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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.
Biographical Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes
Linda Sue Grimes was born Linda Sue Richardson on January 7, 1946, to Bert and Helen Richardson in Richmond, Indiana. Grimes is a writer, whose interests include music, poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegetarian cooking.
Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary enthusiast as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.
However, Grimes does keep up with her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard.
After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature and 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.
At HubPages, Grimes currently posts her poetry commentaries and her essays focusing on spirituality and politics. She also shares on that site her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with recordings of her performances of her original songs.
Spirituality and More Music
Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. She is a Kriyaban, and she has completed all four Kriya Initiations She continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great Guru.
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.
Personal Literary Presence Online
Grimes maintains an additional online literary presence on Facebook.
© 2015 Linda Sue Grimes