Wednesday, August 23, 2006

i hate technology...

My phone broke, AGAIN!!! It's dead, completely, so don't try to call me. Please send me an email or something if you want to get in touch. Cheers!

PS. It's Sarah's birthday today (the 23rd)!!! If you read this, and if you can see this you do, and know her, please drop her a line. If you don't know her, shame on you!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

the sound of settling...

Today I sit and ponder the sounds of settling back into a routine. The summer has been filled with voices, their thoughts and their melodies, vibrating bunks and strings, and the certainly musical hum of diesels, jet engines, and vacuum tubes. As the summer progressed, the hum in my amp grew louder as both the tubes and my body grew increasingly weary. The heart hums as well; its overtones cry for the familiar though the heart is often restless. The skilled musician often chooses notes based on the way they decay and collide with other notes, growing increasingly bored with the fundamental. In this moment, I am grateful to be hearing the overtones.

The summer has, after all, been the most eventful of my life, or at least the busiest. I’ve traveled to twenty five states since the first of May from New York to California. I’ve always found joy in experiencing the new and I’ve certainly had my surprises. Of everywhere I’ve been, there are a few stand-outs. Take Madison, Wisconsin, for instance. The capitol building is a hill-top citadel in a city surrounded by lakes where I was met with Spring-like weather and dozens of interesting places within walking distance. Pittsburgh showed a remarkable amount of heart for a steel town and Utah still looks like a land from the early American West.

The flawless cap to a Summer’s travel, however, was certainly California. Driving through Los Angeles awakened a childhood curiosity I’ve not felt in years as so many movies, songs, and stories came to life. Just as movies command my attention like little else, the land of their birth proved as fascinating as anywhere I’ve been in the world. Driving north, the golden landscape put me in a state I cannot clearly explain and with each brilliant night sky and each blinding sunrise I reveled in God’s capacity to renew the body and spirit. I am thankful for California and the week I spent there sleeping on the ground with my friends. I am also grateful I get to return in a little over a month.

While I regret nothing from this Summer, I am certainly experiencing the consequences of my travels. I can honestly say I feel distant from everyone I know, save the one person I talked to the most while traveling (she knows who she is). I am finding it difficult to achieve depth with the people I once shared so much with. A lack of connection yields to insecurities and I’m finding that my biggest struggle at the present is reconnecting with those I love. I know this will happen.

My spirit is also extremely tired and I am frustrated by the lack of solitude and deep thought I’m experiencing. Much of the enthusiasm and drive for global issues, missions, and my own spiritual development has been lost in my transient living. This is easily remedied with some discipline and necessary silence and perhaps a bit of reading. I stopped into Davis-Kidd this morning and acquired two books to perhaps instill a bit of drive in my thought process. One is a Henry Nouwen book on prayer and the other is a series of short essays by Wendell Berry called “The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays,” concerning various domestic and global ideas and issues. I was struck by the idea that our ignorance can be measured by our knowledge and that even the most knowledgeable people is still ignorant to something. One thing I don’t want to be is ignorant to the world. This is entirely important as I form my opinions about culture, politics, finances, and the environment. I believe that our knowledge of such things as Christians deepens the level to which faith can influence our world. God has given me a mind and desires me to use it; I must never forget this. Isn’t making right decisions more important than ever?

Yesterday, I watched Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center”. I will spare a review and rather just ask you to see it. The movie did throw fuel on a fire of conviction I have battling the last few weeks. I confess arrogance over the way my political opinions have formed in the last year. I have felt this sense of enlightenment over the shedding of my conservative roots and while I stand by much of it, various opinions have been mis-guided.

With the aforementioned importance of making right choices, I have had a change of heart, aided in part by this movie and by one of my favorite books. You see, there are certain things in which the obligation to the right thing is more important than the smaller ideas available to us. The movie was a hard reminder of the evil I have lost amidst the politics of the world post 9/11. I once wrote of Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” as a lesson in the necessity for good in this world. Tolkien writes of a great evil that demands the focus and attention of the entire world, whether or not the people there believe in war. With Stone’s reminder of evil, I have grown increasingly aware of the Middle East and the dangers of being oblivious to the evil there. As misguided our military’s presence can be, perhaps the time is coming in which we must fight to simply preserve the good that remains in this world. It is not the good of the American way that must be defended but good for the sake of the greater human cause.

At long last, I have returned to the Portland Brew for a nice afternoon of the finest coffee and sandwiches in Nashville. It has been much too long since I have been able to sit and just be for a while. I finally get to catch up on a bit of reading, writing, and movie going that I have missed out on this summer. Relationships may now be reforged and those that have remained may grow stronger. After several months experiencing song out of necessity, I am hoping the present sounds of settling are received not in restlessness but in privilege. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I recently came upon this site, Slice of Laodicea, through a friend's blog and it's simply unbelievable. I get sucked into things like this, harboring mixed emotions of amusement and discouragement over the way Christians in this world can show such arrogance over their beliefs and such ignorance with regards to even other Christians. It's pretty interesting stuff.