Wednesday, April 25, 2007

turning a corner

I'm tired.

After a pretty intense (at least for me) performing season, it's time to "turn the corner" and focus on recording. I've kept the next while free of performances, there's a batch of songs ready to go, some great people to record with...

But I'm tired.

It was a good weekend. Friday night's concert was a real highlight - the first public "unveiling" of the new collection of songs as a coherent set and complete concert... with a backing band (Darren, Stan, Andrea and Jamie), which was a real treat after performing solo for so long... a great turnout and people very engaged and lots of good feedback...

And then Saturday and Sunday in Tavistock was good too. Got to connect with Rick and Louise who are involved in all kinds of interesting things with their church, their various places of work, and their small-scale organic farm that includes - get this - a barn specially outfitted for theatre productions ("... works best in June, once the cows are out to pasture and before the first-cut hay is in...").

Now it's time to get going on recording plans, but my body and my brain seem to have other ideas...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

not in kansas anymore

A few blog-worthy items from my whirlwind (or should that be "tornado"...?) trip to Kansas over the weekend...

- got to spend some time with Ben and Andrea, saw their place, jammed a bit, and even played a few tunes with Ben at the Sunday evening concert in Newton... just wait till you hear what he does with his mandolin on "Take Good Care," one of the soon-to-be-recorded songs on the new album... now if we can just figure out how to manage the long-distance recording thing... (and by the way you can download a whole album of Ben and friends - "The Whizbang Shufflers" - great stuff - for free...)

- lots of great conversation over yerba mate with my host family and new friends Willmar and Hannah... (they do yerba TWICE A DAY - that gives you a clue, for starters, of just how cool they are...)

- snowflakes (flakes?) the size of my fist coming down in copious quantities on our way to the Kansas Relief Sale concert on Friday night... and then eating lunch outside in our shirtsleeves on a warm green prairie Sunday afternoon (to the refrain of "well, that's Kansas for ya...")

- a low (but energetic!) turn-out for the Saturday night concert, due to a wildly popular crop-insurance meeting at the local high school...

And my favourite hope-inspiring-quote-of-the-weekend, spoken with pride by a three year old girl to her mother, upon seeing an image of planet earth projected as I was speaking/singing at - wouldn't you know it - "view of hope" on Sunday morning:

"Hey! That's where I live!"


Thursday, April 12, 2007

rumours of resurrection

Just read this week's lectionary text (Acts 5:12-32, more or less). What a delightful - rather hilarious, actually - "resurrection" story, in the most unlikely of places.

These are the same disciples, after all, who had abandoned Jesus and watched as he was arrested, tried, tortured, and executed.

The same disciples who at the end of John's gospel keep meeting in fear, behind locked doors - and the risen Jesus keeps breaking into their room, somehow, and saying bizarre things like "Peace be with you" and "as the Father sent me, so I send you..."

The same disciples who at the end of Luke have heard rumours of resurrection, some have even seen the empty tomb, but don't know what to make of it and are disbanding anyway.

But by Acts 5 things have changed, the Spirit has come, there is a community that is living in radically counter-cultural ways, "signs and wonders" are going on, and the authorities, of course, are getting nervous...

So they have the apostles thrown in the "public prison"... and when they get the whole governing body together and summon the prisoners, THEY'RE NOT THERE! The prison (tomb) is EMPTY!

"Then someone arrived and announced - Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"

The resurrection continues... thank God... and there ain't no authority on earth that can keep it down...

The other day I got a message from Kendra, who's been doing some great writing based on experiences we had as part of a learning group in Colombia last August... You can read some of her stuff (along with some great photos by Mark) here and here and here... living, breathing stories of resurrection and new life emerging from violence and death...

"The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with his teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority... we are witnesses to these things..."


Thursday, April 05, 2007

so I wouldn't have to...

Tonight I came across something that our son said a few years ago, when he was 5. Referring to a different story, but it strikes me as bang on for Good Friday too.

"It's good to choose God's way. But I think I would have chosen the King's way, so I wouldn't have to go to the lions."