Original Song: "Against" with Commentary
The Windmill Chapel
The song, "Against," is a lament for our times—for all times. The singer begs her soul to forsake the things of this world, which according to Emily Dickinson, "hold so," and follow the way of spirit. The way of spirit protects one "against" all the things that hurt the individual physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Against the tone of heartbreak
Against the stone of night ache
Against the wrong that leads you
Against the blood that speeds you
The broken heart, the mental-pain-induced inability to sleep, behaving inappropriately, and allowing the physical body to dictate one's thoughts and behavior are all things the devotee of spirit must battle "against."
Whisper into the drum and see the bay of stars
That permeate the golden night in silver bars
Usher to the harp the placid palms of notes
That wistfully breathe on strings of hope
The speaker commands her soul to listen to the music of the spheres, to observe the night sky for inspiration to follow the way of spirit.
Quaff the mist of years, past where you thought
That dwarves were playing in the valley of rock
Don’t listen to a decibel lower than the sound
Of the one hand raised in perfect redound
The singer commands her soul to get past the past—reflecting on the Zen koan,"The sound of the one hand."
Bless your father and your mother whose ears
Have turned to stone with worries and fears
They planted their flag in the wind by the sea
They pray on the ghost ridge and wait to be free
The singer commands her mind to forgive the sins of her forebears, who were innocent and did their best, even though they were ignorant of the way of spirit.
Whisper again and listen for the echo
That lingers in the valley you used to know
Keep a clear watch how the strain will peel you
Keep your mind in tow for the brain will steel you
The singer again commands her mind to take gingerly the lessons of her past, while remembering in the present that stress is the enemy of spiritual success—keeping the mind focused is at the heart of the way of spirit.
Into the light, where you bow
Where you offer news of then and now
Where you fold your hands and wonder as you pray
If you heard that thunder across the bay
The singer then acknowledges that the heart and mind will continue to reflect on past and present even while seeking the way of spirit.
Whisper blowing, softly into the day
Let no shaft of light escape your sight today
Listen to your commandments, as they
Lead you to the words you hunger to pray
The singer then commands herself to step lightly and watch for any sightings of spiritual light and above all, to continue to follow the way of spirit as it leads her to its golden gate.
At the Windmill Chapel, SRF Lake Shrine
Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes
The Windmill Chapel
In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.
Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.
The Literary Life
After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.
As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.
Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.
However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.
After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.
Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.
Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.
Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.
Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."
Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.
Online Literary Presence
In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries.
© 2015 Linda Sue Grimes