Sunday, 25 August 2013

Thought Picnic: Where Everybody Shares Your Pain

Some cheers for the dawn
This morning I woke up to the playback in my mind with the refrain - Sometimes you want to go, Where everybody knows your name – and as I thought that through, the words of the song formed into a sense of existence - And they're always glad you came.
But, I really did not feel like being there, the familiarity, the catching up, the questions, the answers, the concern, the sympathy, the empathy and much else was weighing on my mind – I wanted to be present somewhere whilst being absent elsewhere.
Somewhere elsewhere
Basically, I did not want to be where everybody knows my pain, and whilst some might be glad I came, I was not ready to take the strain, even though my excuse does sound lame.
There were some things I was not ready to deal with until a more convenient time. So, I moved to another section of the song - You want to be where you can see, Our troubles are all the same; - I wanted to be in church, just not my church.
Antipodean flavours
My friend observed that the churches I seem to have an affinity for were planted by Australians, I dare say, there is something refreshing about the antipodean perspective of the same revelation that has been in Europe, gone to America to be exported round the world and emanating from Africa too with the contaminants that belie a tendency to error, levity and licence, I am persuaded of a different allegiance.
And though having attended C3 Amsterdam and now C3 London, I found myself visiting Hillsong London at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road where I found welcoming and friendly faces unified in song and common humanity that one had to reflect on whether one was being swept away by the awesomeness of mass hysteria or a personal experience similarly expressed by others.
Words and meanings together and apart
I began to understand the need for songs if you did understand what the words meant; for in song, you invariably were chanting the affirmative in the structure of verse and chorus almost repetitively without it becoming a mantra – the accompaniment of music then engaged your whole being with some being exercised or overcome with emotion.
There is life in participating, and when the prayers are said, you being to realise that our troubles are more or less the same and we all want insight, ideas, inspiration, results and solutions to take us to a better place.
Sometimes, that is what church is all about, amongst friends and amongst strangers, the fiendish and the strangest things can find root, but we can find firmer foundations in how we believe that together we can reach for a better day.
Cheers!
Making your way in the world today 
Takes everything you've got; 
Taking a break from all your worries 
Sure would help a lot. 
Wouldn't you like to get away? 

All those night when you've got no lights, 
The check is in the mail; 
And your little angel 
Hung the cat up by it's tail; 
And your third fiance didn't show; 

Sometimes you want to go 
Where everybody knows your name, 
And they're always glad you came; 
You want to be where you can see, 
Our troubles are all the same; 
You want to be where everybody knows your name. 

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead; 
The morning's looking bright; 
And your shrink ran off to Europe, 
And didn't even write; 
And your husband wants to be a girl; 

Be glad there's one place in the world 
Where everybody knows your name, 
And they're always glad you came; 
You want to go where people know, 
People are all the same; 
You want to go where everybody knows your name. 

Where everybody knows your name, 
And they're always glad you came; 
Where everybody knows your name, 
And they're always glad you came...

Theme song for the situation comedy TV series – Cheers, written by Gary Portnoy & Judy Hart Angelo – Where Everybody Knows Your Name.


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