Friday, October 11, 2002
- Join The Club -Anyone who's anybody is buying umbrellas today at the Student Store. I was fortunate enough to get a dark blue one. They are much cooler than the Carolina blue ones - unless, of course, you are off to a football game.
I also have a kind housemate who wook up early to take me to work since my attempted trip to the bus stop could have been quickened if I had just jumped into a swimming pool instead. ;o)
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Thursday, October 10, 2002
- MisQuotes -We are all in the same path, just in different boats.
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Wednesday, October 09, 2002
- Questions Abound -What if I have been writing these past few years with the wrong focus? I feel trapped between industrial Christian art and my own personal leanings. I am afraid to dig too deeply into things so as to not give the wrong impression, but my artist sense says art must flow from the depths, not by a compromise halfway. I don't mean to say there is no line – there is a line such as not glorifying sin, etc. - but I'm afraid I've drawn another line much closer so as not to trespass the real line. If this is true, then I’m almost embarrassed by many of my song because they offer trite hope because I thought it was necessary - like throwing out false smiles on a chaotic day so as not to destroy the image of the "shining, happy, Christian."
It's hard to think like this in the middle of a recording project - trying to get things on tape while wondering if maybe you should just start the whole thing over. I just want to finish, but I want to finish well. I've thought about going back and taking out one more song, knowing that many folks like this one. I've also thought about re-writing the ending of another. The problem with both of these "solutions" is that it will make the album much less "Christian-y" - but I swear it's not copping out. I feel like I’ve been writing with an agenda - though not a full-formed one - and agendas usually make bad art. However, my heart feels ripped in two. I want two things - I want to create good art (at least to the best of my ability) and I want to be understood, but I don't know if I can have both. I fear well-meaning rebukes from those who are honestly concerned about my focus - even if I think the path I have chosen was the correct one.
Who am I? This is a necessary question because whatever I make flows out of this. I am Southern. I think deeply. I notice things nobody else claims to see. I am a Christian. I love the church, though I think the church can be horrid. I am attracted to imperfection (like Flannery O’Connor or Rembrandt). I am interest in new ways of doing or seeing things. All of this is going to come out in what I create one way or another unless I purposely stop it. Southern art always has a thread of morbid darkness because historically, life has been hard here and under the sweetness, there is an underlying cynicism. I am going to draw from a wealth of sources – known & obscure – because that’s what I dwell on. I will write about sorrow and suffering and I may not always give an answer because a song cannot put the world together. I will write about joy because of common grace & redemption. I don’t want to be a genius – I want to write for the common man/woman who sits in a pub on Tuesday nights chatting with strangers trying to find some common ground. I want people to know my faith because of my life, not because of what I write. I am not trying to save souls, but create.
I’m tempted to drive to the mountains and think. Things seemed so much clearer there, but it was only because I wasn’t challenging my own worldview there – others yes, but not my own. But before folks worry, I feel like I must deal with this with my entire being and not just my head - but I'm not downcast, at least I don't think I am. I'm "wrastlin' " but not sinking - just so I'm not promoting the wrong idea. Sometimes, even in the midst of struggle, you can see the good that will come once the water begins to still. Peace.
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Tuesday, October 08, 2002
- Jacques Prevert -Though I'm quite a fan of Yeats, the poet who truly introduced me to poetry would be Jacque Prevert. Le Cancre and Déjeuner du matin are two of his best known though one of my favorites is La grasse matinée.
There's not a grand reason for my posting this except that I wish I still have my old, battered of Paroles. Ah well, there's always Amazon.
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- The Turning Of Each Road Is Not All That I Have Known -Today is finally cool enough for me to attempt a turtleneck sweater. Not to be redundant, but there really is something mystical about those first days of experiential Autumn when the wind pierces my clothes and my hands automatically clinch protecting my fingers from becoming numb though it is not nearly that cold of yet. It's moments like these where fear and hope and corruption and beauty all come vis-á-vis and I feel torn apart by the mere thought that I live and I feel a strong desire to commune with another, to mourn and to rejoice, to wonder that these are not two sides to a coin, but two sides that are mutual exclusive - yet they live both in me and in the world surrounding me and that I find this thought overwhelming at times.
I am usually more than content in my single state and honestly, if this is my lot, I am ok with that. However as John said a while back, "In order to enter fully into the experience, you need someone else with you, someone else who can point things out to you and to whom you can praise the beauty and with whom you can share the experience and relive it again later." As well, I also find that, in order to fully appreciate beauty, it sometimes takes another who is not afraid to look darkness at squarely before they say "Behold. Destruction is for but a season, but glory is everlasting."
I don't mean to be dwell on what is dark, but it seems to me that the more I realize how beautiful this world is, the more it contrasts starkly with what is not. This is not to say that beauty must gain its status by being contrasted with ugliness. However, I would agree with Anne Steele when she wrote, "[Earth's] highest joys have mingled woes, and leave a sting behind."
Our societal perception of beauty is so utterly distorted, so we must start with the shadows before we haul out the light. Otherwise we will be misunderstood. This generation has seen too much - I have seen too much - to hope in trite things. We are a cynical generation, but even a cynic can have her heart renewed. Beauty, if truly sought, is a dangerous thing in that it enables us to really see and in this sight we are able to truly morn and to truly rejoice.
However, this must be weighed with Paul’s exhortation to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. The ugliness of the world should not drive us to become morbid, but to gaze even more deeply on the beauty of Christ’s face – not to be blinded from seeing the world, but to find peace there.
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Monday, October 07, 2002
- In Honor of Kristen Knox -
- Future Lover of Burly Beers & Strapping Stouts -
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- Then there was [no longer] light -I feel like I am working in an attic today. The overhead lights are out and I have a couple of lamps behind me, so instead of the shadows being cast downward, they are being cast onto my cube walls and my various "artifacts." If I only I could burn a candle, set up a tea tray, and curl up in a quilt...I might just feel like I was working from home!
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