Monday, June 06, 2011

beating the devil's tattoo....

today while driving all over for school and work i listened to four versions, at least, of BRMC's 'beat the devil's tattoo'. first let me say that i LOVE this song well pretty much anything by this band if i am honest. but there is something about the ending harmonies of this song which connects deeply with me. at one point this afternoon and again later driving home from my final i began thinking about this song and my first tattoo. the song is in part a reference to a piece of edgar allen poe's writing, in which the phrase represents the military tattoo drum beat that called soldiers back to the safety and rest of camp at dark. yet for me when i hear it i also think of escaping the 'mark of the beast' as talked about in revelation as well as the idea of being marked either for God or for evil...which also connect in my theological brain to the exodus(passover) story of the jewish homes in egypt being marked by blood so that their first born would not be killed and therefore escaping this mark of death and evil.

but mostly, beyond what is happening lyrically in the song...i think  of escaping the 'mark of the beast' and the mark of evil. growing up with a father who over emphasized this small aspect of the biblical story i was terrified of all things that were apocalyptic (still am to some extent). i remember standing in the yard at dusk as a small child of maybe six praying, really begging, that the sun would not turn black and the moon red because i didn't want to be around the events of revelation came to pass. as i grew older and fell in love with the idea of tattoos and body art somewhere in my neurotic brain i decided that if i got tattoos that had God present in their meaning and maybe scripture that i would be protected from being tattooed by evil. which was in part what i was thinking when i got my first tattoo, well that and if i had a spiritual and christian tattoo my father couldn't really kill me that much right. which happened to be true, he huffed and puffed and then said well it has a verse in it so i guess i can't kill you.

as i pondered these realities of my life today i realized that in all of my thoughts, as neurotic as they were and are, i was seeking  to find rest and peace and the assurance that i was protected. having experienced more of life now than i did when i was six and having had 'spiritual encounters' both positive and negative for lack of better terms i see how important the desire to avoid being marked is. i think it is something that all of us really do seek in one way or another. darkness that permeates and destroys us, relationships, and  the world is like a black sludge or fog that subtlety fills a space until you in a moment you realizes that the light has gone or has seemingly gone...i believe in my better days that light is always present because in the end it takes such a small amount of it to bring illumination to the darkness. light is like hope or faith a small saffron sized piece can fortify one again a deluge of evil or darkness. and in that small sliver we beat the devil's tattoo..meaning we come back to the safety of camp and we escape evil's grasp.

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