As we grow older in this world, we gain a deeper understanding of what is going on here. But it can be discouraging. In many ways, what we find is not pretty, and it makes no sense.
The disconnect between the way the world is and the way we think it should be becomes an existential crisis for those of us who are sensitive to such issues.
Attached to this dilemma we find a long historical trail of people attempting to deal with the problem. Along that path we find tragedy, depression, pathos, melancholia, despair, existential crisis, schizophrenia and a myriad of other assorted travesties.
But there’s a favorable output that sometimes arises through this conundrum. It’s called art.
And music, and literature.
I’ll not get into the specifics of it; but we discern, threaded through our long, strung-out history, an overwhelming human opus of emotional and soulful profundity. It has been woven through the sad, dysfunctional and tragic tapestry of our apocryphal struggle for meaning. It has been sounded forth and sculpted continuously even as our very survival is perpetually called into question.
The depth of this existential crisis is expressed by the poet when he desperately cried out:
“O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
therefore I remember you from the land of the Jordan,
and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the sound of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves have rolled over me.”
From the mountaintops of human awareness, and from the turbulence of many wanderous shore epiphanies, we homo sapiens somehow manage to bring forth as offerings a cornucopia of creative endeavors; they are birthed in desperation, and they are often borne in desperate attempts to somehow attain hope.
You catch a hearing of that struggle to which I allude, in this music, composed in Spain in 1939 by Jaoquin Rodrigo:
You can catch a glimpse of it in Picasso’s mural, composed in Spain in 1937, after the Luftwaffe bombing of Guernica:
But in my exploration of these matters, the most profound expression of the pathos curse is manifested in the life of one person who, by his laborious struggle, imparted the purest and most enduring message of love ever etched upon the parchment of human history; but his great gift was rejected through our judgmental travesty: a sentence of crucifixion.
Yet out of that most extreme humiliation there arose an even greater opus of creative, persistent love : resurrection.
If you can even believe it.