In any case, the month of May has been defined by me scrambling to find a summer gig and not writing. Also, not really scrambling.
Here’s the long and short of it: It has something to do with all those end of school year days, but springtime always makes me feel anxious. Makes everything feel fast. I feel not up to the task, so I give up, resign myself to mind-numbing activities (going out, drawing, coffee, beer… candy crush) because with all these things sprinting in circles around me, what am I to do? What I want to do is hide- hide until the circle closes in so tight, it crushes me. And then I face them.
So I haven’t written as much, but I have been so blessed to have voices like Hannah Ettinger and Bethany Suckrow making the trip here in their heart-rendering letters. Goodness. Those words left me slack-jawed, breathless, and so hopeful.
And what am I into?… Let’s see.
My singing voicing tends to clear a room quickly, like big-chipotle-fart quick. Matt and Lauren’s voices make people cry. Cheer. Shake their hands in thanks. I am so proud of these two who, apart from their jobs as Pastor and Therapist, stay true to their art.
And don’t just take my word for it! A few years ago, Matt made it to the top 100 on the Voice. Their music is regularly played on MTV (don’t you dare judge them). Download their latest song, Doors on Fire, RIGHT HERE.
While we’re on the subject of these two, here is an amateur video of them playing at the Minnesota State Fair before they even started dating. I cannot get enough of them. They’re like a real-life Rom-Com.
I have reopened Trevor’s album which was my soundtrack in my painting days, a constant throughout my emergence from dark days to light. Trevor sings in that reggae (i think) type voice and his lyrics are deeply spiritual. I gather he is a universalist from songs like “There are many roads” and lyrics like “so many rivers but they all reach the sea” and “Me and Jesus, Buddah, Moses, and Gouranga
All dance around, dancing on your thunder.” It’s good, super heretical, and it’s sympathetic to my own nondescript, nebulous faith right now.
This one, especially, is my go-to. I’ve been playing it on repeat for days and days.
Scandal, Parenthood, The Walking Dead have ended for the year, so I’ve been jumping into some new(ish) series that I checked out of awhile ago.
I’ve always loved Julia Louis-Dreyfus and she is never more perfect than in this show. So funny. Very profane. The former is worth the latter (or maybe responsible for it.)
I am about as liberal as they come (or at least, I wish I was). I hate torture and violence and the like… and yet. I love it too. 24 is one of my favorite shows of all time and this reunion has beaten my expectations. A must-watch.
I am learning that this show is not for anyone and probably represents a strange glitch in my sense of humor. But give Phoebe Buffay the lead role in a show, in a comedy, and I am there. And it IS funny!
Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
-Rachel Held Evans tweeting about this being on sale on Kindle and that it was must-read, so I purchased it for a cheap $1.99. Two nights later, I was finished. It is phenomenal. Gorgeous. Better than the first two novels I’ve read from Kingsolver (The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven) Caution for writers: This writing will make you feel inadequate… but also inspired.
Benefit of the Doubt, Greg Boyd
This book. I am eternally grateful to Greg Boyd for it. For anyone struggling on the slippery, complicated path of faith and intellect, wanting to not compromise either, this book was made for you.
The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
A quick read that gives a gritty account of what it means to be a writer. I loved it. I hated it. Dillard’s writing is unparalleled, as she is a stylist who you can tell is scrubbing down every sentence with a fine-toothed comb. My favorite part, perhaps, is her critique of writing a book in less than a year and her encouragement to not write for everyone but to write for people who love to read. That’s what writing is.
In the middle of…
The GoldFinch, Donna Tartt
Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, David Sedaris
An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor.
My little nephew, the axis our family circling these days, has had some monumental moments this month.
Technically, it was April, but… He turned ONE.
And took a bath in the sink!
And, wait for it… (but you might have to click on it)
Like I said, haven’t been writing much, but just yesterday I did post a little something about a really big announcement over at the Marin Foundation of the Parent Contact List. Two new additions to the Love Letters have been published, from Hannah Ettinger and Bethany Suckrow, which were phenomenal. A piece went up over at Deeper Story on Exodus International and how they (in retrospect) left a positive imprint on my story, even amidst their dark world, and I also posted on quitting cigarettes, which is still a process. BUT I have gone from almost a pack day to two teensy weensy smokes a day. One in the morning. One at night. I am not pushing myself too hard cause I know my potential to overdo it and collapse into a smoking binge, but I am proud of the progress. Here’s to getting it down to One.
Linking up with my awesome friend Leigh Kramer. Go check out some of the other posts over on her blog!
What have you been into this month?