And beautiful reminders of grace from one of my favorite authors.
“At last she lifted her head. There was only a purple streak in the sky, cutting through a field of crimson and leading, like an extension of the highway, into the descending dusk … . A visionary light settled in her eyes. She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven … . And bringing up the end of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who, like herself and Claud, had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right. She leaned forward to observe them closer. They were marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away … . In a moment the vision faded but she remained where she was, immobile … . In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.” (emphasis mine)
Some old school photos I dug up from an Easter Island practice I was hanging at about a year ago in Athens, GA. I had come back probably to raise support for Japan and got a chance to hang with my old buddies for an evening. I guess you could call this Oldster Island, since Andrew was playing bass at this point. I remember riding out to some kind of secluded Forestry Department office building or something with Ethan that night to their practice space. We walked in and I was confused at first as I walked past office chairs, empty seats and the sweet smell of bureaucracy. As we neared the end of the hallway, I found myself in a cluttered practice space filled with music equipment, take-out food bags, strange paintings, various forms of luggage, office supplies, bright fluorescence, and five eager guys ready to play familiar songs they’d made together.
I’m not a music critic and I’m not pretending to be. These guys are dear friends and so that’s why I’m asking you to please check them out. But they’re also extremely talented and gifted at what they do. Not only that, their hearts are in it. It has been so exciting for us to watch the birth of this band and see it develop and mature like it has. Can’t wait to see where they end up.
I don’t think I would be here in Japan if it weren’t for some of these dudes. I grew so much with these guys in college. We bunked together in this old mill house near the river out in the woods. A giant, wooden tent basically. We called it the Graveyard House because we lived next to a graveyard where former mill workers were apparently buried. I slept in a sleeping bag 6 months out of the year. In the mornings, during the winter, our shower curtain would be frozen to the side of the bath tub. We could see our breath when we woke up and could leave food or milk (if Parker didn’t drink or eat it first) out on the counter all night and it wouldn’t go bad. I actually recall the inside of our refrigerator being warmer. I also have fond memories of running out of firewood and chopping up furniture to burn so we could keep warm in front of our fireplace. In the summers we would sit on the roof and smoke pipes at sunset, kill snakes, throw firecrackers into the bathroom while it was occupied, fill our house with friends and play loud music.
I know, it sounds like the lost boys or something, but it was one of my favorite times in my life so far. Sure, we probably all received some form of poisoning living at that house, be it asbestos or lead, but something happened to all of us while we lived there that will never be broken or lost. We became such close brothers together that even now, when one of us is missing, we all feel it deeply and collectively and in our own way.
These guys have worked so hard to get where they are at this point in their musical career. Since I took these photos, they’ve moved on to bigger and better things (no pun intended), but I know to them it feels like an overwhelming and uncertain journey ahead sometimes. Please support these guys any way you can. They mean the world to me.
MTW requires us to get our Last Will & Testament completed before heading to the field. Kind of weird for us to get these as 27-year-olds, but glad it’s out of the way and now we’re covered.
A special Thank You to our dear friend, Susanna Patterson for drawing up our wills in a light-hearted (and professional) fashion. It’s good to know where all of our Teletubby paraphernalia will end up one of these days.
I went hunting for the first time in my entire life the other day with my friend Jamie. I know, the thought is quite humorous without your jeering. Do 8th-grade BB gun wars count as hunting?
Unfortunately, their are no photos of me as I was tiptoeing through the woods with a Ghillie suit on because I do not own a single piece of urban camo. But here are a couple of photos of Jamie, Master Chief and Woodsman Extraordinaire.
It was also doubly unfortunate that the only living thing we actually saw was another bow hunter waving frantically at us to move away from his spot. Besides that we also only heard the rustle of an armadillo in the bushes. No deer were found (or shot, for that matter).
“give fresh organically grown vegetables to seniors and physically challenged residents of the Pleasant Hill Community. The garden is manned by the youth of Pleasant Hill, local colleges and schools. It teaches the importance of nutritious eating and “pre” serving our land in order to preserve it.”
The garden was overgrown with weeds and it was time to gather the sweet potatoes, peppers, collards, and green beans, till the soil and replant. It was a lot of fun! We were able to meet and work alongside a ton of great folks. It was great to hear some history about Pleasant Hill, see how people in the neighborhood are seeking to renew their own part of Macon and hear stories about some of the great historical figures who came from this neighborhood.
We especially enjoyed getting to know one of the garden’s feisty caretakers, Naomi Johnson. She is a beautiful woman with a huge heart. We hope to get out to the garden again as soon as possible!