and beard at the Golden Globes. I was waaaaay off.

  20. Have you ever read The Holographic Universe? I think you'd like it.

  21. Seriously can you write a post that doesnt make me think, or cry? : )

    Just Lovely. As Usual.

  22. I never even thought of a connection between God and music.

    I'm just NOT that deep. I listen to music cause I like it. I never thought about if God liked me listening to it.

    I guess I'm just a "in the now" person. I like what I like when I like it. I tend not to think of other people (or things) when I'm doing it.

    Selfish? Yeah. But, that's me!

  23. Irish,

    When it comes to spiritual matters I typically tune out and order another beer.

    I DO know this: The Dharma is only understood by those READY to understand it (or words to that effect).

    Barkeep! Another Black 'n Tan!


  24. This is why I'm Catholic. We can drink and gamble and that's just fine with God.

    In all seriousness, I am a devout woman. I have strong faith and openly share that fact. But, I am also flawed. I don't hide that either. Recognizing that I can't be perfect (though it doesn't hurt to strive) is part of being a Christian.

  25. I'm kinda of the Captain Dumbass school Irish, sorry mate, but I'm just a little dog with a little brain and a mum who's VERY CONFUSED and VERY CYNICAL about all this god business. But I really liked what you wrote even though I didn't understand any of it. xxxxx

  26. String Theory, quantum physics, grace and Motorhead... I fear I may fail this pop quiz. Can I have a week to study?

    But I too turn the radio WAY UP and bellow with all the air in my lungs. Often it is to some pop-ish tune from way long ago. For some reason Sugar Sugar always helps no matter how black the mood.

  27. I'm not the only one that turns the volume that loudly, (while my wee one is not in the car)? Excellent!

    I love that this has the new label Quantam Theory.. I chased it down to see if there were others. (:

  28. CPM: Yes, my dear it is. And an interesting journey it is. Use them issues: good point!

    MIW: OWWWWWWWOOOOAAAAHHHH! You’ll be in the back seat, yes?

    OAM: I hope so. And Thank YOU!

    cIII: HA! That comment = brilliance. Rock on, bro!

    shabby girl: I know, I know, doh! Go I will!

    Diane: I have been told that. I’ll check again…

    Charmaine: You just keep getting more interesting yourself. Beauty + brains = awe. Thank you for the link!

    Syd: It does, one of the ways I may be able to get my head around it…

    Anndi: True that!

    Amy: It has taken me a LONG time to be open. As to the cat dying musing, it could have been Chinese opera, maybe…although I like a little bit of the Chinese opera I’ve heard…

    Sweet Cheeks: Yes, sensei I see.

    Shonda: Ha! Excellent analogy! Yeah, Kucher, pfftt…wait, he has a better camera than I do! Thanks :)

    MHH: All part of the Gumbo service, ma’am, thank you!

    Grant: Yeah, I don’t mind listening to the Devil’s music now and then, I just don’t think I’d want to play in his band.

    Captain: I sensed a disturbance in the Force…This is the blog you are looking for…

    Braja: Captain is a funny man. And thank you :)

    Steenky bee: See, just when you think Ima zig, I just zags…

    PHST: Not yet. I’ll look into it.

    Sarah: Thank you! But I have to say, thinkin’ and cryin’ are about all I do these days. Well, not all the time but enough :)

    MD: One of the nicer aspects of this Creation ;) “in the now” – you may be an accidental Buddhist…

    IB: There are myriad Paths to the Truth. Another beer, please.

    MoMo: What? They didn’t tell me that! I think your last sentence, especially, hits it dead on.

    Henry: Your brain may be little in physical size, but its bigger than you know. Please, tell Mum to join me in Club Cynical-Confused. A little chaotic, but interesting ambience..

    LJ: Next week, I’m going to add ballerinas, durian fruit and a trip to the Andes. Study up!

    CDB: Rock it! Sorry about the labels, I am trying to get more disciplined about them.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...