a set list

Bloged in music by rod Friday April 30, 2004

Train
Believe
A little bit of Soul
Dogman
Black like Sunday
Finished
Screamer
Johnny
The Difference (in the garden of St. Anne’s-on-the-Hill) (acoustic)
(Thinking Wondering) What I’m gonna do (acoustic)
Mr. Evil (acoustic)
Mississippi Moon (acoustic)
Everybody Knows a little bit of something (acoustic)
A Box (acoustic)
Talk to You
The Big Picture
Sometimes
Visions
Born to be Loved
Over My Head (acoustic)
Summerland (acoustic)

iris

Bloged in apprenticeship by rod Wednesday April 28, 2004

Yesterday evening Allison and I stole about an hour and rode the bike over to see the iris lady. That’s not really her name. If so, it would probably be Lady Iris instead of The Iris Lady. But I’m pretty sure her name is not Iris at all. Allison just calls her that because she grows irises. I’ll call her that too. Her name is probably Margaret or Phyllis - maybe Jean.
The irises, however, have definite, specific names. There were hundreds of different kinds. Most were in bloom and had a 1″ PVC pipe stuck in the ground beside it with its name written on it. Some were one color like the dark “black lightning”. Some were multi-colored and intricately patterned while others had gradients of the same colors. They all smelled unique. Given enough time in the garden, I’m sure that each iris could have been identified by name simply by smell. Some smelled like candy (various varieties of hard candy and taffy), some smelled weedy, some powdery. All unique.
I asked Allison if Lady Iris had named these hundreds of varieties, meaning had she developed them. Each name seemed to accurately describe the look and character of the flower to whom it was given. I imagined the breeder/developer sitting, conversing with the flower, taking in its colors and scent, and then naming it according to the feeling she got from such an encounter. Surely these clever, accurate names had not been haphazardly assigned.
I have a name that once was descriptive. It has become haphazardly assigned, assumed, and associated. People who do not bear it, disdain it, because it is no longer associated with the giver of the name. I want a new name. I don’t want to just assume it. I want the developer to re-create me so that I have to be renamed to accurately describe me. Could I one day be called, “cares for others”, “defends the fatherless”, “pleads for the widow”, “acts like Jesus,” “Incarnational,” “seeks Justice”, “loves mercy”, “walks humbly”.
Develop me so that I no longer take Your name in vain simply by calling myself by it.
Lady Iris was very pleased with her flowers. Some of them weren’t quite ready yet.

Isaiah 43:1

blame it on midnight

Bloged in apprenticeship, community, luna see, music by rod Tuesday April 27, 2004

Is it illegal to cut, edit and paste someone else’s thoughts into your own application? Probably. But honestly, how else could anything we say make any difference to anyone? I have to admit that I hope someday something I have to say might get snipped and find even some out-of-context fit in someone’s situation. Encouragement, conviction, challenge, whatever might be needed. So many do it for me. Even when it has to be filtered.
So last night I was riding and looking up at the same old Louis Armstrong smiling down over the lake. I thought, shame on him, dragging me out here every night like this. Shame on the moon.
It made me think about Matt Redman’s challenge of discernment to know what needs to be done but to temper the prophet with a pastor’s heart. Why should a song about relationships seem such a stretch of application? Jesus calls us His bride.
There are layers here. I won’t trivialize art by explaining it away. It spoke to me. Called to mind by Satchmo widening his smile.

Heaven opens up the door
Where angels fear to tread
Some men go crazy, some men go slow
Some men go just where they want
Some men never go

Everywhere is all around
Comfort in the crowd
Stanger’s faces all round
Laughing right out loud
Hey, watch where you’re goin’, step light on old toes
Until you’ve been beside a man
You don’t know who he knows

- bob seger

no more mr. romance

Bloged in life, parenting by rod Monday April 26, 2004

“so dad, are you really growing a white gotee?”
“well I don’t know if you’d say that, I’ve had the gotee for a long time its just that it has gone from gray flecks to white.”
“would you have gray hair if you didn’t have bleach stripes?”
“well I don’t have bleach stripes now do I? do you see any gray?”
“hey dad, remember when you just had plain hair like mr. romance or something?”
“what!?”
“you know, before it was bleached and it was straighter. now its that messed-up, sticking-all-up-go-every-which-way hair.”
“would you rather I look like mr. romance?”
“good night dad.”
“good night will.”
“i love you.”
“i love you.”

You’re the Song I sing

Bloged in worship by rod Saturday April 24, 2004

You fill our hearts with more than we can hold inside,
and so we sing.

-dcb

an exercise in song lyric references

Bloged in apprenticeship, life by rod Friday April 23, 2004

Got my bike back tonight. Yeeehaw! Four weeks to the day from when I left it at the shop. And what a perfect night to get it back. Above the lake, Venus twinkles astonishingly bright. As if hung from Venus on a string, sister moon sits just below with the corners of her mouth turned up- a sliver of silver. A silver boat being lowered onto Lake Murray. Louis Armstrong’s smile while he sings, “skies of blue, clouds of white, bright blessed day and dark sacred night, and I say to myself, what a wonderful world” with a twinkle in his eye. Al and I rode over to the dam and watched his smile yellow as it drooped closer and closer to the lake. But the twinkle in his eye never dimmed.
So forgive me as I rejoice in the return of my steel horse. I’m a cowboy. I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back. Now the journey to anywhere is made enjoyable. Whenever I feel like I don’t want to go to work I just say, “wait! I can ride my bike there!” There’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see. Everywhere I go, I’m looking.
Since day one, my bike has been for me a metaphor for the joy in the journey. I’m fascinated with the journey. It’s amazing how many years it took me to notice that my photo albums are full of pictures of roads, lanes, paths, bridges, railroad tracks and trestles. I enjoy going as much as getting there. There is a joy in the journey, there’s a light we can love on the way. There is a wonder and wildness to life, and freedom for all who obey.
Okay, so it’s a bit dangerous. Shortly after I got my bike, Pastor Don bought me a leather jacket. Go ahead and laugh at me if you want, but my pastor buying me a leather jacket? I took it as a God-smile at my new bike and the jacket also became a metaphor. The full armor of God. Protection for the dangers of the journey.
Truth is, we could have just been created and placed at our destination. There must be a point in the journey. Anything can happen. The point of the journey is not to arrive. I must journey until I get there. But the journey is not what is going to get me there. I can only be taken there. The journey is part of being there.
There must be abundance available. “All those who seek it shall find it, a pardon for all who believe. Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind.”

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Eliot

*Special thanks to T. S. Eliot, Louis Armstrong, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Card, Neil Peart, Sting, and Rich Mullins.

spring run

Bloged in apprenticeship, life, metaphor by rod Thursday April 22, 2004

serene.jpgAs I headed North on I-75 back toward the airport on Sunday morning, I passed over the Maumee river. I had just sat on the bank of that river the previous evening for an hour or so and watched walleye jump as the sun went down. Quiet, peaceful on the surface, but underneath, teeming with half a million randy walleye in for a long romantic weekend from the business of Lake Erie. As it began to get dark, a single fisherman made his way back to the bank empty-handed, shed his rubber britches, made a call on his cell phone and climbed in his pickup and drove away. Ah, just me and old man Maumee (named by a Miami Indian with a pipe in his mouth or with a decidedly West Virginia accent – just ask me to say “Miami”). I sat and listened to the silence of the lazy river, thought about the windmills, and called Allison to my side via Verizon wireless. We talked and then I sat for a while longer until I was afraid it was too dark to read the street signs back in Bowling Green. Ah, I’ll find my way, I thought. So serene. Quiet whisper.
chaos.jpgThat wasn’t the view at all Sunday morning as I crossed the river. No less than 300 fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder under the bridge. I see no way they could have not been stepping on toes, tangling lines and jagging their jigs. Probably down there arguing that chartreuse twister tails catch more fish while the next guy swears by yellow. No its pink. Some of them think it really doesn’t matter – any colored twister tail will catch a big walleye. Someone gets untangled long enough to hook one, and everyone switches to that color. No one is absolutely sure about his lucky twister tail then.
Of course, I’m just surmising about the activity beyond the obvious community chaos I witness from a distance. All I see are hundreds of fishermen and no fish.
So I drive on up the freeway fairly certain that real truth is found in a mountain stream with live bait.

random traveler thought connections

Bloged in apprenticeship, life by rod Wednesday April 21, 2004

expos.gifBack in the day, Allison and I were given tickets to see the Pittsburg symphony with guest conductor Charles Dutoit. Early that summer, I, et.al. got the chance to sing the national anthem in Pittsburg at a Pirates/Expos game. We sat directly behind home plate. Cool. Later that summer, I was in Montreal for a few days and lo and behold, on my day off, there was an outdoor concert of the Montreal Symphony with Charles Dutoit, and the Expos were playing the Pirates. Hard choice. I went to the concert, having already seen Montreal expose the skull and crossbones of the Pirates a month before. pitt.jpgAlso on that trip, I got to see this really cool windmill in Pointe-Claire, Quebec,windmill.jpg
the Peterborough, Ontario lift locks, and Joseph Scriven’s grave.

Having this past Saturday evening free in Ohio, I contemplated driving up to Detroit to see if there was a Tigers or Mudhens game I could catch, then decided to be lazy and take a drive and see what I could see. I saw… windmills! But these weren’t ordinary quaint flemish icons of a simpler time. no no! These were high tech monstrosities that demanded awe, rather than ahhhh. 300 hundred feet high in the middle of a corn field. Visible from miles away. Standing there, face into the wind, ready to be moved. You can’t see where it comes from or where it goes, but you can feel its effects.
I want to be a windmill. I want to stand there in the field, completely powerless without the silent wind. Moved and powered by the overwhelming gusts of conviction and the gentle warmth of encouragement.
Stand me in the middle of the harvest and hold me up with the wafting scent of honeysuckle from far corners of the field.

a multi-ethnic word

Bloged in culture, metaphor, seasons by rod Tuesday April 20, 2004

azalea

have you been outside? Sure, they’ve been threatening for a couple weeks, but not like this. Winter comes in this way too, you know. Christmas rolls around and one thinks, “gee the winter’s mild here.” Then the end of January brings the wrath of old man winter down in its fiercest SC manifestation. Always a surprise. It is so slow in arriving that one forgets from one year to the next.
So it was with the arrival of the azaleas. For two weeks, scattered colors in the lawns of every home. Very pretty. Suddenly you open your eyes and they’ve exploded. Thousands of blossoms tugging downward on the limbs. Overwhelming eye candy. Static lawn fireworks.
I like to call them Ezekiels out there prophesying the advent of spring.

jiggidy jog

Bloged in life, nostalgia by rod Monday April 19, 2004

home again, home again. I’m back from the weekend. Back to the future in fact. Though the weather, when I landed was the same as when I took off, the calendar was backed up about three and a half weeks. I often mourn that so many wonderful spring blossoms are so short lived. There is that wonderful week when every bloom’s lifespan seems to overlap with that of every other bloom. Color everywhere. I need that, you know - I’m not big on subtleties of shade. Brilliant and vibrant, that’s my thing. (except clothing - earth tones all the way). Azaleas, Dogwoods, Wi(y)steria, Bradford Pears, countless rod-doesn’t-know-the-name flowers, all smiling their colorful faces at once. Then it’ over. A good gust out of the south-east and a twenty minute flurry of Bradford Pear Petals, and we’re left with green.
daffodils.jpgOnce, about 20 years ago, I spent the last 2 weeks of May and the first 2 weeks of June traveling from Boca Raton to Guilford, New Hampshire. At each stop along the way, we had the very first of the fresh strawberries. Every one said, “oh, you’ve come just in time for our first strawberries.” That was a wonderful month. A wonderfully extended strawberry harvest. Those poor folks in Boca Raton had long since raided the frozen berries for their shortcake while we were following the season north like it was Jerry Garcia and we had a month of Casey Jones.
So how cool would a month of Wisteria be? Makes one want to stay a few weeks and drive on up to Thunder Bay or someplace.
I’ve been thinking of applying for a writing sabbatical. I’m due. Pack the laptop, start in Jacksonville and make my way NW to Anchorage. The last of the spring flowers fade and the book is done.
Thank you Bowling Green for the daffodils. I envy your next couple weeks.

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