I Heard The Bells
Kathy and I saw the movie “I Heard The Bells” last night.
Something stirred in my spirit.
Thoughts I’ve wrestled with the past two years became more clear.
The film is based on the life of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who lived in the 1800’s.
The movie is very good.
If I have a criticism it would be it was a little over-produced but understand I like movies that are raw and don’t sell well so don’t let that stop you from seeing it especially right now.
Longfellow’s poems were like a bell ringing out for truth, in his day.
His message helped bring about social change.
His critics said he was too sentimental but I find his work like listening to Jordan Peterson, full of intellect and words that test the gray matter between my ears.
As I watched the film there were so many similarities to today.
They were fighting a civil war over slavery that ripped this country apart.
Today we fight a civil war over ideology and its victims don’t add up in a body count but in the damage being done to the pursuit of truth.
Longfellow’s gift help ring a bell of truth to a confused American public.
Longfellow wrote the words to the song we know as “I Heard The Bells” and this one verse is hauntingly familiar.
“And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on Earth, " I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men
But the bells are ringing (peace on Earth)
Like a choir singing (peace on Earth)
Does anybody hear them? (Peace on Earth)
Peace on Earth, good will to men
Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
(Peace on Earth)
(Peace on Earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on Earth, good will to men”
I got tears in my eyes as his poem touched a place in my soul I thought had died.
The last couple of years, to me, have been a nightmare.
Watching good people succumb to fear, ignore the lies and settle for a watered down version of truth is so disturbing.
To see leaders manipulate and control through tyranny, and people follow them, saddens me and honestly makes me angry.
So many lies, so much manipulation, so much evil.
“Where is the truth?”
There are days Kathy and I look at each other and wonder can it get worse?
Longfellow reminds me it can but in the end truth wins.
We’re starting to see glimmers of truth as facts tattle on tall tales.
But blinders are not removed easily which is why poets and storytellers are so important when it comes to removing the social vail.
In this poem I substitute Truth for the bell.
So listen to this:
“Does anybody hear Them (Truth)?
Peace on Earth Goodwill to men.
They rang (the truth) more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail (not political right but truth)
With peace on earth goodwill to men”
One side note I must mention.
After Longfellow’s death the critics tried to discredit him for allegedly copying European style and being too sentimental.
Now more than a century later those critics are dead and their voices silenced by the grave.
But Longfellow’s poems and message continues to “ring” true as his story reaches a new generation with this film.
A new generation in dire need of hope.
God is funny.
We have no idea how our words comfort in the moment but even less obvious is what they stir in souls yet born.
Never stop looking for the truth.
Never look at today and think your life has little value.
Truth is found at the end of an answered question so never stop asking and digging and dredging for answers.
and Never lose hope.