Upon Second Look

Driving to work blinking and yawning. A process that attempts to both moisten and clarify a contact wearer’s vision. Seen on a panel truck I pass: Steamless Guitars. How exceptionally peculiar… blink, blink, yawn… ah, seamless gutters. Imagine my sudden apprehension when seeing a sign outside the local bakery: French Batard. Note to self — remove contacts this evening for cleaning!


My drive to work is about 30 to 35 minutes and typically uneventful. This morning, as I slapped the left turn signal on for my final turn before entering the company parking lot, I realized I could not recall my drive to work. It was one of those surreal sensations that make me wonder how infact I arrived alive… I am also wondering what effect it may have had on my fuel mileage.

Given Enough Time

I step outside this morning to retrieve the recycle and trash bins from the curb and boof, I walk through a massive spiderweb. I wipe the mess from my face and continue down the driveway. I reach for the larger container and grab the handle and boof, another spiderweb. OK, so now I pause at every change in my surroundings that may present a convenient construction site for my arachnid neighbors and wave my arm about as though I’m in a dark attic with no recollection of the layout.

Dylan wonders into the woods behind the house and I follow; arm waving. He looks back at me as if to say, “looks like fun but I don’t get it.” “OK”, I think. “You’re right. I look silly.” The flailing subsides. Dylan chooses a substantial looking stick and we make out way back to the house. We climb the bank from a different angle than we came down since it provides more trees to grab onto to help our ascent. I grab a smallish Dogwood tree and swing myself around to a small landing a BOOF… spiderweb… face… yuck!

Now, I can appreciate the vision of the developer of these webs. I mean, if they actually worked like he hoped, I would be enough to feed he and his kin for generations too numerous for me to count. But simple physics should inform him that my mass and his engineering skills are not a fair match up. Then I got to thinking… if there is anything to this idea of evolution, then with further analysis and continued real life testing, these critters should be able to someday catch such a prey as I and do their ancestors proud. All they have to do is learn from their attempts and then try again. While I and my descendants are flailing our arms about like a pack of plodding pinwheels, they will be evolving toward the feast of generations.

Political Rally Like No Other

During my recently ended, semi-intentional, two month, blog sabbatical I had the incredible experience of attending a tour event for the book “Jesus for President”. The event here in Raleigh was sponsored by the local Mennonites and the NC Council of Churches.

I could summarize the book, but that’s been done better than I am able, and that’s not the only one. I could summarize the evening, but my friend Meredith has done a super job of that already. I can try to give you a sense of what I have taken from the event.

Let me start out by saying that heaven will be abundantly stocked with stringed instruments and I am not talking harps. I had the pleasure of helping with setup the afternoon of the event. After helping to unload the WVO fueled bus, I made my way into the room where the event was going to take place and I saw the ‘praise band’ setting up. There before me is something I have never seen before. To be honest, I don’t know that I would’ve ever expected such a thing. A ‘praise band’ with a banjo player complete with overalls and a floppy hat. Now, if you don’t find that stinkin’ cool I’d be tempted to doubt you’ve prayed the right prayer.

This ‘praise band’ that I speak of were members of The Psalters. The Psalters are…

…a nomadic community of psalmists. Currently 8 people, 2 dogs, 1 robot, 2 ships. More than 100 psalters from 12 countries have been involved over the years. We are on the road after our First Love, the refugee King… for whom we pledge our only allegiance. It?s not only us… we?re just the banner wavers of a little army out here just beyond your city walls. You can come along if you?re a miserable wretch… but unfortunately there is not enough room for the generally good people. Don?t fret. You wouldn?t like this road… it?s dirty (and greasy). I must tell you this much however… i can?t see much of anything behind those gates of yours and there is not much of a breeze to feel… out here it hurts… outside the gates… but i can feel and i can see… a little better. outside there is a Pillar of Fire.

Now, I realize that this music is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I so thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the evening. To give you a sense of their music, here is a little diddy called Dumpster Divers click to play. As you can hear they have a very earthy sound. At times their music sounds like right out of the 19th century American South such as with this tune called Dig It Up click to play. The simplicity of their music is what I think really hangs with me. It can be simple and pretty as with Agnus Dei click to play or it can be simple and haunting like All You Who Are Weary click to play. At other times their music has a definate Middle East flavor. This is nowhere as poignant than with their rendition of The Lords’ Prayer click to play… simply powerful. Their’s is the oatmeal of praise music, the stuff that sticks to your ribs.

Since it was a book event and not a concert, let me leave you with a quote from the back of the T-shirt I bought that evening.

Forget donkeys and elephants, long live the Slaughtered Lamb!