I knew this was significant. I knew this summer was more than a metaphor. My whole being needing to step out into the heat, the sweat, the perfect scene that God has created and LET IT BE.
When did I stop letting the wild things grow?
How did I reach a point of despising the raw natural beauty of things? Too much to do. Turn up the AC already. The bugs, the heat, the sweat, the layer of damaged skin, the stench. But the bugs maintain the habitat; the sweat is our detox; the smell is the toxins leaving our body; the natural bronzing of a little sun gives natural highlights … you get it.
And when my friend posted this, I could have cried, because it was exactly what I had been thinking about and feeling about my life. In my efforts to tidy up what is productive and profitable, I risk pulling up all the good things that need to be left alone so that they can grow in their wild and natural element. (One of those things I’ve been thinking about is my music.)
I love her caption.
I think I have tasted this truth before…. in a poem I wrote when I was recovering from what doctors called “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” at the time.
If you can let the day be new when you are not.
And let the sun be joy when you have none.
You know you’re gonna be alright.
That’s about how I’m feeling again.
I asked her to take pictures. (She is an incredible photographer…) and then I couldn’t help myself.
See, I started with all of these home recordings years ago, making music for NO ONE. Just because I wanted to. When it caught some attention, I left that and sought to improve it…to be “legitimate.” And I let Nashville tell me I was not a real musician anymore. I’m telling you, these realizations did not come overnight. I’m not going on about this because it’s about me…. it’s about all of us and the natural element of the expression of who God made us to be and how he made us to function in the world.
People tried to tell me this, but I wasn’t ready, and I’m telling you when I began to desire to return to my natural element, encouragement began to come from strange places.
So in a sort of personal moment of reckoning, I’m just going to see what happens when I send a friend some recordings of my piano and me at home. My songs in their raw and natural element with my not-perfectly-tuned piano and its squeaky broken pedal….. yeah, that. It’s not going to be glamorous or perfect….but to be COMPLETELY transparent, a decade is about to pass without me making more music since tons of recording and “In the Dark” in my 20s, and I’ve GOT to produce SOMETHING in my 30s.
When I asked some friends, “how do I do this without making a fool of myself,” they all said, “We loved your old raw recordings best anyway.” HUH?! Well then, it’s official. It’s a wild and natural theme. It means these recordings will have some heat, burn, and bugs. And they may smell a little. I’m gonna have to let it be.
Some new songs and rough demos of mine are on SoundCloud from these last few years, and more people than I realized have downloaded them, but you have to have an account, etc, and …… …..and….and iTunes already, ok. Here are two old hymns below….
I’ll keep you posted if you want to follow:
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