“The Zenith” sounds bright. It is the light of the sun reflected off rumbling creek water. I don’t know how the guitars can be so intermingled, fuzzy and yet bright at the same time. It is a mystery that defies my explanations. Then the tempo changes and we get that simple, repetitive guitar solo that moves you along and makes you feel a little bit outside of normal time. It is the best of memories of sunny, spring days wrapped together.
The lyrics tell of the “she” who is under the blue skies and the “you” on the blue side as she swirls by. I’m on the fence about whether the song is about sex or if it is about the Holy Spirit. Actually, let me rephrase that. I think it is about both sex and the Holy Spirit simultaneously. In my experience, the best sex is always spiritual. This idea is not without precedent. The Hebrew verb for “to know” (yada) is used in the Bible to describe sex but also to describe human relationship with God. Also, have you ever read Song of Songs? I mean, come on (and you can take that last part as a dirty pun if you want to).
Let’s start with the low hanging fruit with this interpretation. The color blue is prominent in the lyrics. The color blue is associated with experiences of grace, revelation, healing and restoration. It is the color associated with the Holy Spirit and with Mary, mother of Christ (the only woman in the Bible to get a booty call from God). I could also get into some esoteric Catholic theology about how blue is the color of the Godhead, but I will spare you that lecture today (but just imagine all the dirty puns I could make out of that if I went there).
Transcendent spiritual experiences and really good, life-changing sex have a lot in common. You are in your body fully, present in the moment, fully loved and fully loving. You feel a little bit outside of normal time. You are respected and supported in the embrace of your lover. You move in and out of each other, each responding to the rapture you share together. You are transformed in the finding and in being found by the one you are with. And these are only the experiences I can verbalize. The best parts are ineffable which leaves me at a loss for words. So I will hand it off to a quote by the mystic nun Hadewijch. I hope that it inspires you to have a good time under the blue skies.
“And my heart and my veins and all my limbs trembled and shuddered with desire . . . The state of desire in which I then was cannot be expressed by any words or any person that I know. And even that which I could say of it would be incomprehensible to all who hadn’t confessed this love by means of acts of passion and who were not known by Love. This much I can say about it: I desired to consummate my Lover completely and to confess and to savor in the fullest extent–to fulfil his humanity blissfully with mine and to experience mine therein, and to be strong and perfect so that I in turn would satisfy him perfectly: to be purely and exclusively and completely virtuous in every virtue.”