As folks who have been around here (or me) know, I get my spiritual direction from the Mountain Goats. And I need it. Today, as I get ready to tell my own story at a gathering about “Navigating the Crisis of Identity,” John Darnielle posted this on the band’s website (language warning on his post):
I love literally everything about my life and I have this probably-dumb-but-what-the-hell mystical sense that if even one small detail of my life had been changed, then everything would be different now, and who’s to say that the things most dear to me wouldn’t have to be traded away in the bargain?
If there’s any point to this story, and I’m not sure there is but, it’s that the songs I sing, which are often about finding ways to call a dark dungeon a glittering castle & really mean it, have some of their genesis in me being a fearful young kid with just enough presence of mind to turn to music as an escape.
That’s what I continually learn from the Mountain Goats.
I can tell you that resurrection glory only comes by way of the cross, but he knows how to mean it better than I do. I confess the sovereignty of the God at work in the world, but with a chastened confession that wants so many things to have gone differently.
In the middle of all that brooding and questioning, there’s often the sense that I know who I am, what I should be, what I should do. But here, too, life is a jumbled contradictory mess. Who is this “I” whose story of identity crisis will be told tonight? I’m not sure I’ve seen yet.
And the Mountain Goats remind me of that as well: