Tag Archives: Music

You are . . .

I love small surprises! And nothing beats cards and packages in the mail from friends who live far away.

Karen, thank you for your consistency, laughter, thoughtfulness, and treasured friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogtracks:
– TV Girl, “On Land”  (download it HERE)
– Rubik, “Laws of Gravity”  (download it HERE)
– Tapes ‘n Tapes, “Freak Out”  (download it HERE)

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When all you have are empty, open hands . . .

 

Remember.

 

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Blogtrack:
– Lemolo, “1290 Whale Song”  (Download it HERE under “Song of the Day Podcast”; the download is available for three days)

Today’s lesson

Note to self:

TRUST.

 

 

 

 
Blogtracks:
– Yelle, “Safari Disco Club”  (Download it HERE)
– La Dispute, “First Snow in Grand Rapids”  (Download it HERE)
– La Sera, “Devils Hearts Grow Gold”  (Download it HERE)

Just around the bend…

 

Summer feels so far away in season and in soul.  I needed this reminder today:

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver

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Blogtracks:
– The xx, “Islands (Nosaj Thing remix)” (Download it HERE)
– Veils, “Bloom” (Download it HERE)
– Crystal Skulls, “Outgoing Behavior”

Not content. Happy.

Last night in the moments between wake and sleep, the following question floated through my mind: “When were you last happy?  Not content.  Happy.”

Before I continue writing I feel pressed to say that I do not believe happiness or its pursuit is central to life, nor do I believe that joy and happiness are the same thing.  Happiness is transient, while joy is a state of being.  But there are those rare times when joy and happiness collide.  And those moments are breathtaking in their ability to distill and display the beauty and simplicity of it all.

Now back to the question . . .

In my case that was not the most sleep-inducing thought.  I flipped through the rolodex of images and memories collected over the last several years.  There are countless moments filled with laughter, wonderment, excitement, and contented sighs brought on by the generosity and blessings of the day.  But no moment stood out as being one defined by a sense of happiness.

Then two friends’ statements (one of which began with, “I have never seen you as happy as you were . . .”) crept into my thoughts.  With each flick of the mental rolodex their statements resounded louder and louder and no image or memory seemed to measure up to the happiness I felt during the time referenced by their comments.  I wondered if their statements were true (maybe that was the happiest I have ever been) or if I had allowed that time to become a behemoth whose shadow has blacked out other happy moments that have since transpired.

Which ever it may be, or perhaps the truth is a mixture of the two, I remain hopefilled that joy and happiness will collide again soon.  And when they do, may I have my eyes and heart open wide enough to see, know and embrace it.

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A photo from my “Project 365: Outtakes” folder:

Curse Your Branches* (2.7.2010)

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Blogtracks:
– Pandit, “Pack Your Bags” and “Artichoke” (Watch the video for the former and download the latter HERE)
– Pepper Rabbit, “Harvest Moon” (Watch the video + download the song  HERE)
– Mesita, “Your Free Spirit”

Off we go…

When I graduated from law school in 2008 I moved back to Southern California for what I thought would be a brief time of preparing for and taking the beast that is the State of California Bar Exam.  During that time I decided to take a wee break from attending traditional church, aka the building with its four walls, and its politics and pettiness, which too often overshadow the purpose of the Church: to worship God and to be the collective body of Christ (by loving, serving, sacrificing for and extending grace upon grace) in the world.  Well that and three years of boredom and stress (ahem, law school), leaving a great church in Seattle, and the added bonus of grieving the loss of what was then my most important relationship, resulted in my not having the wherewithal or fortitude to undertake adventures in finding a new church community.  Especially when I would was only planning on being a community I figured I would leave in 2.5 months.

Three months have passed into more than a couple handfuls.  And come Sunday morning I am still restless.  I have attended church about two dozen times over the last two and a half years, though I attend “church of the ipod” religiously. Church of the iPod consists of me, earbuds, my iPod with sermon podcasts, my running shoes, and miles of road or trail.

My hiatus from church is something I have not given much thought to until recently because I have had some difficulty articulating the issues I have with church.  I take issue with the hypocrisy, hate, bitterness and injustice carried out under the banner of being “biblical” and the lives destroyed by this way of biblical living.  I take issue with the insular, cliche-ish nature of church members, 3-5 point sermons prescribing the steps necessary to achieve your best life now.   Maybe it was wearisome suffering of lonely, dark nights and even lonelier and darker days that took me away from the church.  Maybe it was the loss of relationships, loved ones and notions of myself.  Maybe it was surrendering my sense of deservedness.  Maybe it was a suffering whose only expression was heaving sobs.  Maybe it was experiencing God outside of church; experiencing God in moments of indescribable beauty and moments of indescribable suffering.

As I read this over it sounds like I have given up on church, or that I think it is useless.  Neither of which could be further from the truth.  I believe there is a biblical mandate for the church (see, paragraph one, “the purpose of the Church…”), but I have been harmed by the church and so much collateral damage lies in the wake of churches and Christians.  Needless to say I have some things to work out.

Then a friend of mine sent out the following challenge:

i have been seriously thinking about putting together some short essays/stories on women & the church. young(er) women & the church. both in and out…on the outskirts and fringe. married and unmarried, moms, and anti-babies. this is for you. for us….My goal is that our voices can be heard. from what i can tell, there are a lot of us out there. but i don’t see or hear much about the perspectives of women who choose to leave the church for one reason or another…. especially those who leave in their early 20s and beyond. apparently, we are an anomaly. and its not too often you hear about strong single women in the church either. where ever you are, you have a story.

I am not sure if I struggle with the church because I am a well-educated, single woman in my “early 20s and beyond.”  But I am finally willing to wrestle with my questions, my frustrations, my scars, my hopes.   As such, I will be writing periodically about my adventures in trying to regain a sense that the church, though broken, is a thing of and conduit of grace and beauty.  Please note that my writing is more about pushing thoughts out of my head to make space for others.  As such, they will be the musings of someone in the wilderness.  I will likely meander, go to the extreme to see the vista and then backtrack.  I will be say things just to see what they look like on paper, how they sound when I speak them.  Some things I will dismiss outright, others I will put out there only to look at it awhile before turning my back on it, others I will carry along with me testing their truth and trustworthiness.

With all that said, get your packs and hiking boots ready.  Off we go…

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Blogtrack:
– The Generationals, “Trust” (Listen to it HERE)
– Mean Lady, “Indian Sun”
– Iron & Wine, “Tree by the River” (Download it HERE)
– Alex Ebert, “Trust” (Listen to it HERE)
– Best Coast, “Crazy for You”
– Rasputina, “Holocaust of Giants (Daytrotter session)” (Download it HERE)
– Alela Diane, “Oh!  My Mama” (Download it HERE)
– Ravens & Chimes, “Division Street” (Download it HERE)
– Hey Marseilles, “Rio” (Download it HERE)
– Grouplove, “Don’t Say Oh Well” (Listen to it HERE)
– BRAIDS, “Lemonade (Green Go remix)” (Download it HERE)
– The Get Up Kids, “Shatter Your Lungs” (Download it HERE)
– Joe Pug, “Hymn 35” (Download it HERE)
– The Radio Dept., “David” (Download to it HERE — download available for 3 days)

Farewell Project 365!

I was inspired by Erin Loechner’s list of “2011 Non-Goals”, in which she listed the things she loves about herself and life and does not want to alter in the coming year(s).  Here are the moments, habits and choices I want to stay the same:

  1. Embracing hope with a deep faith + refusing to settle.  You am more than you seem and more than how others’ see you/your situations.
  2. Be present.  Right here.  Right now.
  3. Keep drinking that water, putting mileage on those soles, and doing those push-ups.  You can do it!
  4. Sensing wonder and recognizing beauty in the smallest and most forgotten of places.  Keep your eyes wide open.
  5. Asking for help.  Remember, doing so is not a sign of weakness.
  6. Journaling about your gratitudes.  Each moment, each interaction, each sigh is a chance to receive grace; choose to live in its abundance.
  7. Flossing.  You averaged 5:7 nights/week . . . keep up the good work.
  8. Dreaming, wrestling with your faith, and writing.  Never stop.  Please never stop.

Goodbye 2010.   Thank you for the moments that stung, that brought laughter to my lips and others that brought tears to my eyes.  At times your challenges felt as though they would destroy me, but in your fading light I stand and know my worth.

2011, I look forward to meeting you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S ALL!

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12.29.2010 – Lion Opener*

12.30.2010 – RegularSpicy* (Los Angeles, CA)

12.31.2010 – The Possibilities New Planners Hold* — I love all the blank dates and pages that I get to fill-up with birthdays/holidays/weddings, events and simple dates for drinks and coffee that will overflow with poignant conversations and produce cherished memories, trips to see beloved friends . . . oh the possibilities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogtrack:
– Julianna Barwick, “The Magic Place”
– Duchess Leo, “Bloom” (download it HERE)
– First Aid Kit, “When I Grow Up (Fever Ray cover)” (download it HERE)
– SilOHs, “A Zealot Sun”