In last night’s blog I reviewed the thirteenth track on Jahméne Douglas’ stellar album Unfathomable Phantasmagoria – I Wish. In the blog I looked at the power found in the song and how Jahméne manages to convey his message of hope for a world in which hatred and suffering will not be the things we remember but rather the love we show to each other. Whether we believe such a world is possible says perhaps more about ourselves than it does the song. I spoke of examples in my own life where I have encountered people I previously had feared and dare I say it even resented and was able to cross that bridge and reconcile with them. In these moments Peace has been found.
Today however the blog takes a bit of a detour from where we were previously. In today’s blog I am looking at the track Forever & Eternity. In this blog entry I have decided that I should like to focus on the theme of Beauty when discussing this track. It may seem a bit confused at first but stick with me and hopefully we’ll get there safe and sound. The various songs which are found on this album are remarkable. They are as I have said before a true testament to the incredible power of love in the world. Unfathomable Phantasmagoria is a truly original album, which is not something we can say too much these days and Jahméne is himself a truly authentic and beautiful artist. Unfathomable Phantasmagoria is absolutely steeped in beauty, so let’s step right in.
Forever & Eternity – Beauty
In my first blog when speaking of this track I described it as “awe inspiring”. This is truer than ever today. It is a powerhouse of a song and is just stunning. From the beginning the song gives the impression of being a very simple declaration of love. Jahméne expertly acclaims without any backing music; “There ain’t not other now I’ve got you, Baby you’re all I need, Baby you’re all I see.”
From here the song progresses into a beautiful epic work which is wonderfully orchestral in parts. It pains me to say this but I can’t help but be reminded of older tracks when I hear this song. It reminds of some of the great love songs of the past. It really is so lovely. There are parts of this song which are pure poetry and words that I really have to spend some time with;
“Spread my hands through the sheets, to find your love, to get the key only you keep.” Why are these words so affecting? Why are they so profoundly moving? They speak so honestly and remarkably about romantic affection between a couple. I can only speak from my heart here and say that someday I hope to marry. I want to start a family of my own with someone. Perhaps this is not what God has in store for me…who knows. I only know what it is that I hope and pray for in life. I wish to experience this beauty in my life. So often I meet people who have had just got married and others who have just had children. Isn’t it incredible when you think of it? First there were two separate individuals, then one union and then again there is a new person. A new, perfect, little person ready to begin their human experience. This little person who is a combination of those who have helped form them. It is just awe inspiring.
And do you know what it is in fact officially my favourite track on the album. Why? Because this is the one which speaks of that which I hope for the most. There is so much love to give.
Don’t get me wrong I know marriage and family life isn’t an easy path and there are times of hurt, pain and suffering. That is the thing about love though isn’t it? If we allow ourselves to love and be loved then we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with another person. We put all of our trust into this person. It is devastating to know that there are those who take advantage of this trust and can cause such awful suffering.
At this point I feel I should point out that today’s blog is actually rather difficult for me to pen. Simply because for the last few days I have also been reading Jahméne’s mother Mandy Thomas’ book, You Can’t Run. In this book Mandy paints a picture of the story of the absolute very worst acts of depravity one person could commit against others. I would encourage all to read this book, difficult as it may be. Yet it is also filled with some of the absolute very bet of humanity. Mandy herself is an example of the very best of humanity as are her children. They each exemplify qualities such as courage, compassion, kindness, care, honesty, humility, humour, joy, and so so much beauty. I honestly do not know what more to say about this book…it is simply life changing and has caused me to consider more what I am looking for in life.
Beauty is all around us. I took a walk through my hometown today. All around me I was met with Beauty. The cold winter wind which blew off the sea and nipped at my cheeks, the families who walk together and laugh together, the little sea birds flying so effortlessly and gracefully, the sea which lapped up at the shore, the glorious mountains, the little lost cat wandering on the beach, everything right down to the coffee I enjoyed along my walk. Beauty is everywhere if we just know where to look for it and allow ourselves to be surprised by it.
Likewise the capacity for wrong is also all around us. Wrongfulness can never get rid of Beauty of though. It can try with all it’s awfulness but it will never prevail. Beauty will always win. Always. Stick with this album and you will witness that. At this stage I hope Jahméne will not mind if I quote his poem Shadow Serpent as found in the sleeve notes of Unfathomable Phantasmagoria. It is beautiful in it’s honesty. It is rock strong in it’s vulnerability.
“My heart holds something powerful
A spirit that repulses evils name
You flee back to where you crept from
And His love and life I shall regain”
Jahméne speaks Gospel truth and the more I listen to his words, the more I hear his music the more I remember that this is a truth that I also believe. There is indeed darkness in the world but as long as there is one person ready to stand up for the ideals espoused in Unfathomable Phantasmagoria then all the darkness in the world cannot withstand this power of light and Beauty. Pain, suffering, wrongs these will all come to an end some day…but not Love, Light and Beauty. These are forever and eternity. They are Limitless. This shall be the topic of tomorrow’s blog as we review the track Reach You. I really hope you all join me for these last days.
Peace and Love
This is my home town…this is Beauty and I will love it forever and eternity.