First thing’s first: if my post yesterday left you with a sense of desolation/sadness/disdain, here’s Nick’s blog post/reflection on 2015. Again, he has a way with words/succinctness that I have yet to come close to mastering. He’s also uplifting and joyful/hopeful in a way that I just can’t be, right now. But his post made me feel a lot better, so, you know, there’s that.
Anyways, it’s officially 2016! First post of the new year! And what will I dedicate it to? That is a great question.
I have only one answer.
Sad, Mexican drinking songs about lost love and stuff.
Do I feel this way? No!… Maybe…
But I do love this song. And I can relate. Anyways, a version of this was actually featured in the the second season of Mozart in the Jungle, in a really beautiful montage. So for me it’s both happy and sad.
Regardless, the song’s title translates to, “For the whole year” (as in the speaker of the song is saying that you might as well give him all the drinks he would otherwise have for the entire rest of the year). Since it’s the beginning of the year, I would like to think about the rest of the year. Maybe not how much I’m going to drink for the rest of year (probably not much, as my most consistent drink is communion wine, technically the blood of Christ).
Anyways, I was thinking about doing a cover of this song, but I seriously don’t have it in a place where I could do it justice, both of my own performance, and what I have currently available to record such a cover. But maybe soon? While there’s still plenty left in this new year (because I like how the name also refers to it’s place in a time cycle, as well as deeper things).
So, tomorrow’s post is going to be a playlist, curated by myself. But I need your help.
Send me music for the playlist! I have a list of songs and artists I want to use, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Commenting below would be a great example of a good way to drop me hints. Also, posting on my Facebook wall, as well as The Daily Jorge’s Facebook wall, if we’re not friends on Facebook.
What kind of music am I look for/what are the guidelines?
I want music that was released in 2015/was most popularized or recognized in 2015. So if it was released in late 2014, but really got noticed in 2015, send it my way. Besides that, it’s fair game.
Want to send just one song? Go for it. An entire album? I might pick one or two songs off the album, but I’d appreciate the submission. If you have just an artist in mind, feel free to send me a song, as well. Oh, and if you’d like to say something about the artist/song/album, please do! Why you picked it, and important moments, anything about the artist or the work.. really anything!
I’ll be compiling all of it, and putting it all into one big Spotify playlist for tomorrow, along with a curated overview of artists, albums, and songs selected.
To thank you in advance for your cooperation, here is a video.
As much as the Jesuits have educated me, and have influenced my way of thinking, and interacting with the world as a whole, it really wasn’t until last year that I found a model within the Jesuits that I could really relate to.
I mean, yes, St. Ignatius’ story of redemption, and then spiritual contemplativeness in action is a great “comeback story” of sorts, but I never trained as a soldier. I’m a farm boy. I also don’t know much about mischief and women and being a gallant and courtier. The closest I come to that is a one off romance that hardly survived into college.
St. Francis Xavier was too bent on missionary work, and inculturation, which I can respect, I feel doesn’t really fit my own missions and apostolates. No, I don’t see myself traveling to India, then Japan, and then (trying to enter) China, all under different guises to relate to people, and then to begin preaching the Gospel. I do respect his attempt at preaching the Gospel in these ways, and I do see myself as a missionary in a strange culture more often than most would think, but something about his story still seems above me.
No, the great historic Jesuit I find my own story most related to isn’t all that Historic. 100 years ago, he was still hardly a Novice, and his death was only 88 years ago today. The Jesuit I speak of is Blessed Fr. Miguel Agustín Pro, SJ.
Suffice to say, the Wikipedia article might be enough, but the second and third links are also good for just an overview, while you might want to check out the last one if you want what equates to a half hour read on the story of the priest.
I was drawn to Bl. Fr. Pro (or, as I’ll refer to him in the rest of this blog, Fr. Pro) for a few reasons. Of course, he was a Jesuit, and my appreciation for the Jesuits is rather great. But he was Mexican Jesuit, sharing the same homeland as me, speaking a common tongue, joined together in very similar cultures, and both understanding the beauty and importance of the Most Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe.
But the more I looked at his story, the more I could relate to. Like my own father, he suffered stomach problems, his being ulcers, and my father’s being a hernia. He also was referred to as Miguel, the same name as his father, just as me with mine. I also carry with me a childhood nickname, Chochi, and he carried his, Cocol.
He was an actor, a singer, a prankster, and a man of great humor and very personable soul. I… have acted, play many instruments and sing, enjoy life with plenty of humor, and I enjoy being able to relate to people.
But there was also another Pro, very serious, studious, and prayerful. People often get surprised at how well I jump between entertaining and being humorous, and being a serious, passionate, and prayerful person. I always praise myself for carrying both the light and the heavy in my arms.
I think that Fr. Pro found me, sometimes. And he found me through humor, and love of Mexico and my people, and my love of art and of serving, as he spent his last 15 months of life in Mexico as a priest, serving in anyway he could to his Mexican people, living now in a land where Catholicism was basically outlawed. He would pay the price of his life for caring so deeply.
In this compassionate person, I found myself drawn further and further into the person of Christ the King, whom Fr. Pro proclaimed with his final breath.
I guess Fr. Pro, through his intercession, and my asking him to pray for me, brought me closer to my faith, and continuously brings me closer to the person of Jesus.
But also, in a non-religious (but, in a very “AMDG” way, still very religious) way, he brought me closer to my fellow brothers and sisters, even those who don’t share my faith. Fr. Pro forgave his executioners, and his enemies, and prayed for them before being murdered for an attempted assassination attempt on the former President of Mexico (at that point) of which he was innocent. He worked tirelessly to minister to his deprived Catholic brothers and sisters, the poor, and those in jail. He also prayed a lot, and worked to always do God’s will. But he was still so humble!
I wish often to be like him, to work tirelessly for the greater good of all, and to remain humble in it.
I pray for his intercession, because I see him as an older brother.
Oh, and his name is Miguel. Miguel is also my brother’s name.
I love my brother.
Thank you, older brother. And thank you, spiritual older brother.
So, if there is one thing that I’m sure of, it’s that although we, as people, often need to do things on our own, “carrying the load” is never one of them.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
Often in life, we carry things with us everyday. They may be physical, like the pen that I tend to carry around in my pocket, or the necklace I carry around my neck reminding me of a retreat I led in High School. Other times, it may not be something as tangible. It could be emotional baggage, the stress of a living any sort of life, or simply memories we cherish, or that haunt us. These things that we carry can often be heavy, burdensome, and even more stressful to our lives.
Though we may feel the need to say, ” I need to do this on my own,” as we might often do with the things that bring us peace, that decompress us, and help us find joy, love, and God, we don’t need to get so caught up in doing everything ourselves. Yes, it’s good for our own sanity and independence that we do certain actions and activities on our own. Still, “carrying the load” should not be one.
We might soon find ourselves trapped, if we choose this route. For example, if a friend were to offer you to help move into an apartment, which you have to do anyway, and you know that you’ll be carrying lots of heavy stuff, particularly up several flights of stairs, you might let them help, or even ask that they help and thank them?
But at two different times in in my life, I was both the gracious friend thanking the friend for helping, and the friend refusing the help of another. I’ve also been the friend offering to help in moving, and the one that didn’t offer the help. It’s a sort of parable. The point here is that the friends who help each other lighten their individual load. If you help me move, I’ll help you move. And it doesn’t make it tremendously easier. Everyone knows that too many cooks in the kitchen burns the entire restaurant down. But when we help each other carry the load, we become stronger. In helping you carry your load, I learn how to better carry my own. And in allowing me to help you carry your load, you might also grow, and instead of breaking your back, you’ll be able to grow stronger and carry the load better.
We can never completely put down the things we carry, but in helping each other carry our respective loads, we can lighten the load when necessary, and grow stronger, both individually, and as a community.
Now, to help best explain that, here’s this song, which always make me cry, in this choral arrangement by Jay Althouse:
(Here’s another link, to a different film of the same performance, but though it is louder, the audio clips, hence my preference for the two.)
Honestly, I cry because I know that I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Hell, I’m still learning it. It’s a difficult lesson to learn. But it’s so wonderful. Even though I am still tempted to do everything on my own, I know that I’m strongest when I can trust others with my load, and myself with other’s loads. And yes, I have gotten hurt before, but that too has made me stronger. I have learned to trust my brother, and that, even with all that I carry, I will never be too heavy to be carried. I will never be too heavy to be loved. I deserve love, even with all of the hurt and suffering I have caused. Even when it feels that there is no one beside me, when the whole world feels against me, I have that familiar feeling, that tender hand on my shoulder, assuring me that everything will be okay.
I can feel God’s grace. It is there. And then I remember that I can and have and will do the same for others. Because he ain’t heavy at all. He’s my brother.
So, I’m not the biggest fan of Taylor Swifts’ song, “Blank Space.” Which is fine, I don’t mind it a ton, and I find it’s not worth despising every song that you don’t necessarily “like.” It’s very “meh.”
But, I found this video, and I think it’s brilliant!
The guitarist for Saturday Night Live, Jared Scharff, does some very Brian May style soloing (shredding) over the final chorus of Taylor’s song, and I just love it.
“I’m playing my custom Fano Pelham Blue burst JM6, which was made by Dennis Fano himself,” Scharff says. “I was either using a Sixties Vox AC-30 or a Divide by 13 through an Analog Man Peppermint Fuzz.”