But there’s a Sufi story that challenges the notion that people believe only because they need an opiate. Rabe’a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seen running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, ‘I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.’”
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According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life is 42. I’m not sure about this, but I’ve never read the Hitchhiker’s Guide, so I don’t really feel beholding to the notion. I think the only reason I know this little factoid from that work of fiction is because the band, Level 42, explained their name that way.
As I peruse the many birthday wishes on my FB timeline today, I am pleased at the variety of connections represented. Of course there are well-wishes from family, but there are also messages from people that I’ve known virtually all of my 43 years. There are messages from grade school-mates, Jr. High and High School classmates, church camp and New Way Singers, College friends, fellow choir members, TS members, former jobs, past concert gigs, camp gigs, old band mates, churches, former and current church families, co-teachers, and even some acquaintances that have really become cyber-friends via the insane medium of Facebook. All that to say that I am really proud that I have friends that I am thankful for from every season of my life.
As I think about the fact that today is my 43rd birthday, I am so amazed at how blessed I am that I’m hesitant to speak it aloud for fearing of jinxing it somehow.
But here are the facts: I live with 3 beautiful girls who utterly possess my heart. They are happy and healthy and love me beyond reason. We laugh and play a lot and cannot justify the amount of joy that our home contains. Although, I would really like figure out how to be less fat and put some muscle on these old bones, just got a checkup where the Dr. punched a bunch of number into an iphone app and said that I have a 2.05% chance of kicking the bucket from stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years. That’s not too bad. The two other women of my life, my mom and sister, are both happy and healthy and not too far away. With the exception of losing Dad 20.5 years ago, I know that I am exceedingly lucky to enjoy the kind of relationship with my family that very few get to cherish. I have the honor of working in a profession that really matters with the most awesome people. I live in a house I love in a neighborhood that I love and (currently) both of our vehicles are paid for and running! There’s food in the fridge and clothes in the closets. I am truly astounded to tell Holly on nearly a weekly basis how much I love the faith community that we have become a part. And now, after about 8 years of virtually self-induced musical retirement, I’m again being challenged to develop and adapt my skills into a new endeavor that can provide outlet and some additional compensation for years to come. It’s been hard and frustrating and terrifying, but at this point, I feel so good about where I’m at and the challenge to continue progressing.
So, many have offered wishes for me to have a great day. I don’t really know what that looks like since I have such a great life.
As I wrote this, I realized that my 42nd year would actually be the year I was 41. So, I don’t know how to comment about 42 being the meaning of life. At 43, I’m just amazed at how good I have it.
Bullets (sapphire) are good…
- 2nd Semester of school is over. I’m not sure, but I think that last month of school is getting harder and harder with every year.
- Finally broke down. I’m now paying ATT for a frakking data plan just so I can have a decent phone.
- Worked two days the week following school for a production company that needed help with a large conference by a certain global company that is prominent where I live. It was tiring, but kind of interesting and I got paid well. I was mostly disturbed by how much the company’s annual meeting looked and felt exactly like what many consider to be “successful” church. Not sure whether I’m more skeeved out by the fact that the meeting looked like church or that church looked like the meeting. Either way, I’m glad that I don’t work for either.
- Spent final week in a math class that I’ve been in for the last 3 summers. 1)I don’t teach math anymore. 2) 90% of the time discussion was literally semesters of Math over my head. Glad it’s over.
- Got home last night from spending 5 days in Saint Louis with my sister. Lots of fun, but we’re all really wiped out now.
- I have an ep that I (still) need to make that I need to write some songs. I have a gig on August 20th that I’d like to have the ep completed. I may also have a gig late in July.
- Planning to stop wasting time lurking FB. I rarely contribute and am usually annoyed. Too many ads, punditry, stupidity and time wasting. Not that I’m going dark, just plan to try to not look at FB. Twitter/Instagram/Google+/Blogging/Songwriting will be my outlets. Also, if you msg me on FB, I’ll get it.
- Been skipping around on my reading and haven’t locked into anything. Need to finish Jeff Miller’s Shadows of Tockland. Been reading a lot of old Daredevil comics. In the middle of the Elektra saga.
- Summer movie of mention so far has been Before Midnight. Every time I bring it up, either people haven’t heard of the project or just think I’m a girl for being so interested in it. I went to it by myself. I walked past the line out the door to see Man of Steel and watched my movie with two 60+ year old ladies. I liked it. I hope they make another. Will see Man of Steel soon.
- So, you may see a few more blog posts over the coming weeks. Hopefully, I’ll have some more music for you to hear soon.
So, thank you all who contributed to my little “guitar drive”. I am humbled and appreciative.
Unfortunately, a vulture swooped down on my ebay auction and swiped my guitar from me in the last 3 seconds.
Bad for my blood pressure and sad for my guitar fingers.
I’m still shopping for a guitar.
So, how do I put this? I want another guitar. Not some super expensive guitar. Not some antique, fancy guitar. Just a particular electric guitar that I think looks really cool.
that you can’t buy anymore because it’s a re-issue and it’s not being made.
Doesn’t it suit me? It’s kind of quirky and weird. I’m weird. It’s perfect.
A friend suggested that surely I could find 35 friends to donate $10 each to the cause, right? Well, that got me thinking… Folks need to catch up on their shack music collection, right?
But the auction is only going on for 4 more days, so folks need incentive, right? So, here’s the deal.
All of my previous CDs are currently available for immediate download at http://shacknotes.bandcamp.com for just $5/each! (How’s that for incentive?)
But wait! There’s more!
If you purchase a download from bandcamp in next 4 days, you’ll get an email with the receipt. Forward the receipt to email@example.com and I will email you link to download a zipped file with additional mp3s as follows:
Gypsy Heart (2003) Bonus Download: The Coffee House Cover Club– (Nearly) Live-in-the-studio recordings of cover tunes the acoustic trio (shack, James Powers on lead guitar, and Holly on BGVs and hand percussion) performed in our Coffee House performing heyday. 10 Tracks- Recording not for sale.
Fall on Me (2001) Bonus Download: Download this 11 track Praise & Worship digital Record and receive an additional 6 cover tunes available on the CD but not on download. These include You Are Holy, Nails, and shack’s mashup of I Could Run Away (waterdeep) and More Faithful (Skillet)+ Chord sheets to all songs!
Vagabond Dancing (1998) Bonus Download: This was hard to find something to add. But I’ve got demos of a couple of cover tunes we were doing in church concerts around that time and I’ll try to find some early demos of some of these songs. I know that I’ve got one demo that never got released. I’ll be shooting for about 5-6 extra tracks for this one. Not to mention it contains the title track which was the GMA’s International Song of ’98 Finalist! (Top 10 out of 1500+ songs submitted!) This also contains the song All I See which knocked Mariah Carey AND Whitney Houston out of the Top 10 one week on a Top 10 request radio show in Riga, Latvia back in the late ’90s….
Trying to Climb the Wisdom Tree (1996) Bonus Download: Your Luv 4 Me (1994). No, there’s no rap on it. I was going for a Prince vibe with the title. Anyway, this was my very first recording released on tape only. I even copied, cut out and stuffed the sleeves myself. (It was really bad.) 8 tracks. 6 Original Songs and 2 Instrumentals that were in our wedding.
Boy, do I feel naked right now.
There you go. Start filling those iPods! shacknotes.bandcamp.com
When I was very young, I thought I could draw. By the time I hit Jr. High and High School, I didn’t think that so much. I think it has a lot to do with the perfectionist that lurks within…
Anyway, if I could draw, I would be really excited about this app on the Ipad called Paper by 53. I might even be tempted to pay the $6 for the additional drawing utensils. So, imagine my surprise when I actually drew something I kind of like. Check it out.
written by David Lamotte
illustrated by Jenn Hales
A few months ago, a friend was telling me about a concert that he attended (the day AFTER he attended it) and told me about this singer/songwriter, David Lamotte. To be fair, he might have invited me to go before hand but I’m sure that I was just too busy with something or other. But something about his telling me about the concert made me wish that for once, I would have gotten off my lazy but and gone.
Apparently, this Lamotte guy is not only a singer/songwriter, but a book author, public speaker, and according to his bio: “itinerant peace guy”. I’ll let you figure out what that means for yourself. My friend told me about this book, White Flour. It’s a picture book, written in simple rhyme and meter re-telling the true story of an awesome group of people who took a unique and creative approach to a disheartening situation.
It’s worth the 5-10 minute read and I don’t want to give it all away. It’s the story of the Coup Clutz Clown activists and how they refused to let the insanity and hate of a White Power parade overwhelm the determination of joy, love, and plain silliness. I wouldn’t say it’s Dr. Seuss, but the rhymes rarely sound overly forced and the story is propelled by the rhythm and cadence of the verses. The illustrations are whimsical and colorful and sure to help children of any age grasp understanding of the story. Historical events really need not be boring, folks!
As a 7th grade Literacy & Social Studies teacher, it is always difficult to know how to respond when students are understandably confused and struggle with understanding the attitudes and culture that would hate others based solely on race. I look forward to being able to share this triumphant story and give students a glimpse of how creativity, love, and kindness can overcome and disable the power of hate and intolerance.