A Prayer for You

by Joshua Cook & The Key of Now

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BEING A BRIEF EXPOSITION ON THE SUBJECT OF EVERLASTING SPIRITUAL COMMUNION,
or, How I Found "God" for the First Time for the Last Time...

I do not consider myself religious, nor am I an active practitioner of a particular faith. That said, I do consider myself spiritua, and here I draw a sharp and clear distinction between religion and spirituality: one emanates from within whilst the other originates from without. Spirituality arises from a deep inner sense of knowing (Gnosis) that transcends the waking-sleeping-dreaming state or the birth-life-death cycle or the material realm, and discovers fundamental soul connectivity with immutable Truth. Religion, on the other hand, though originating from the same vague or fleeting awarenesses of transcendental experiences, dresses up the Truth in ritual trappings of sacred figures, holy relics, and ancient imperial rites (Dogma) that serve to maintain social cohesion (Order) more than guiding practitioners toward enlightenment. In this way, religions are as varied and diverse as cultural custom, and in this way religion loses me: for, while religion knows many names and faces, spirituality knows but One.

As I stood on the rocky lake shore on the outskirts of Cle Elum, The Sunchaser and its occupants sat broken down nearby. Seized by a twilight's moment of respite, I tiptoed away from Messrs. Jones, Mosher, and the Super Cramer Brothers, and all the misery and dysfunction we'd dragged with us all the way across those 37 states and nearly 12,000 miles of roadway. To cry alone on the edge of the placid water was more than a mere emotional release: it was psychological necessity. Wrought with sadness and confusion as the brisk evening set in, I implored the Universe to deliver me from the deep and abiding sorrow I felt, from the interminable separation from that consummate hipster Lady Feather, and from the impending consequence that awaits us all at the end of life's journey; and in the undisturbed air I sang out to her, and I sang and cried and cried and sang until my voice croaked and cracked and the notes tumbled and cascaded through the crisp mountain air across the frog-rippled surface to the other shore and back, and I realized that I was no longer in control of the words coming out of my gob. Something else had taken hold. I was still present and aware, to be sure – perhaps more so than I'd been in a long time – but suddenly I realized all the words that I was singing weren't strictly about my physical relationship at all, but about a different kind of relationship I'd been nurturing since I was just old enough to remember (about three or four): my convivial rapport with the greater continuum of the Universal Life Flow, a.k.a. The Force, what some label "God" but I prefer to call the Ancient Infinite Indefinite, the totality of the Universe, the conscious aspect of Being that wiggles in and out of focus like a celluloid superhero. I was high, but not stoned. I saw the light shining from within, and knew beyond all doubt that this was the Message delivered to Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, and all the divine prophets and heroes of all the world's religious mythologies. To help someone else is to help oneself, and to meditate on someone else's well-being likewise creates an electromagnetic energy field that draws positive energy back towards itself. Therein lay the true meaning of Enlightenment: a prayer for you is a prayer for me. And what started out as a conversation between myself and Lady Feather, which was trivial and fleeting, became a dialogue between my human-self and my God-self, The Force in motion, about a relationship easily forsaken but not easily broken. This is what we said to one another:

lyrics

Once, when I was broken-hearted
I turned to my lover and I sighed,
"Soon I will have departed
From this world, and I'll have no place to hide,
So please, don't turn me away from your doorstep
'Cause I wanna stay where your heartbeat can be heard --
Then I don't need to say another word."

Soon my lover replied,
"How do I know that you'll be true?"
Oh, I felt crippled inside,
But I realized exactly what to do:
I said, "Please, don't take away my pillow
'Cause I wanna stay where your heartbeat can be heard --
Then I don't need to say another word."

A prayer for you is a prayer for me
Coming 'round and 'round eternity.

credits

released April 24, 2013
words & music by Joshua Cook,
all instruments performed by Joshua Cook,
vocals by Joshua Cook, with backing vox by Ryan Beebe and Miss Molly Taylor.

cover photo by Béatrice Rotari
shot in Marseilles on Easter Sunday at Notre Dame de la Garde shortly before being blessed with holy water sprinkled from palm leaves by Catholic priests.

mixed by Andy Freeman,
mastering by Alex Lowe.

produced by Joshua Cook.

©2013 Key of Now, Ltd. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.

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Joshua Cook & The Key of Now New Orleans, Louisiana

Joshua Cook = an American troubadour and devout soundcrafter of rock'n'roll, hard R&B, deep soul, and folk-blues.

The Key of Now = a band, a vision, and the creative impulse by any other name.

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