Month: August 2012


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I’ve been walking a lot. It started as exercise for my body and has turned into that for my soul.

From my cocoon of worship music, silent pictures play out in front of me. There is a little girl with pig tails and bows carving out a watermelon bowl with a spoon. An older Hispanic man in slacks and a tie guides his wife in her grey dress suit down the sidewalk. An old Buick rumbles by. At least I imagine it rumbles, but I don’t hear it. Two girls, one on a scooter and the other jogging behind, pass me.

Above me, a cloud spreads across the sky in shadowed tufts, like someone above spilled popcorn.

The park is eerily quiet. It is usually coursing with families herding kids, runners and women pumping their arms as they walk. But today it is empty. Not even the wind dares enter, even though it had knocked branches against my window and pushed leaves through my back door only a half hour before. The trees in the low spot my path skirts stand hushed.

Back outside the walls the park seems to have, commotion rules. Two girls duck under an umbrella posted underneath a sprinkler. The vibration of a bass announces the passing of an SUV. A man combs the grass in his yard with a rake.

I pass a line of churches and the laundry mat labeled in Spanish and the apartment complex with the catholic candles that always burn in memory of a life lost. The peace of the park is a distant memory, like a dream.

Somehow from within the invisible envelope my music has created, I feel removed from it all. God uses this time repair the heartbreaks of the day, like a reboot.


after hours

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dennysIt’s 2 a.m. at the local Denny’s, our inevitable haunt by virtue of it’s operating hours. We know the waitresses in two towns.

As usually, our conversation is a mix of ribbing and dreaming. One dusts the other’s shoulders with salt, as the victim sits oblivious, discussing one music-related topic or another.

One of us sits with his phone cupped to his ear, listening to the song we just composed at the five-hour band practice we just had. As if five hours of each other’s company at practice is not enough, here we are.

This is band culture. Late nights. Kiddy humor. And forever, music talk.

We’re constantly analyzing the components of sound, mapping out our conquest to make our big break, debating the best way to market, analyzing our last performance.

I look around at these guys I who have somewhere along the line become my brothers. Sometimes they drive me crazy. But mostly, I don’t know what I would do without them.

As usual, at the end of our late-night milkshakes and quesadillas, one tries to pay for it all, another scrapes together quarters to cover his meal, the others chip in anyway, and I, despite a fight, end up not paying anything. They then collect around the claw machines, feeding them quarters in an attempt to conquer what by reputation is an impossible game. As usual, one always wins some sort of stuffed animal — a hidden talent in addition to his musical giftings.

We pile in cars full of amps and cables and instruments and drive home to unpack, only to pack up a couple days later and do it all again.