Mar 30 2012

#335 Music Month (30)

From Jarrod

Today’s Song/Video: “Running with the Wolves” by Cloud Cult

Nov 4 2011

#188 “Freedom!”

From Hannah in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Sadly, it seems that since the dawn of time, man has struggled against nature instead of trying to live peacefully as a part of its intricate system of balance and chaotic harmony. In his misguided attempts at progress and advancement, he has lost sight of what he claimed to truly value in the first place and what originally granted him the strength to prevail: his freedom- freedom of thought, freedom of movement, freedom of strength. In the beginning, these things were blessings, but as time passed, they turned into freedoms that would enslave- the freedom from care, the freedom from responsibility, the freedom from regret, and the freedom from opposition. And then one day, seemingly all of a sudden, man looks around to find that what he has built with his freedoms are walls that bind him to a way of life that he never intended. But even worse, he hasn’t done this to himself alone, but he has enslaved others as well. In taking absolute power and dominion over all he sees, in his fears that some unknown threat may topple what he has built, he has subjugated the world around him and tyrannized the beauty of the natural world. Perhaps this all came about through a subconscious jealousy that although other living beings do not possess his same level of intellect, they nonetheless hold an innate understanding of freedom that man can never attain no matter how hard he tries.

So what’s to be done? Some believe the solution is for nature to rise up against man and act out against his tyrannical nature in an effort to force him to change his ways. But I disagree. Man has never enjoyed being physically coerced into anything and will only fight back more intensely. In some ways this idea is at the very heart of his attempts to squash the freedoms of others and his obsession with the notion of containment. No, he must be moved emotionally and then must act willingly. He must first realize the bed that he has made for himself. He must come to an understanding that the life he has built for himself truly is an imprisonment of cares and worries that serve no purpose other than to secure a harsh dominion over the rest of the world which cowers sadly in subjugation. Man must first see that a change must take place within himself, and he must realize that he needs the hand of nature to guide him. In true Biblical fashion, he needs a conversion story.

This is the reason why I love this illustration so much and why I have paired it with the video below. In my analysis of the picture, I cannot help but to see the persecution that man has dealt out upon the wolf. And simultaneously, it causes us to wonder what we can do to reverse this unfortunate turn of events. That’s where the song “Running with the Wolves” by Cloud Cult comes in to supply the answer. It urges us to cast of the bonds that we have placed on ourselves, and yes, it encourages us to “run with the wolves”- a symbolic as well as literal act to reconnect, a breathless and cathartic race against time to set things aright, a first step towards enlightenment that will lead the way to redemption. But in the end, let’s not forget that today’s message was first presented by the artful hand of Hannah. Without her insight and powerfully artistic pathos, we may forever dwell in the dark ages, imprisoned by our own lustful desire for power over others in the name of a misguided sense of freedom.