Friday, July 22, 2011
When he claims to be solitary, the artist lulls himself in a perhaps fruitful illusion, but the privilege he grants himself is not real. When he thinks he is expressing himself spontaneously, creating an original work, he is answering other past or present, actual or potential creators. Whether he knows it or not, one never walks alone along the path of creativity.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Way of the Masks
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Over the last few years, I've had the deep pleasure of stealing occasional time with Justin McRoberts, a lyrical wit with whom I have, in socialnetworkspeak, many a mutual. Alongside a shared fascination with Batman, Eugene Peterson, and David Bazan, we're both possessed by the conviction that raw, confessional candor (and the good humor that frequently follows) is often the greatest gift human beings can give each other.
With "C," the first installment of a project called CMY(K), it seems to me that Justin begins to blow the lid off something. The songs give voice to--without answering or solving--a meaning problem, a good number of them, and express a resolve to remain alive to contradictions, dwelling within them, instead of denying or sealing them over. If Paul Tillich has it right when he says that claiming to know with absolute certainty that God exists is even less appropriate to the Christian faith than claiming to know God doesn't, Justin clears a space for a sacred unknowing within which we say what we feel, not what we feel we ought to say. And as is especially evident in "Take One On the Chin," this work isn't a deal-breaker with (or an exit from) a meaningfully Christian life so much as it's a clear sign of its presence. Listen and be enriched.