Steampunk is Sacred too :)
Many of you will be familiar with my song Ring Out, Wild Bells. Well... I spent a number of days professionally recording it during the first week of Advent. I hired my amazing mixing engineer to mix and master it, and then last week, I recorded a music video for it.
The video is steampunk-themed, which I thought was fun, and fitting, because Tennyson, who penned the poem (from his requiem In Memoriam), was from the Victorian era, and steampunk is inspired by that age of early technology and style.
I shared a photo of me (pictured here) in steampunk attire, with a mandolin, and I was surprised by how many negative reactions I got, in private messages, in essence, suggesting that I wasn't being spiritual enough...
On Christmas Eve, after passing through some hurt feelings, with a warm and open heart, I went live to tell a story from the Franciscan medieval age... based on a book my children have called The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola (1974), which is adapted and based on a legend.
There were jugglers in the medieval age, who were seen as sacred by the Franciscans.
Although I don't juggle in the video, the story of the jugglers wearing makeup and costume, in performance, to weave in some levity into a suffering world, was one the inspirations ...
To see it as my job to thread some fun into and through and along with the grief of this year's suffering.
You can watch the talk I gave in the video below.
To get ready for the brand new version and video of Ring Out, Wild Bells, you can download this gift...
a PDF copy of the standard notation and lyrics:
12/26/2020 04:42:26 pm
thank you so much for sharing this video… Breaking out of the mold, and revealing God working in unique and Beautiful ways!
12/26/2020 04:56:06 pm
Oh my, I love the look. I’ve even saved it to my folder of possible portrait subjects. It reminded me of Bib Sabath in his WwI Snoopy fighter helmet, worn to inspire him in his fight against cancer. Wear yours fearlessly. And fiercely.
12/27/2020 03:26:23 pm
Thank-you Lee! I would LOVE to see this as a portrait! I will wear it fearlessly... now that I've had some moral support :)
12/26/2020 06:01:24 pm
Spirituality is present in all things we do, including wearing costumes and especially laughing. Our Western tradition values rationality above all else which leads to understanding only limited categories of ‘good’ spirituality. Ignores the great Orthodox tradition of the holy fool, and the Celtic understanding that all actions can be infused with worship, including the most banal, if our hearts are inclined to worship. Thank you for continuing to bring our awareness to God in our midst, and don't mind those with more restricted understandings of God. And steampunk is super cool. I run into a similar dynamic with those who see my Metis spirituality as anti-Christian.
12/27/2020 03:31:32 pm
Hi Matt, Thanks so much for this insight. It is beautiful. How sad you experience this dynamic with Metis spirituality. Then again, I'm not surprised. It is incredible how the removal of regalia is built in to the story of control. May you wear yours with pride.
12/27/2020 02:16:45 am
Alana, you ARE doing an holy work, especially when you bring levity to us. When I watch and listen to your videos I see a person who is being who and what she is meant to be and do. You are in the center of your "vocation." And, as a DeadHead I love Steam Punk. So THERE!! to all and any Slubgubs who naysay your choice of humor. Be off and chase yourselves...
Thank you so much for this! It is so refreshing and gave me a sense of deep reassurance and peace. I lead a ministry whose mission promotes play and playfulness--and I am sad to say that I have had similar experiences as yours when well-meaning Christians have called into question my faith. In one instance, I shared a music video that features circus performers and a person I know reached out to me because they were "concerned" for me; they said the video was too "of the flesh." As I reflect on your timely (and timeless!) message, I'm struck that it is Christmastide...the time we celebrate God-of-the-flesh. Your reflections have renewed my sense of calling to just keep "juggling." Thank you.
12/27/2020 08:04:57 am
12/27/2020 07:06:32 am
Thank you Alana
1/5/2021 02:37:05 pm
I am delighted by this explanation, and was not put off by the steampunk theme. In fact, regarding the latter, I sent the link to a good author friend, Arthur Slade, who has published a number of young adult books within the steampunk genre.
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Alana Levandoski is a song and chant writer, recording artist and music producer, in the Christian tradition, who lives with her family on a regenerative farm on the Canadian prairies.