Sunday, October 31, 2004

life inverted

The meek shall inherit the earth.
I love a good paradox. Mystery. Some things just can't be explained. As The Homestar Runner would say, "I don't think that is scientifically possible. Just doesn't make sense. The first will be last and the last, first? What kind of kingdom is this that is gained by making peace? By becoming like a child? Available to the poor in spirit? The attacked?

life inverted, apt core


Saturday, October 30, 2004


Stacey took this pic from the back of Dan's bike as we were coming down Broad River Road at about 6:30 this evening. Of course, I'm standing still and the road and trees are passing quickly. At least that's what life feels like. Think I can catch up tonight when we fall back?

Well weathered leather, hot metal and oil, the scented country air. Sunlight on chrome, the blur of the landscape, every nerve aware - (neil peart)


Friday, October 29, 2004

unseen reality

The real eclipse on Wednesday night was an elusive sight. As I rode my bike home at about 9:15pm, the bottom corner had been bitten from the giant disc of cheese. By the time I got home, clouds had entirely eclipsed the eclipse. I sat on the deck and periodically caught a glimpse of what was happening. Dan came over at about 11:00 and we sat it out until it was over. Call me silly for sitting under cloud cover for a non-observable lunar event. We did the same thing for the meteor shower in August. Nothing but clouds to be seen. But just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. It's going on up there just as spectacular as if we could all watch it.
To sit under a meteor shower or view a total lunar eclipse on a clear night is a beautiful, awe inspiring thing. To sit under cloud cover knowing that it is happening beyond your ability to see is humbling. There is a deep spiritual lesson in knowing that the reality of something is in no way contingent upon my knowledge, understanding, observation or even belief.
Lunar eclipse, go on with your bad self. Perseid showers, rain above the clouds.
Sometimes we're given a fleeting glimpse. A clearing, if you will. But I believed there was an eclipse last night, even before the clouds thinned out.
I took this pic in one of the breaks in the clouds as they zoomed over head. I had the camera trained on the sky, where the moon would be. I needed 2 seconds of open shutter plus focus time. I couldn't get the focus right as I hurried capture the moment before it was gone, but the result is an interesting visual memory.


Thursday, October 28, 2004


So now we know what it takes to break the curse. Has Boston ever been in a world series during a full moon AND a full eclipse? It was just too much for the cardinals.
did anyone see the eclipse last night?


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Of course we know that no team can possibly come back from a 3 game deficit - right?
For some strange reason this morning in my twilight world of waking/sleeping, my mind was playing games with games. Tournaments, deficits, handicaps, point spotting, series, sets, matches. Baseball is a strange sport to try to determine a team that is better another. At best this determination can be made concerning a given game. Thus the "best of" series. But in reality, we could have a series of best of seven series and each one would turn out differently. 49 games to determine the champion. "they won 4 series to 3."
I don't know why, but I also thought about evening out inequality among teams and players. Remember when a friend would try to entice you to a game of one on one, or a wiffle ball game? "To 11, win by two, make it take it, I'll spot you 5." Or, "3 innings, you start with the bases loaded and 2 runs."
I never understood golf's handicap system. I always thought that I should play in a threesome and my score should compete against the other two guys' combined. That way, I'd win by 36 strokes, which is precisely how many I lose by when we play fairly.
Anyway I don't know why a prayer for a series sweep made me think about point spreads and handicaps. I'm certainly not ready to spot SL any runs tonight.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

deep focus

I took this pic last week when the kids and I were hiking through the swamp. By the way, yesterday was the official, ceremonial designation of the swamp as a National Park.
The kids were running ahead of me all day long. They'd get out of sight and then wait for me to catch up on the trail before taking off again. Once, I was watching them up in the distance and as they turned around a bend in the path, my eyes focussed on the kids, through the scene in the picture. As soon as my attention was drawn to the beautiful out-of-focus scene, of course, I focussed on it and the scene was no longer what it had been. But in that split second of confused brain and eye muscles, I saw the drab pine tree clearly, completely surrounded by floating colors and shapes. When my brain had made sense of the vision, I figured I'd better try to re-create it with a photo. I don't know how well it was done, because now my memory is affected by the picture itself.
It would be quite easy to focus on a specific object and let a shallow depth of field blur everything else. But in this case, the entire scene was the surface of a swampy stand of water. The tree I'd seen so clearly, was reflected in the water, and the blurred colors and shapes were leaves, blossoms, and air bubbles lying on the surface. The whole thing was the same distance from my eyes. The depth was artificial, an eye trick.
I thought about those three dimensional eye tricks that someone made a mint on in the hallways of shopping malls. "focus on your reflection in the glass and the mystery will appear to you." I thought about how much more a DVD can contain because of multi-layered focus. I thought about sitting on the back deck staring up. Focus on the tree tops, on the wispy clouds, the moon, past the moon to the stars, through the stars to the... deeper focus. Through matter and substance and wave and particle to spirit. I've practically worn out my infrared focussing deeper, and where did I find it? In the air around me. Not past the stars, moon, clouds, trees, but right here.
So now you know. Don't have to bother. No, I'm convinced that you've got to do all that focussing to feel what is in you and all around you. You may have to focus that hard to realize that though it is all around you, it isn't in you. With proper focus, that can be fixed.


Monday, October 25, 2004

flush the fashion

I am a wardrobe pack rat for several reasons. I am most comfortable in old worn-out, familiar clothes. Often, my need for new threads is caused by my increasing girth, and I hang on to that which I've grown out of so that I'll have it when I grow back into it. In fairness to me, I do recognize my increasing condition, usually because I've had to buy new clothes, lose weight, and then depend on my old clothes once again. So my closet is crowded with pants and shirts that I'm either waiting to shrink back into or dreading to fill out again. It is amply supplemented by things that still fit, but are worn entirely to ratty to wear in public (though I still do), and by things that have been hanging there since they went out of style 10 or 15 years ago.
Saturday, I was splitting firewood in the back yard when the sole completely came off my boots. The shoes I wear to work got stuck on the clutch pedal of my truck because the pedal found its way through the sole of my shoe. While doing laundry, my dear wife was embarrassed by the gaping hole in a pair of pants I wear to work regularly, and by the fact that I can't carry anything in the pockets of another pair because the pockets have no bottoms.
So today, Allison made me accompany her to the mall to alleviate some of the problem. She said, with hope in her voice, "We'll get you some new things and maybe you can clear out some of the clutter in your closet." When we arrived at the store, what to our wondering eyes should appear? Lo and behold, there were the contents of my closet. There were all those old out-of-style shirts that I haven't worn in 15 years. There were, and I'm not lying, two shirts of exactly the same fabric, color, print and cut as two ancient shirts hanging on my rack. Many other shirts of the same late eighties and early nineties fashion that we so happily watched wane. Allison said, "silly me for thinking that you needed anything new", and we made our way to A & F. As we browsed through pants and shirts that looked like they'd been dragged behind a dump truck on a cross-country trek and then left out under the porch through fall and winter, Al found a pair of pants that looked exactly like the ones that had prompted her to bring me to the mall in the first place. "Look," she said, "here is a hole of the exact size and shape and in the same location as the one in your brown pants!"
We returned home with only a new pair of fresh kicks to replace the ones whose sole is laying under a log in the back yard. No new pants, no new shirts. There is nothing new under the sun. What goes around, comes around.
Now please don't think I'm bashing current fashions. This is how I've dressed my whole life. I feel very affirmed and validated. The whole ordeal made me feel very hip and in. Even the music and video playing in the stores was familiar. I tried on my shoes beneath a monitor blaring scissor sisters whose song sounded like a strange melding of Elton John and the Black Crowes, and whose video looked curiously like a cross between the artist formerly known as prince and the B52s. Really good music.
Spinning wheel goes round and round.


Friday, October 22, 2004


One among a million.
Shadowing some,
shadowed by others.
Well fed and healthy.

Do you know who stands beside you?
Do you look from side to side?
Or do you bask in strength and beauty by the mirror -
the center of your own attention?


Thursday, October 21, 2004

against the grain

against the run-of-the-mill
swimming against the stream
life in two dimensions is a
mass production scheme

against the run-of-the-mill
static as it seems
we break the surface tension
with our wild kinetic dreams

curves and lines
grand designs...
- neil peart


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

talk stuff while ya can

I'm not Dave so I'm allowed to blog. Ok, may I refer you to my comment from Thursday? If I had a nickel for everytime my team has been down by 3 games, and I've said, "well, they won three in a row, why can't we? Shouldn't even be surprising. Momentum? Schmomentum! That's just a word that sports figures are taught to throw out there in post game interviews, win or lose. Remember Costner's advice to Robbins? I learned all those lines too when I coached Girls' HS Basketball in PA. I'd give the same two paragraphs to 3 newspapers after every game, didn't matter, because they'd print something completely different anyway. "Coach Lewis of the Lady Blue Devils says, "our girls kept their momentum despite the fact that their shoes laces were tied together."
So in the world of sports - especially in post-season hardball - I'm sure that momentum is just a word, and just as easily as one team can win the first 3 of a best-of-seven, the other team can win the next 3. Except for one thing, regardless of how many times I've said it, it has never happened. Until tonight.
So as the prophecies begin to come true, some of you should spend a little time thinking about other predictions I've made that you thought were ridiculous.
Billy, remember when I, as your teacher, predicted that if you didn't come to class you wouldn't pass the course? Kids, remember when I warned you that you could put someone's eye out with that thing? And I told you if you don't stop making that face, you'd get stuck like that? Well who's crazy now? Huh? And tonight in class, Mr. B.J. Smith, sitting there all smug with your NY cap on. Didn't I tell you that you couldn't play a E7#9 chord with that non-sense perched on your head? Maybe that'll teach ya some respect for teacher.
Hang in there Dave-O, you can blog tomorrow night.
Here's a big Bronx cheer...


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

fingers crossed

5 innings to go...



I was to have taken the kids to West Virginia this weekend for a colorful campastravaganza. The leaves were to have peaked at our favorite river site, and we've been looking forward to it for a while. Allison was in California, so there was no chance of rain. In the midst of the normal overloaded stresses of the week, I worked hard to get the truck back together so that it had a better-than-normal chance at surviving the trip and actually getting us to our destination. Allison packed the kids' bags before she left so that I wouldn't have to worry about it at the last minute.
As the week wore on, I became more deeply exhausted and needed this getaway worse than ever. The irony is that one can get so stressed and tired that he hasn't the energy to get away. Add more stress by wanting what you're afraid you can't do, and for promises made to the little ones, who aren't tired at all.
That is where I found myself physically and emotionally on Friday evening when the time had come to push off. When I got home from work on Friday evening, I realized that I could not drive 7 hours for any amount of release. So I decided to leave in the middle of the night after a few hours' sleep and arrive late morning to enjoy the rest of the day. I called mom and dad to tell them what I was going to do, and by the end of the conversation, I'd called the whole thing off. Mom helped me to realize that I was more exhausted than even I knew (not just physically), and she told me that despite the fact that Allison wasn't going, it was supposed to rain all weekend with frigid temps.
Decision made, I began to worry about breaking the news to the kids. I realized that wasn't quite enough to worry about, so I thought of 16 more things that needed worrisome consideration and built a fire on the deck and settled back to tackle it all.
Now those 4 hours from 6 to 10 on Friday night contained a whole lot more than this blog can express. It was a very tough evening. Granted, a cancelled trip shouldn't mess someone up so badly, but it was bigger than that.
I leaned back by the fire and stared up at the expanse - clear, deep, black – and my mind began to clear. Just a little, but it was enough. I groaned out what I couldn't get words around and trusted that they were translated.
Next morning I temporarily devastated the kids with the news. When they settled a bit, I told them I had several alternative ideas for our weekend, but I was sure they would all pale to the original plan. To my surprise, the kids embraced the ideas, and we headed to Congaree Swamp for a day of hiking and exploring. Sunday morning we headed to North Carolina to explore Chimney Rock. We hiked all day again, were blown away with breath-taking views, checked out locations from Last of the Mohicans, stood atop an outlandishly high waterfall, and wore Molly to tears from exhausted sore legs.
We capped the weekend off with ice cream cones at the foot of the mountain, and a long sleepy ride home. The kids told me they'd had an amazing day. As I drove back, my legs throbbed from two days of walking up and down. What a great feeling, physical exhaustion from exertion.
Today, slightly renewed, I realized what I'd done all weekend. I've been a consumer, rather than being consumed. That's not what I want to be all the time, but it's exactly what I needed this weekend. It was the answer to my groans on Friday night. I consumed my children's joy and energy. I consumed creation – tiny lizards, huge cypress trees, fading chlorophyll, granite monoliths, fresh mountain air, glorious waterfalls.
No, I didn't produce much this weekend. I didn't contribute much beyond kid time, in fact, I used them. Thus the photos for blogs. There are more coming. I can share what I received, but mainly I just looked and listened.


Monday, October 18, 2004


sometimes she plays hard-to-get


Sunday, October 17, 2004

moon over sacramento?

can you see the colors of love?
each moment a different hue
a sliver glance from up above
moves on from me to you.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

spiritus sanctus

the wind blows wherever it pleases.
You can hear its sound, but you can't tell where it comes from or where its going.


Friday, October 15, 2004


Today at lunch, some students and I were talking about cultures, humor, sarcasm, irony, art and traditions, etc. One student mentioned that his mother had taken him this past summer to see the Royal Albert Hall because she had played violin there as a teenager. The hall led to a conversation about the 10th anniversary concert of Les Misérables performed in the Albert Hall. A student said that there was an all-star cast of performers considered to be the best ever to have sung each particular role. During the concert, the singers were in costume, but there was no action, only the songs were presented. Of course, this raised a stir among those around the table who were fans of Hugo, literature, or musical theatre. I mentioned that actually it seems quite an accomplishment to have a piece of work so popular and familiar as les miserables, that only the songs of the musical need be presented and the audience can experience them in context, filling in the story, experiencing the literary environment. Once this stage is reached, the actual telling of the story seems not to be needed, because everyone knows it and it is the basis on which the songs are sung.
So the story ceases to be told, the songs continue, and eventually, the songs, as popular as ever, exist without a story. The story is forgotten, connected to the present only by some out-of-context songs that provide curious clues to what the story might have been about, but of themselves, are unable to tell the whole story as it was meant to be heard and experienced. Without connection to a story, the songs become so independent that they really don’t even need to be heard together, but can be presented alone, out of order, bundled with other unrelated songs from other musicals, etc., and even be used to emphasize or enhance another story altogether. They no longer serve or are connected to their own, original tale.


Thursday, October 14, 2004


2:30am – go to bed
4:30am – take Allison to the airport / see Venus rising in the east
6:45am – take Will to catch field trip bus
6:50am – Jack sends Molly to bus stop
7:00am – Jack to bus stop
8:00am – go to work
10:00am – private lesson
10:50am – chapel
12:00pm – music seminar class
1:00pm – lunch
2:00pm – private lesson
2:30pm – private lesson
3:00pm – private lesson
(3:00pm – Molly gets home goes to Sullivan’s house till I get there)
4:00pm – Jack gets home, picks up Molly, we all arrive at the front steps together
4:30pm – private lesson cancelled for child care purposes
4:30pm – attempt to fix broken power window on Allison’s truck, fail, cover with trash bag to ward off impending rain
5:00pm – fix Molly’s bun for ballet
5:30pm – pick up Will from field trip
6:15pm – Take Molly to ballet (Will’s bus has still not arrived)
6:27pm – Will’s bus finally arrives
6:30pm – take Jack to Violin lesson
7:15pm – Pick up Molly from Ballet
8:00pm – Fix supper for starving children
9:00pm – put kids to bed/ clean up kitchen
10:00pm – play gig at hemingway’s
11:00pm – home/unwind/inhale Wendy’s classic single with cheese and worry about all the things that needed to be done for which there was no time.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004


If I have to give up and ditch my bosox cap, I'm going to switch back to the NL and get an Astros cap. May as well be disappointed on both sides of the DH.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

he's not heavy...

The thing that breaks my heart most being a parent is sibling fighting. I know, my brother and I did it, and we survived, but that doesn't ease the pain of it at all. There is truth to that phrase, "sibling rivalry", for most of the fighting comes from one sibling demeaning another to lift himself up. I look at three precious children and see innate worth, and they look at themselves and feel that they can only grow if the others are stunted.
The heartbreaking thing is that we retain this errant, selfish mindset as we grow up, we just learn to hide it, to keep it to ourselves, or to be more sneaky when we hold others down. A great ball player talks stuff about another great ball player, because he thinks he can only be great if someone else is considered beneath him. I'm afraid my idea won't be considered good unless your idea is stupid. We immediately point out the flaws in someone else, and often to them personally.
Where is the mindset that greatness comes from making others great? That it takes great strength to build up and carry others? What would happen if we spread rumours of kindness and encouragement about those around us? What would happen if the presidential candidates began campaigning for one another? Maybe we could vote for the one who proved to be the most constructive rather than the one who mostly effectively deconstructed the other. Both candidates would have the greatest characteristics pointed out by the other and we would have better information on which to base our decision.
When I get calls for gigs, I always give the caller names of other players, in case they want to shop. Maybe they can get a better price. I tell them so and so is a good player. I have never lost a job because I told them that someone else was also a fine musician. Actually, I've received more calls from those guys passing my name along when they were called. We create a better environment for all involved.
Lift each other. Build up. Carry. Share.


Monday, October 11, 2004

march on

Sometimes you can feel time passing, see it even. Other times, it just feels like it sits, stuck in a moment or a week or a year. It definitely doesn't pass consistently, for after a stagnant period, it seems to leap forward to the place where it would have been had it kept moving steadily. Quantum leap. You're being towed by a bungee cord that stretches until it reaches its limit and then zooms forward until it is slack.
Why do we perceive time the way we do? Every day in the week recurs with the same frequency, or do they? I can't tell. Mondays come 3 times a week, but Fridays, once a month. Date night is over, but faculty meeting is just getting started. It's all relative? Einstein explained his theory for people like me – when you're with a pretty girl, 2 hours seem like 2 minutes, but when you're sitting on a hot stove, 2 minutes seem like 2 hours.
That's why I think I'll try to stay upset with my kids all the time. Stay aggravated and grouchy. I figure that way it will seem to take forever to grow them up and get them gone. Maybe I can keep them longer.
Of course it does seem that way to them. Molly told me yesterday, "I've been alive for EIGHT! years daddy, almost NINE!" That seems like a lifetime – duh!

Yesterday I was asking my dad to pick me up from basketball practice, today I watched my kids walk together across a field away from me. I felt no time pass between basketball practice and today, but today I could see it flying by as my kids moved across the field, across the grass that was somewhat greener last week. Little bodies growing tiny. Day by day they venture further from my protective reach. How many more summers pass before they start across that field and just keep walking?


Sunday, October 10, 2004

la dernière fleur de l'été

Even summer says goodbye. The days are getting shorter, the nights, cooler. One last night of the waning harvest moon. The grass is growing more slowly. The dogwood has changed and is shedding. Soon, all the trees will be bare and the grass brown. But not yet. This evening as I came down the driveway, I noticed the last hangers-on. A glowing gather of pink, and just below it a beleaguered black-eyed-susan. All Susan's friends had dried up and fallen, but she, with three-quarters of her petals still intact, was hanging on, unwilling to be forgotten.

Tonight, the cloudy sky kept the warmth on the ground and provided a comfy late summer evening. Then suddenly, the clouds cleared out, the stars shone, and the air quickly turned to early autumn.
So thank you old man summer, for the last wave, the last tip of the baseball cap.


Saturday, October 09, 2004


You'll remember that a few weeks ago I posted about our arachnid housemates and the role they seem to play. We've got a more recent guest who has been living at the front of the porch at the top of the stairs for over a month now. She has an exquisite web stretched from the support columns on either side of the stairs and has woven in a symmetrical fan around the web, several arrows in rows that point from all directions to the center of her orb, or if you focus through the web, they point directly to our front door. She stays right in the middle staring down toward the steps with a giant smile printed on her back for all to see.
The most amazing thing is her precise positioning. For 5 weeks she has been living about an inch above my head as I ascend the steps to come into the house. If I were an inch taller I would catch my head in her web. As I reach the top step, I pass under her and step up. What's more, she has positioned herself directly in front of our "welcome" sign, as if she thinks that will attract insects. I guess it does, because we have far more than our share trying to get into the house or onto the porch to buzz the lights. She certainly seems well fed. She is a very beautiful, small, spiny orb weaver. Come see her. Pass beneath the orb. The arrows point to light and warmth. Welcome. I've got coffee and a fire on the deck.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004


and now all thoughts converge at the corners
shrinking beads roll down
one right one left
blaze the trail for all that follow


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

first fire of fall

I'm wise enough to pack a jacket when I leave for work on Tuesdays in the warmth of late morning. But I'm not wise enough to know how much jacket to pack. Tonight when I rode home at 10:30, the air was very chilly. When I came in the house, it felt toasty, but I couldn't shake the chill. So I went out on the deck and started a fire. The first fire of fall. The deck is now lit with a warm welcoming glow. Smell it? Feel it? Hear it calling you? There's even a hoot owl out tonight calling.
Allison took the bait and switched off Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom to come out and be with me. We sat together and complained about most of the stuff that needed complaining about. Neither of us had any answers for the other. We both had a hand to offer though.
Come on over. Sit for a while. I'll introduce you to my mistress peaking through the trees.


Monday, October 04, 2004

look up, look back, look around

The only thing better than a night ride on a motorcycle is a night ride on a motorcycle with a pretty girl on the back. Well, not just any pretty girl. Tonight, Al and I left the kids in charge of themselves for a little while and took the looooong route to the pharmacy. We rode way out into the country away from lights and saw a spectacular, clear sky. We just sat on the bike tangled and craned our necks upward like we used to do on the back patio of the admin building in college. In the daytime the view was breathtaking overlooking the tiny town down below laid out on either side of the river, connected by a long covered bridge. In the mornings, the entire valley would be filled with fog and it would look like you could step off the balcony and walk directly across to the ridge poking through on the other side of the valley. At night, big sky from the top of the mountain.
Back then we'd stand there and bask in the moment and dream of the future. Now we can remember and bask and dream of the future. We can dream that this moment lasts. We can dream of remembering in the future.
We rode home through mist in the crisp October air, something we dreamed of way back then. You could smell the changing season. A reminder that time passes. Soon the hills will burst with yellow and orange and red. Yes, sad to see summer go, but the promise that there's always something new around the corner makes each sensation a little bit stronger.


Sunday, October 03, 2004


Years ago I began playing a set of pieces a friend of mine wrote after spending a weekend at a monastery. He wrote a musical sketch for each of the divine offices or canonical hours. When I first programmed them, I wanted to include a scripture for each and wondered if in fact the hours had been inspired by scripture. I did a lot of research and came up with nothing, so I assigned passages myself. Much later I learned that the inspiration for the hours comes from Psalm 119:164. But for specifics, I kept my passages.
My favorite has always been the last prayer of the day, compline. For it, I chose, "The Lord commands his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night, his song shall be with me - a prayer to the God of my life."
On Friday night, King's X played "over my head". "Grandma used to sing every night while she was praying over my head I hear music, O Lord." I thought of my Psalm passage, "and in the night, his song shall be with me", while Doug Pinnick was singing. I thought about how the phrasing of the melody obscures any punctuation and makes ambiguous the meaning of Doug's line - and the psalm. Most translations make more clear the meaning of the psalm line by translating that God is the singer, or that I am the singer. Even the last line, the prayer, is attributed to God in the message. "My life is God's prayer." All this confusion fascinates me. It reminds me of how Isaiah used a singular verb with the phrase, God and HIs Spirit, but it has been "corrected" in most translations. I don't think its confusion at all. Our prayers, our songs, intermingle with God's. When his song is with me, we are singing together. That's what prayer should be, a conversation, a duet. My prayer sparks God's song, his song inspires my prayer. We sing together.
When sought, God's song can be heard above the din of all the junk of life. But can be so easily drowned out by the faintest distraction.
Today I played compline upon a very sad occasion. I thought about how hard it is sometimes to hear God's song. But I played anyway. I offered a musical prayer in hopes that it could accompany God's song.
In a world where music can so easily drown out God's song, I pray with all my heart mine will always be an accompaniment.
Then GOD promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer. (MSG)


in common

Suppose we pick up a pencil and make a list of all the stuff that is making life tough right now. Write down all the challenges, trials, frustrations, dissapointments, abuses, losses. If ten of us got together and compared our lists we'd probably be able to order our lists - I'd find out that my stuff isn't nearly as overwhelming or serious as yours. You'd find out that though overwhelming, you have less on your list than she does. Soon we'd see that ours are not as great as the problems of the one at the top of our compilation. Then we'd realize that by the sheer evidence of our own list, he at the top of our list would merely be in the middle of another's group and clear at the bottom of someone else's.
If we looked specifically at the items on the lists, we'd probably begin to notice how interconnected we and our lists are. We'd find that we are involved in the challenges of the people around us. I'm the cause of three challenges and frustration on his list. He is causing me problems with some specific thing. I have the solution for 3 things on someone's list, he for two on mine.
Maybe the whole silly procedure began by each of us complaining about our own stuff, and we were made to feel better about our own by becoming aware some else's. Then we go a step beyond and realize that through one another we can eliminate lots of stuff on our lists. We can share the stuff that remains, thus requiring us to compile our lists horizontally or even circularly, rather than vertically, because none of us are on top of the list anymore.
We begin sharing and bearing together, and a bigger discovery is made. Your stuff is lighter on my shoulders and mine on yours. My stuff is lighter on my shoulders when I'm carrying yours too. We begin to realize why there is us instead of me.
Thanks to my peeps who trust me enough to risk my dropping their stuff from my shoulders. Thanks for allowing me to listen in, and to cry and sing into your lives. Sometimes it's easier to cry than to sing. Thanks for challenging me to sing too. Thanks for crying and singing into mine. For the Father of all compassion comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. So often that comfort comes to us through those around us. Comfort flows.


Friday, October 01, 2004

another set list

Groove Machine
I can't help it
A new Song (freedom?)
Dog Man
Mr. Wilson
New Song (Open my eyes)
Charlie Sheen
A New Song ( )
A New Song (Hurricane)
We were Born to be loved
Over my head