I am perfect, I am broken
I am adored, I’m unspoken
I am lonely, I am contented
I am sane, I’m half demented
I’m belief, I am science
I’m peace, I am defiance
I’m the cause, I am effect
I am sober, I am wrecked...
When all these fragments start to roar
Playing like an orchestra
Sometimes it’s hard to hear yourself think
It’s like the words are crawling back inside the ink.
- From Condition by Duke Special
As I listened to Duke Special with the Ulster Orchestra last Saturday night this song from his brand new record Oh Pioneer was one of the lyrics that stood out. This would seem, and no doubt is, a subjective introspective song; it is Duke wrestling with his contradictions. On an objective level though it is a Biblical theology of humankind; created in God’s image, but fallen. St. Paul spoke of doing what he didn’t want to and not doing what he did want to. That was the apostles version of Condition. My history teacher once told me that any great person in history knew what his weakness was, as a boxer would protect the eye that was vulnerable to being cut. Duke’s song is great wisdom to living.