Nashboard Dashville

Last Wednesday I had one of the best days I’ve ever had.  My favorite person and I drove up to Nashville because we had tickets to see one of my all time favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional.
Before the concert, we spent most of the day at the zoo, then had dinner at the pub connected to the venue.  Zoo was great, got to pet a kangaroo.  Food was great, ate really good sandwiches.
Then we went to the show.

The openers were both really good.  They were both local Nashville bands.  Dashboard was phenomenal.  They played most of my favorite songs and some new ones, which I never expected to happen.  I think I really just thought that Dashboard was over.  That’s definitely not true.

One of my favorite parts of the show though, happened to be the conversations I overheard.  Most of the people in the audience seemed to be talking about the music on an educated level, like it mattered.  They talked about the stage presence and sound quality and the musicians.  And later, we did too.

I like experiencing music.  I like it more than just listening to it.  I’m going to make an effort to make shows like these more of a priority in the future.  Be enveloped in it.

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Blogging Everyday in July|What Music Does

A few people have asked me to write about a few different aspects of music.  Why it’s important.  How it affects people.  How it changes things.  What it means.  I’ve even been bugged because I haven’t written it yet.  So here are some thoughts.  Apologies now if they’re not all together.

Open your computer.  Go to spotify (assuming that you have it) and pick a playlist that you made a couple years ago.  (This works with iTunes too).  Set it on shuffle and close your eyes.  Do you remember why you made it?  What do you feel?  I have a playlist on my spotify account simply called “Sad.”  I made it my junior year of college, and I remember listening to it on repeat.  I used to spend a lot of my life simply that, simply sad.  Music had a way of speaking into that part of me.
I have playlists that I made because the guy I was hanging out with at the time showed me all these bands.  Those playlists made me feel closer to whoever they were for.
I have playlists from road trips I took with my favorite person, my bestie, my soul sister.  Playlists filled with songs we would belt like ballads, songs that we would fake sob to, and songs that just made us laugh.  I’m a lyric person, she’s a beat person, so when we find the perfect combination, the song is gold.

Often times, people will say something that will remind me of a song lyric and I’ll just quote it, or start singing the song.  It makes me laugh.  It reminds me of a different time.  It gives me something to share.

There are songs that I could almost say have saved my life.  I think God speaks to me through music sometimes.  And he quite possibly uses my music to speak to people sometimes.

Sometimes there are no words to say.  But then a song says it.  Songs say what you can’t say on your own.  They have the depth, tone, and emotion that words on their own don’t.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but the song Jesus, Jesus by Noah Gundersen is one that I keep coming back to.  There’s an honesty there that is hard to find.

Jesus, Jesus, there are those who say they love you, but they have treated me so god damn mean.  And I know you said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” but sometimes I think they do, and I think about you.  If all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?  What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?  What about me and all my friends; are we all sinners, if we sin?  Does it even matter in the end if we’re unhappy?

That’s not something that you can just say to most people.  Put it in a song?  It says it all.  Songs have soul.  You want to see a glimpse of someone’s soul?  Hope that they’re a musician.  I firmly believe that anyone can find a song, even if they don’t get to play it or sing it more than once, ever.

Imagine a life without music.  Without birds that sing.  Without love songs and breakup songs and songs about Jesus.  A lot less would be said.  A lot more broken people would be unheard.  Music makes us whole again.  Go find your song.

Road Trip With Me: Making Adventures

The other night I slept in my car at a rest area alone, for the first time ever in my life.  I’m not going to say I wasn’t scared or lonely, but it was an adventure.
An hour or so earlier, I was driving through Utah,  and I saw a sign that said “Dinosaur footprints at Johnson Ranch, next right.”  So I got off the interstate and followed the signs.  However, I had just hit the time change, so the place was closed by the time I got there.  I bought myself ice cream at a gas station and drove until my eyes couldn’t see well anymore.  After dusk, it’s often hard for me to see, so I don’t feel super safe driving in unfamiliar places all the time.  Never really realized it was an issue until now, but I digress.

The next day I set out for Denver.  I had reservations at a dinosaur themed hotel for two nights, and one of my oldest friends lives in Denver with his girlfriend, so I knew it was gonna be a good stop.  On my way I saw a sign that said “Dinosaur Museum.”  So I decided to try this spontaneous adventure thing again.
It was open.  It was tiny.  I paid $9.  But it was so worth it.  I don’t know why, but dinosaurs give me such a simple joy.  It did delay my getting to Denver and dinner until 6:30/7pm, but who cares.
I met up with Cristian and his girlfriend and we had dinner.  It was more than good to see a familiar face.  I went back to my hotel and slept.  I wanted to relax and sleep in for once.
I got up late and set out for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  I saw dinosaurs and went to a history of chocolate exhibit.
I drove to downtown to wait for Cristian to get off work.  Two strangers told me I was beautiful.  I decided Denver was kind.  Cristian and I got dinner and struggled to find my car.  I took him home and we said goodbye.

Today I really slept in.  I drove into Kansas.  After 5 or so hours of driving (with stops) I started to feel weird.  I took myself to a movie, which wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.  I was feeling very uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to drive further, so I got a cheap motel room and I currently feel very stupid and alone.

I am further from home than I have ever been alone.  Saying goodbye to Cristian meant saying goodbye to the last person that I’ll see in a long time that knows me.  I wasn’t afraid for this adventure at all.  But now I am.  Because now there really is no turning back.  Now, if I made the wrong decision, I won’t know where to go or what to do.  I can’t just call my dad if my car breaks down.  I can’t expect my brother to come rescue me from a snow storm, or for Michelle to be able to watch a movie and just be with me.  I have to make it on my own now.  And even though I know for sure that I can do it, I am suddenly terrified.  What was I thinking?  Why did I do this?
Oh right, I was called.  I followed God.  I followed my heart.  I’m crossing things off my bucket list.  I’m making life an adventure.  I just wish I didn’t feel so alone and stupid.

Song

There is a song in my soul
Singing to me
Pushing me forward
Telling me I can’t let go

Even in all this confusion
As my thoughts are swirling around me
I hear it
Calling my name

I’ll cross an inevitable ending off my list
Because this story is only starting
It will not be finished soon
I’ll take another step forward

Holding on with every bit of strength
I will not fall
That does not sit well with me
Give me another adventure

I am dancing to the beat
Of my own drum
Humming to the tune
Of a new song

You can sing along
With me
If you so desire
Just listen

We can follow along together
Swaying with this melody
No need to go on alone
We can make our own adventure

When a Stranger Speaks Your Name

I’ll rest in this a while
Although I’m not sure what this is
A stranger passing spoke my name
Without ever saying a word

I find myself unable to move
Carrying a weight of a land that I never knew was home
My heartbeat is this rhythm
The beat of the rain on the roof over my head

There is a love here that took me away
A longing that aches for a return that is on its way
Could you ever know it?
Wake up and hear this song

These words slap you across the face
Yet gently tuck you into bed
Somewhere safe to lay your head
As you belong here

A welcoming with open arms
An unexpected arrival
A pasture to lay down in
Sectioned off fields of fairness

Floating through every step
As if a ghost lives inside of me
Maybe it’s time to start listening
When strangers call my name

Whispers of warmth tracing across the cracks in this cobblestone heart
Hearing angels pulling at the seams
Take off your coat and feel the mist
Be ready to experience a homecoming

You don’t have to know where you are
In order to know that this foreign land is your home
Your entire life you have been on holiday
Let the prodigal return

Ireland waited for you
Embraced you in her loving arms
Not ready to let you go
Hear her in the whispers of strangers

Storm

Sun gives way to rain
Day gives way to night
Lost somewhere in between

Touching the ground for remnants of warmth
Touching souls for glimpses of memories long since forgotten
Roads less travelled are still roads

New paths try to be easier
Yet the old ones are tried and true
Nothing was broken to make this

True strength is found in moments of weakness
Not strong enough to fight anymore
But you have kept from breaking

This soil knows what fear looks like
Rejoicing at God’s constant provision
While eyes only see another storm

Stay inside if you’re still afraid
I’ll be on my way now
There are stories still to be told
And I’m ready to listen

Listening

The whispers float by like clouds of thought
Sound waves that tickle the ears of innocent listeners
Hearing truth
Hearing life
Hearing love

Because they were listening
They were searching
They knocked and the door was opened
They asked and received

Not being caught up in the mundane
Not getting lost in the day to day
As that is far too easy to do

Finding intentionality
Listening
Breathing
Searching
Being
And hearing his voice once again