Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Preliminary Weekend

A trapped soul howls loudest when it can find absolutely nothing to say without curses and tears.

The washing machine failed last night, and flooded the house...

Life has become a very strange game of Tetris. You can't stowe the pieces without creating a problem blockade, and then, once you manage to overcome that (maybe), get your footing and catch your breath, they just start raining down faster and faster, even after you've lost! It just keeps on coming.

Quite a swing from the last post, I realize, but it is what it is.

I scraped a scratch record out of myself over this past weekend, thanks to This Intangible Insistence! It was incredibly encouraging to have him, someone musically wise and outside of myself as another set of ears with taste, say he loved it. I thought I'd hate it, but I actually found myself singing harmony with it a couple times while driving home Sunday evening. That was a very weird feeling.

Also, surprise, it has a name that I think might stick. I don't know what the final aesthetic will be, but this is what happened when I dug around in some old travel magazines. After all my talk about birds, one might be confused as to why this is the shape it took and is truly meant to have. Trust me, so am I!

Anyway, introducing a first look at Hard Talks: this title represents the many raw conversations I've had this past year and a half that have helped me finish old songs and pen new ones. They usually happen at dusk and extend well into the night, hence the currently hip, minimal, approaching evening aesthetic. Sometimes it's really cathartic and my friends show me new pieces of themselves that I get to love more and understand better. Sometimes it just sucks and causes me to question everything about myself, about my life, about my relationships with God and people...

Hard Talks also references the parts of the faith that I think some of us in the Body are afraid to admit to one another. The default response is often, "It's fine, I'm fine." I find that usually this isn't the case at all, and dusk is when the masks start slipping off, when we can climb out of our strong suits and just be weary and naked in front of one another and cry, "This is what I'm fighting right now and I'm absolutely getting my butt kicked. What in the world am I supposed to do?"

I believe we don't have to be/won't perpetually be in a state of defeat, and that we have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome all things from sin to depression, and that Christ Himself intrecedes for us every second of every day. Also, His mercies are new every morning, and He is a sympathizing High Priest. I know these things are true, and have staked my life on these promises.

But I also know that sometimes it's all we can do to get out of bed again. I know that Job sat on a pile of ashes after God allowed him to lose EVERYTHING, moaning to his friends and God that he wished he'd never been born. I know David cowered in the cave of Adullam and beat on God's chest trying to figure out what had gone wrong when he knew he'd been anointed to be king of Israel. I know Paul asked for the thorn in his flesh to be taken away; I know the Lord refused to do so. I know Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel and wanted to die like all the other prophets before the Lord showed up with a still small voice. I know Jeremiah told the Lord He was deceptive, only to turn around and understand His longsuffering. I know Jesus sweat blood getting His fight-or-flight under the will of His Father and that He didn't want to die in those moments before He was butchered for me...

We're all having hard talks: with each other, with ourselves, and with our God. But our God is so good, and the only true god out of a pantheon of demons. I hope this album will reflect that come November.

It's going to be okay. He makes nests out of people, out of His Word, out of glass in parking lots -- to catch us when we fall. That's the story I'm going to tell you very soon...

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