Casual Palaver

Episode 4 - Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

October 14, 2020 Cody Kaufmann Season 1 Episode 4
Casual Palaver
Episode 4 - Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Casual Palaver
Episode 4 - Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Oct 14, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Cody Kaufmann

On this week’s podcast I read an original sonnet based on a beatitude found in Matthew 5.  I also reveal the answers to some burning questions.  Make sure to rate the episode and leave a comment and follow me on Instagram @poetrypiper. 

Poetry Piper Hotline to call and leave me a message or ask a question

Undiminished Returns By Jeremy Johnston

Show Notes Transcript

On this week’s podcast I read an original sonnet based on a beatitude found in Matthew 5.  I also reveal the answers to some burning questions.  Make sure to rate the episode and leave a comment and follow me on Instagram @poetrypiper. 

Poetry Piper Hotline to call and leave me a message or ask a question

Undiminished Returns By Jeremy Johnston

Hello everyone and welcome back to the podcast.  I am Cody Kaufman and thank you so much for listening.  This has been a really incredible week and I want to tell you all about it but first a quick bit of house keeping.  Are you subscribed to the podcast?  Do you follow me on instagram at poetrypiper?  If not please consider subscribing and leaving me a rating and a comment to help support the show. Go follow me on Instagram at poetrypiper for additional content throughout the week.  Also, I set up a poetrypiper hotline that you can call a leave me a message, yell at me, prank call me, ask me a question or whatever else you can think of.  I’ll play the best messages on the podcast from time to time.  I kind of have a thing for leaving crazy messages on peoples phones when I get a voicemail so why not give you all an opportunity to do the same.  That number to call is 504-517-6567 thats 504-517-6567.  

Too all my fellow pipe smokers out there, I am looking for something new to try.  There are so many options out there and so many recommendations I don’t know where to turn next so hit me on instagram or give me a call and tell me what your favorite blend and pipe is. 

So why was my week so good?  Well, let me tell you.  The week started with a great discussion on poetry with a good friend who is actually going to be on the podcast next week.  I’ll keep the suspense on who it is but I’m super excited to have him on.  That was followed by finalizing a concert on our place with the incredible folk bank The Riverside.  They are doing a tour of private concerts for small groups in peoples houses and land and things just worked out perfectly to have them next month.  To top it all off they have tentatively agreed to come on the podcast as well, We haven’t worked out all the details of that yet but I will do everything I can to make that happen.  I also, as a result of this show, had the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends and people with whom I had lost contact with which honestly makes all this worth the effort.  We also hit some milestones this week with regards to total downloads and I jumped on Instagram to blubber about how thankful I am for all of you who are supporting the show.  The support I received in response to that story was so encouraging so thats to everyone who sent me a message.  

I also received in the mail one of those life changing kinds of books and this one happened to be a book of poetry from Jeremy Johnston called Undiminished Returns.  I don’t want to make this podcast 2 hours long going into all the wild emotions I had while reading but I will say this.  It was not at all what I expected but everything I’d hoped it would be?  That doesn’t really make sense but thats the truth. What it is, is a poetic walk through the Christian life.  Think Pilgrims Progress in poem.  It is full of beautifully crafted sonnets which is my favorite form as well.  It’s technical but beautiful.  Full of depth but also easy to grasp.  He even threw in a villenelle which is a poetry from I have been playing with recently and I will actually read you guys a villenelle I wrote to my wife in a couple weeks if all goes right.  Ok so Ya I’m geeking out over his work and there’s so much more to say but I’ll leave it there for now.  Go pick up the book, I promise you won’t be disappointed.  I’ll leave a link to buy it in my description and just so you don’t think I’m just trying to sell you something, this is a totally unsolicited recommendation.  

All in all, my just felt encouraging and that we are moving in the right direction with things here on the show.  

I honestly needed that this week because I have been quite terrified about sharing my own stuff with you.  Not just because I am sharing a poem of mine but because I feel that with all those other things that I have mentioned, this week might be the first sink or swim moment for the podcast.  Maybe it’s too early to say that but it feels as though I have done my intos, and now I am laying all the cards on the table.  I have a suspicion that you will either like me a lot more or a lot less after this week which is either a really bold or really stupid thing to do only 4 episodes in but you know, life is short and if this was my last episode, I guess I’d be satisfied with this.  Let me be clear, I do hope I have many, many more episodes but I think you get what I am saying.  

I hinted a couple weeks ago that I had a map.  A map by which you my find the answers to such questions like hope in the midst of trials and joy in loss. Today I am going to give you the map and tell you where it leads, or perhaps to whom it leads.  I can almost guarantee you have it in your house right now, in fact almost every home has one but few have ever followed till they found the treasure.  It’s been stuck on a shelf or used as decoration not realizing that within holds not just the way to find answers, but the answers themselves.  The destination to which it leads is not a place but a person and the way, is the way.  It contains not only that which is true but is itself truth.  And to all who follow the way will find that just over that last hill past the old splintered tree is a drink from the fountain of life.  I am of course talking about the word and the one to whom the word is. The word who was with God and the word who is God.  Before you turn me off, hear me out, at least hear me out.  

We are all longing for something aren’t we?  If it isn’t everlasting life, the hope of glory,  it’s at least our best life now.  Maybe it’s happiness, money, a good marriage, kids, a bay boat and a rod and reel.  What do we do when those longings don’t happen, when the things that we want the most don’t happen or even worse if the things we fear the most come knocking on our door.  What then?  Where do we turn, what do we do?  When you look out into the world and see society crumbling, rage filling the hearts of man, who will save you?  Or even more what do you do when you look into the mirror and find the finger of accusation pointing at you.  Where will you turn for answers?  Will your government save you?  You think politics and politicians have the answers?  Maybe the media will save you?  Maybe all those self help books you have piled on your book shelf will have all the answers?  Maybe YouTube has someone who will tell you how to stop the crippling depression that has buried you.  Or better yet, turn on a podcast and let some pipe smoking poet wanna be tell you it’s all going to be ok.  Ha.  I’m not giving you the answers I’m just telling you where to find them.  Really sit with that,  If life is full of so many questions, there must be answers? 

Do you see that the answers to the real questions, no one else can answer.  Many try for various reasons, most of which center around selfish ambition but  if you’ve ever dealt with real pain, real hurt, real misery, real sorrow, real guilt the real answer is only found in one place.  And at the same time if you are searching for real meaning, real purpose, real forgiveness, real life, the real answer is only found in one place, the same place.  We must turn to the only one who has the answers because he is the answer. 

C.S. Lewis famously said “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  If we are walking through life without the S-U-N we will be in physical darkness and if we walk through life without the S-O-N we are in spiritual and emotional darkness.  There is a great poem in Undiminished Returns called Common Grace about the Sun and it’s to driving us towards the son, Christ.  Those aren’t just creative plays on words though, that’s actual truth.  We are all struggling through life with something, or look out into the world and are burdened with something and whatever it is, it’s root is found in a sinful and fallen and darkened world.  All pain, all division, all corruption, all death, is the result of sin and hostility towards God.  Knowing that, feeling that is true mourning.  The only way to set that right is to cling to Christ the one by whom we are reconciled to God.  The light that restores our hope, bares our burdens, and comforts the broken hearted.  As I share this poem with you, I hope you feel the weight and burden of sin, of unanswered questions, of sleepless nights wondering why and then have that lifted from you by Christ who bares it all.  

I typically gravitate to the Sonnet form when I am writing.  I find it long enough to say all that I desire to say by not so long as to make things too wordy.  I’ve heard it said that an hour speech is much easier to write than a 20 min one as with fewer minutes words must be chosen very carefully.  I also feel that Iambic Pentameter flows most naturally from my mind.  That is the alternating unstressed to stressed syllables.  The ba-dum, ba-dum like the beating of the heart.  It also might be because I am a little obsessive compulsive and there is great symmetry and structure to a sonnet, 14 lines, 10  syllables of alternating stress per line, it just feels right to me.  

So I began thinking a while back about writing a series of sonnets based on the beatitudes found in Matthew 5, all the Blessed are the lines.  I sought to craft and be crafted by cries of response to the blessings from Christ that would otherwise seem somewhat contradictory.  Go read them in Matthew 5 and you will see what I mean.  That too is why I think the Sonnet form fits because there is often a turn in a sonnet where the mood shifts or something new or different is revealed.  This project is still very much a work in progress as I have completely scrapped this sonnet I am going to read you twice now and almost completely rewritten it.  I guess eventually though you just have to leave things alone and let them be what the word intended them to be.   May these words, electrical signals vibrating speakers, vibrating drums, find the way.  With all that as an intro here is the cry of Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.  

O misery your scorns befallen me

My eyes are spent with weeping all my days

The hope I thought I knew, I long to see 

But sight is shattered by the tattered gray

O mourning, all your vengeance crush my heart

Beneath the weight of all the harm I’ve done

That sin who’s labor is to tear apart

Is found in me, excuses, I have none

Yet in these depths my soul can look to thee

Who bares the weight of guilt I can not hold

When sorrow for my state is at it’s peak

Your comfort turns my broken heart to Gold

Lord, bless my mourning heart that can not bare

That I may rest for you have found me there.  

Who is man that God is mindful of us.  Even in the midst of our running away he is calling.  Where are you running?  What are you chasing?  Do you know you are lost?  

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

If you have not Christ, the sin who’s labor is to tear apart is found in you.  But Christ, our wisdom, our Lord, our root and our key, our day spring and our king is with us.  The way can turn your broken heart to gold.  

Thanks again for letting me empty my heart and as always, read a poem, smoke a pipe and hug the ones you love.  Talk to you next week.