Monday, July 18, 2005
More Sufjan
This is a little dated, but I discovered an interview with singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens with Relevant Magazine last year upon the release of Seven Swans. Included is a question I never would have dreamed asking...

[RM:] Do you approach your music as a “ministry”—something that you can offer others? Or do you make music because you feel compelled to do so in order to express yourself? Or is it some combination of those?

[SS:] The word “ministry” is so institutional and cold. I wouldn’t touch that word with a stick. But I do believe we are made with particular inclinations, particular gifts. I hardly think we chose these things, but we are not limited to them at all. It is both mysterious and genetic. I think freedom is a bluff. Especially in this country, we pride ourselves on the independence of the mind. But we are so narrow and mechanized. We spend our lives conditioned by society, working in cubicles, zombies at the computer, shopping in strip malls, franchise clothing stores, Starbucks coffee. I’m talking about myself here. We’ve lost our inheritance. We’re so uncreative. We’re Night of the Living Dead. All I’m asking is that we put off all this crappy fashion and get going on what we were made to do. Wake up, you zombies! Do you really want to contribute to the decline of civilization!?

I don't know if I would go so far as to describe the word "ministry" as "institutional and cold," but we each have our contexts. I might say "misused and abused," and certainly in the contexts of the Arts and the Church. It is a word that warrants redeeming.

posted by Peter at 11:17 PM
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