Friday, July 21, 2006

to everything a purpose and a blog, blog, blog

A wise man once said that there is a season for everything. Another man added a catchy reminder that these seasons have a tendency to turn, that life travels in cycles, phases, or whatever. Wisdom has a lot of different shapes and forms and truth can still be truth despite the messenger’s invalidities; that’s what I like about it so much. For instance, of the two men mentioned above, one was a womanizer to the degree that he lost the greatest fortune the world had known up to his time, maybe even today. The second was a guitar-toting hippy who took his fair share of acid and borrowed most of his wisdom from the first save one great truth: the seasons turn and turn again.

I presently know this truth well as my life is quite the reminder these days; I feel as if I’ve passed through every season in a matter of weeks in more ways than I could have imagined. Presently, travel finds me in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. A three and a half hour layover is a cruel thing in a place like this; if you don’t know how I feel about Texas, please read down the blog a little bit. I have found myself in this wretched state for this third time this summer; at least with Hell you only go once. This is the summer of my travels, both literally and metaphorically. The budding and flourishing spring that was the sublimely hectic thirty city bus tour has given way to three weeks of camps in sweltering yet relaxing environments. Two weeks in Oklahoma, the second week of which I’m on my way back to, and a week in Southern California follows. This is a time of airports, a dozen or so in the next two months, and a time of sitting still.

And good gracious it’s hot. Texas is a hazy stew of sweat, the breeze in Oklahoma feels like standing under a blow-drier and even my beloved Nashville left me sweating while gathering the clutter in my car at 4:30 this morning! I enjoy heat about as much as I enjoyed the time I accidentally got gas in my eyes as a child and in my despair I cry out. California! Welcome this weary soul and console me with your sweet Pacific breeze.

A weary soul indeed. My body has experienced all the rest it can stand but my spirit has been exhausted for weeks. I am amazed at the refreshing power of prayer, scripture, and community and even more amazed at the shadow their absence makes of me. For all the legalistic spins on “quiet times” the church has sent me away with over the years, the truth of the restorative nature of solitude with God and community with people of the Spirit sounds like a bell. Two weeks ago, I was the impostor, a man who felt no connection between body and soul, or what Tolkien once described as being thin, “like butter over too much bread.” I sat on the hilltop in Oklahoma last week and tried hard to slow my mind and let my guard down and gradually found the restoration I had been hurting for. I marvel at how two months ago I was experiencing so much joy and fulfillment in my travels and how as recent as a week ago I was emotionally barren. I presently write as the self I am familiar with; my mind, body, and soul rests easy and clear.

All around me I am hearing stories of weariness. I have friends dissatisfied with jobs, one considering moving away, and one who abruptly lost her job at the hands of a cruel employer. Sarah has experienced the blessing of being offered a new job the very same week, however, and I have been blessed by her having no job during my time at home. Violence is multiplying in the Middle East and I’ve heard weary voices speak of World War III. I jump to no conclusions and refuse to fear that which I have no control over.

Speaking of no control, my car is finally coming to the end of its rope. If the EPA had its way, my car would be pulled to pieces and melted down for ball bearings or something, but for the time being I must deal with the inconvenience of not being able to renew my registration. The car is not worth the repair needed to legalize it so I must search for a new car. I need a car that gets good gas milage, is somewhat fun to drive, most likely Japanese, and preferably a stick-shift. Oh, and it has to have room for all of my musical gear (i.e. big trunk!) Any ideas?

I’ve come by some new records lately, namely Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser” (thank you darling) and Muse’s “Black Holes and Revelations”. I listened to both on the plane this morning and I would encourage anyone with an interest in Radiohead to get both records. Thom seems to be expressing even more of his woes with fame and the world at large, something he does beautifully in the absence of his brilliant band mates, his affiliation with whom make the record worth a listen anyway. The new Muse is not quite as dramatic as their last disc “Absolution” and it includes some nice hooks in-between the chaos as well, something that sets this one apart a bit. Whether you liked their last album or not, this is a great disc. Check them both out.

Airport boredom is setting in and I’ve got to move around a bit. My apologies for the long wait (if any of you have been waiting for a post, my sincere thanks) and hopefully I can get another up soon. I’ll be home first week of August and can hopefully regain a sense of normal life after that. Stop by for a cookout or some coffee or something. Cheers!