Friday, August 29, 2008

the church of what's happening now

since we discussed sia, it brought to mind one of my very favoritest songs in the whole big world. this is one of those songs that i hear and i wonder, "where did you get this information?" this song, more than any other, captures the exact essence and meaning of grace. as far as i'm concerned this is the greatest worship song ever written. and as far as i know, sia is not a christian by any means. it is a song i came by early in my deconstruction and it has brought me much comfort and strength. it helps me to recenter myself. i have even included it on the autobiographical 2 cd set that i have made to be played at my funeral. i really hope you enjoy this as much as i do.


(i completely apologize for the irrelevant video. please ignore it while listening. if i knew of a site that just did songs i could embed, i would use it.)





I want to change, to rearrange
What is going on
I need to change, I need to play
Like a five year old

I can't detach from the past and all of the pain
I need to learn, start from scratch begin again

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

So I'm going to eat one hundred sweets
I don't care if I get fat
And I'm going to speak one I won't censor me
I know I can take nothing back

And I'm going to jump I will unburden
I cannot go too deep
I will not run from bad things I've done
They're things I'll try not to repeat

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

Welcome to
The church of what's happening now
Head straight through
It costs nothing but change

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

waitress



come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch, but I don't care
she brought our food out on time
and wore a funky barrette in her hair

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch but good enough
to leave some change,
everybody's good enough for some change

the girl's got family
she needs cash to buy aspirin for her pain,
everybody's good enough for some change
SOME FUCKING CHANGE!!!

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch, but I don't care
she brought our food out on time
and wore a funky barrette in her hair

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch but good enough
to leave some change,
everybody's good enough for some change

we all get the flu,
we all get aids
we've got to stick together after all,
everybody's good enough for some change,
SOME FUCKING CHANGE!!!

just because it feels so good to dance from the waist up and sing with headphones on

Sunday, August 24, 2008

waiting for my real life to begin




Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Friday, August 15, 2008

do we still believe?

do we still have our hope? that jesus is coming back? that one day god is going to put this right? or has that been pushed back into the realm of wishful thinking? a nice idea, but something rational and logical people can't get tied up in. that would be silly.

it has been on my heart to share this song for a long time. it seems like such a strange place to find these sentiments. it seems like such a strange thing for a man such as this to be calling for the kingdom. to be pleading for it. and praying for it. do we join in the prayers? are we more interested in seeing the kingdom manifested in all of its glory now? to just drop all of this human bullshit we call the "real world" and walk away? to "see it all go down?" would it bring us joy? as if the consummation of our desires? or would we disappointed that it has disrupted our schedules?

the thing that is so striking to me about this song is just how much it sounds like biblical prophecy. very OT as well as revelation. (rev 18 to be exact) but more than that, when i am very honest, how it echos the desires of my heart. please god, just flush it all away. i don't need to go to work one more day or pay one more bill or watch one more movie or listen to one more song or play one more game or drive one more mile or eat one more hamburger or smoke one more joint. not here anyway. if these things exist in any form in the next life, i would rather participate in them there. this world is a huge dead end and long ago it was rightly noted "all is futile. a striving after the wind."

what are we doing this for? do we even know where we're headed? do we overwork ourselves and damage our families for any purpose? do we really love these golden chains that much? are we working towards a device that can do it all? play music for me while i call someone and do my taxes and jerk me off at the same time? all the while the size of a postage stamp? and even if we do finally invent a machine that can do it all, what then?

i'm getting off course, now. i apologize.

i just don't need it. any of it. if i had a place to go, if i had an alternative, i would be there. but this time. this time. i think we may have run too far to get home. this time, when it goes down, i don't think anything in our own power can save us. which is why i'm waiting for everything to be put right. and doing what i can to live my life in moment to moment protest of the dominant paradigm, and freeing as many others minds as i can before it is too late.

(tool are big fans of strange and sometimes disturbing imagery. if you are not a fan of those things, you may wish to simply focus on the lyrics printed below while listening. i understand the song is lengthy, but i think it is well worth your time.)




Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

It's a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

roots.

i have always been fascinated by thinking about the far reaching effects of the choices that people make. often i have marveled at how different things would look in our culture if we had never used slaves. apart from probably dying out early on, i wonder if we would have things like rap music. it is in this vein of thinking that these things came into focus for me. the far reaching effects of choices made, which, when added up, became something that no one at the time could have ever conceived.

if i knew more about spanish politics around 1492, i'm sure i could trace back causes further, but since columbus is so well known, i figure its as good a place to start as any.

columbus came and brought european politics with him. rather than recognize what was already happening in the land, they ignored the autonomy of the people already here, and claimed it for themselves. it is this contact that lead to further contact by other countries, namely england, who sent the first colonists over.


rather than trying to learn from the natives how to live in this "new" land, the colonists and european governments sought to subjegate and destroy them. ignoring the fact that we were the visitors and the land could not be "claimed" because it already had inhabitants. instead of trying to coexist in a symbiotic harmony with the land and begin a new story, we decided to bring the old story with us and try to recreate england here. (which seems stupid to me since it was england we were trying to escape. but that's another story.) as a result of not humbling ourselves and learning how to live here, we were almost wiped out. so when the first slave ships came, we were, unfortunately, all but too eager to justify taking that sort of "help."


which of course lead to harsh treatment of the slaves to keep them in line, adding to the pain and suffering already endured.

but this invariably lead to a style of music known as the "black" or "slave spiritual." songs of suffering coupled with a hope of deliverance. songs that tackled "dark" subject matter with unflinching honesty.

skip a couple of hundred years and this music morphed itself into what we would call the delta blues. i make mention of this man here, robert johnson, because he probably had more influence on future rock guitarists than any other. as legend would have it, he made a deal with the devil at the crossroads in order to be the best blues guitar player in the world.

it was right around this time, across the globe, that a man named adolf hitler rose to power in germany. there were several other factors that lead to what was titled "world war 2", but for our purposes here, hitler is the dominant figure.

as a result of hitler's leadership, germany attacked england. and one town, in specific, that was heavily bombed was birmingham, england. a steel town. a metal town.

the assault left the town in rubble, and left the people, eventually, to rebuild. of course, the war eventually ended, which brought about a surgence of newborn children often called "the baby boom." it is this generation of children who took the music that was begun in the blues, electrified it, and made it into the nefarious "rock n roll."

one morning, in a steel mill in birmingham, england, a young man by the name of tony iommi became permanently injured. on his last day of work (he was already quitting) he was kindly filling in for a friend on a machine he had never worked before. less than a half hour from the end of his shift, something went awry and the tips of two of his fingers on his fretboard hand were cut off. amazingly, he did not give up on his dream. his fashioned prosthetic tips for his fingers himself in order to keep playing. which invariably lead to him tuning down his guitar about a step and a half in order to make the strings looser and easier to play.


which lead to the droning, thick, booming sound that is contained within this record. written by young men playing music that was born out of misery, suffering, and pain. in a town that had been filled with misery, suffering, and pain. by a man who had endured misery, suffering, and pain to continue his art. all of this "dark" subject matter became reflected in this music and gave birth to something which, even then, they could not conceive of what it has become today. a music of catharsis for the misery, suffering, and pain in the world.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

what now?: you've got to put one foot in front of the other (another comment gone horribly, horribly awry)

nate! it's so damn good to see you! in honor, let's celebrate revenge of the nerds style. i've brought rumaki, cheesepuffs, wonderjoints, liquid heat, and of course, lots of beer. there's even whipped cream pies for dessert. "that's my pie..." enjoy!












i know god will show us, individually, what he has for each one of us. which is why i ask these questions. i'm wondering, truly, what kind of an impact this world here has on our "real" lives. speaking freely here, and thinking freely like this during the day, has changed the things that come out of my mouth. i find myself becoming more bold all the time. doesn't matter who i'm talking to. clerks, friends, family, coworkers... i find myself speaking forth my inner dialogue much more freely, and engaging in some great conversation that you would never expect.

like my existential rant i went on the other day, around the prep table, about money. i even tore some paper off the wall for effect. and we shared a moment of acknowledgement of similarities not commonly shared. it was a deepening moment, in my opinion, and i was glad we had it. things like this don't happen very often in the "real" world, but they happen more commonly the more i speak in "real" life in the same fashion i do here.

that's one effect.

it has been hard finding time to be online to fit my family's changing rhythms. (not that anyone else here has had that struggle.) but i think we've finally found an understanding that what i am a part of is signifigant enough for me to be allowed times set aside for it that work for the familial infra-structure. working out boundaries and being honest with one another helped us to grow in our conlifct resolution by leaps and bounds. i know it's made me a better dad and husband...

all because of what goes on here. i just take a step back sometimes and look at us and i am amazed. sometimes it's juts fun to marvel at how i have no idea where this is going to lead. truly, i do my best to be as passive towards the spirit as possible. when she wants to make use, i try to be available. so often times i truly AM an observer as i look at my mouth and go "did you just say that?"

(for some reason this scene is what came to mind and was the inspiration for what became this post. i think, as a metaphor, there is some wisdom in it for us. if we can hear it. if you don't, don't worry about it. it's not for you.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

what now?



"Oh, you can't get out backwards. You've gotta go
forwards to go back. Better press on."



(please recognize that these are simply my own questions that i need to flesh out. i hope that none of the questions here make anyone feel like you need to be wrestling with these same things if you aren't. it's just what's on my heart right now. and so i bring the questions to you, my community, to throw in your two cents if you have any to spare.)


i've been getting around a lot lately. peeking into our history as a group and trying to chronicle events and perspectives that brought us all together. it's interesting so far. but even in this early stage of research, seeing where we are and how we got here, i'm left with a fairly large question. "WHAT NOW?!"

what is the next step, the next evolution for us? is there to be one? is this simply a place for honest conversation and relationship, or are the implications greater? there is something so healing about this "space". it is certainly a place, a where although it has no where. and i think about how i got here. about how most of us got here. and i think i agree with willie on this. even if i wanted to go backwards, i know i couldn't. i just have to keep following this road wherever it leads. and, if for a season, this road has converged with people who have found each other for healing, and acceptance, and free group therapy of the highest order, then wonderful. i want you to know i'm all for it and i am a fan. a group of friends who are always there no matter what time of day or night, is a pretty good group of friends to have.

but sometimes i think about how fragile this all is. and interestingly enough, tonight's incident with my page really drives it home. a flick of a switch on a server at blogger headquarters and all of this shit goes away.

and i think that one day it will. so i wonder, now, while i am here and i am lucky enough to be with you wonderful and intelligent people, what now? now that my wounds are mostly healed, i'm ready for practical application of all of these things we've spoken about. i want to know what it looks like in the streets and not just on digital paper.

i think it's all well and good to be able to identify the things about church that really bothered me or where i feel "they" are "off." but what do i have that's better? an ability to identify their faults? in a singular sense, i understand the differences between myself now and myself a few years ago super-churchified (now with more christ!) as the standard example of a mainstream poster christian. but what do i have, what do we have, as a group, that makes for better authentic community? is this it? just the time spent here? or should we be moving towards something physical as well to couple with the things we learn here, across the globe, together? we certainly have the capabilities and possibilities. but to what end?

WHAT NOW?

i'm not sure where this road is going to end. but it's been one hell of a story so far...