Saturday, December 4, 2010

fear and loving in the desert

I'm petrified.

Not because there is a monster under my bed or anything. I don't think...*peaks swiftly under the mattress*....Nope. All clear. Whew.

I'm shaking in my boots because I have the warning signs of a feeling that I have not had in quite some time. Something that wells deep within my being. Causes color to flood my face and random series of plans to intermittenly race through my now twitchy mind.

It could be sickness, because it affects my stomach. It could be the funk. Who knows.

I realized these symptoms at a show I was playing tonight. I am normally seized with some varying forms of nervousness before a show, but this was completely different. It happened immediately after a show. Typically, my nerves and whatever forms of shaking have subsided after a show. The tense feeling leaves my body. My shoulders usually relax. Not this time.

All of these symptoms happened as soon as she walked out of the shadows.

Yes, even though I am extremely hesitant to put it into words, I felt the tsunami effects of love attempt to shut down my system.

It wasn't pre-planned at all. I didn't even know she was coming. Not that I have felt this way before. I have wondered about her, but tonight was totally different.

I may have felt this way because some small part of me felt a strong sense that she might have come just to see me. Perhaps, she drove the 30 extra blocks out of her way to be there. Perhaps, it was just a happy coincidence. But, then all of this drivel would just be the random typing of a heart that has forgotten what love feels like.

I like to believe that I still remember.

The terror in all of this comes from the reality of accepting how I feel. When you admit to yourself that you are in love, it becomes real. It festers into a living, breathing entity that consumes all of you. At least the hopeless romantic in me believes this to be so.

So, world/internet/trembling soul, I am in love with her. She doesn't know it yet. I want her to know. I hope I get the chance and have the ability to tell her/show her.

She isn't what I would have outright picked for myself. Seems my tastes the past few years have been about convenience and circumstances. This feeling is the culmination of realizing that this love might actually be worth pursuing. She is worth laying my heart on the line. She is worth standing on the hood of my car, doing my best John Cusack impersonation. I know she has been hurt in the past. I can see it in her eyes. I know that she has baggage and circumstances that are not like my dreams, but all of this makes her perfect.

I hope I do it right. If my heart is speaking clearly for the first time, I am finally on the right track. I was finally in the right place. I might have found the rest of me. As heavy as that is, I am starting to believe it might be true.

I'm terrified.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


As trivial and weird as it may seem, I suppose that I consider myself somewhat of a writer. I grew up with delusions of writing something that would stand the test of time. My seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Britt, even wrote in my yearbook telling me that she knew that someday she would read something thatI had penned. I kind of scoff at that in some ways. I mean, I do write currently, but never have I thought of myself as having something poignant and transcendent to say.

I have been somewhat addicted to this little video of John Mark McMillan - the North Carolina songwriter who wrote "How He Loves". It is a supposed to be a story behind the song about how he was just living life and suddenly one of his friends was killed in a car accident. Being that he is a musician, he turned to music to help deal with the pain. Being a believer, these songs and lyrics were written in complete honesty. But that is not the selling point of the video to me. The part that shines is where he is looking through old lyrics that he has written and through the pain that takes over his whole being, you can tell there are pasts voicing themselves out of those pages. Within that bound book there are stories that some people will never hear or read, but they are powerful and transcendent of themselves. Music is a powerful vessel for a lot of people. Just imagine what power it holds for those who eat, sleep, cry, dream, obsess, write, create, envision, bleed it.

Over the past 12 years, I have written/tossed/obsessed over many songs. From my point of view, none of them are memorable enough. Oddly, they always have a way of dragging me back to where I was when I wrote them. I suppose I do drive myself to the brink of insanity when each one is composed. I used to worry that other people would find them poignant and expressive. I have often said that hearing people sing along with a song I wrote was one of my biggest achievements. It means that somewhere along the way I was blessed enough to compose something from the dark recesses of my brain that actually meant something to someone. That for at least a moment, we share a time and space that is immovable and powerful. We can feel each other's pain or loss or joy. There is no bond greater than the one found together in the timing and placement of a song. Sure, we all have different experiences and some things ring truer for others, but we can understand each other's pain.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this, or that I even had a direction to begin with. I had some very odd news happen to me this evening and I know that it will inevitably lead to me writing some variance of a song in the coming days. And one day, I will play this song, either in front of a crowd or on my front porch, and think back to this night where I felt lost and a little hurt, and hopefully I can look back with feelings of joy - joy that I either overcame the problems of this night or that I utilized a moment the way it was meant to be utilized. I want to make the most of my moments even if that means that in 10 or 20 years I am just being choked up while reading a book of old lyrics to myself. Maybe the transcendent part of writing is that whatever is written evokes a change in me.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if the 10% principle applies to the entire world. What I mean is, within the walls of a church or non-profit organization there are generally 10% of the people who do 100% of the work. Sometimes it feels that same way in the desire to change our community...

I have become adamant about bettering Phoenix and it's community since I moved down into the Garfield district last May. It is hard for me to completely describe the allure of this evolving, dusty monster, but it tugs at my very core. Perhaps I am driven by compassion, or I am like a child with a new Lego set, hellbent on what far lands that I could contrive. One way or another, I feel a calling to help make this community like a functional family. The details and work that entail are still vague to me, but it is on the to do list.

The more and more that I enter and become enthralled in the social media network (I am by no means a guru). I have noticed though, that for all of our constant "connections", many of us seem distant and are only acquainted with our "virtual" selves. We also seem to do a lot of talking about changing stuff, like downtown, but rarely any action. Not to say that I don't do my fair share of resting on my laurels, but I think we all need a physical kick in the butt to morph the messages of our virtual selves with our physical hands.

So, all of you who complain and moan about Phoenix not being a super city like Chicago or New York (not that we ever will be, but who knows), are you buying local? Are you going to shows? Are you investing in artists and bands? All of these elements are what can help make us better. Support the things you love about a place, and get dirt under your nails trying to fix the things you don't. We are all in this together, one way or another. After all, we do reside in a place named after a mythical creature of resurrection. Out of the ashes, we will rise.