Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

It's been a strange half year since I started this blog for things that strike my fancy. Sure, I haven't been able to keep up my original schedule, but considering most blogs flame out in the first two months I suppose I'm doing okay. Even if I don't have much traffic, that doesn't bother me. I'm more of an introvert, anyway.

Of course, if everything goes as planned next year, I probably will have even less time to write here. But, who can really tell what the future holds? Maybe I'll have more time.

Nonetheless it was an interesting 2014, and here's hoping 2015 is more fruitful not just for me, but for you, too.

Happy New Year!

Lyric time!

Sometimes, I think the lyrics speak for themselves.


If I Had My Way
By: Robert Randolph, Joseph Burnett, Steven Krikorian, Blind Willie Johnson
 

If I had my way, I'd tear the building down
If I had my way, I'd tear the building down
Tear the building down
Tear the building down

Down with Daniel in the lion's den
Wondering where have you been
Like Delilah fine and fair
Diamond eyes and coal black hair
Like Delilah putting me out
So much sorrow, so much doubt
Love is painful, love is blind
Never know what you're going to find

If I had my way, I'd see your face again
If I had my way, I'd see your face again
See your face again
See your face again

Down with the Daniel in the lion's den
Trying to make it out again
Everybody in the world
Trapped here too or so I've heard
So much sorrow, so much fear
Got us all fouled up down here
Oh, but if I get my way
We'll be leaving soon today

If I had my way, there would be no suffering in this land
If I had my way, there would be no suffering in this land
Suffering in this land
Suffering in this land

I say Daniel tell me true
Will your God take care of you
Daniel, he say, that's a fact
We'll soon be leaving won't be back
We'll bring this building down with fire
Lift us all up, get me higher
Keep on dreaming, keep the faith
Someday soon you'll have your way

If I had my way, I'd burn this building down
If I had my way, I'd burn this building down
Burn the building down
Burn this building down

Down with Daniel in the lion's den
Thinking how the world might end
Lion say you'll be mine
I say no, I still got time
Lion laughs and bears his teeth
Door swings open and I go free
Daniel says you lying lion
Gonna burn you up like fire

If I had my way, I'd burn this building down
If I had my way, I'd burn this building down
Burn the building down
Burn this building down

If I had my way, I'd see your face again
If I had my way, there would be no suffering in this land
Suffering in this land
Suffering in this land.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

To anyone reading this, be sure to have a happy and fruitful Christmas! Stay safe, gather with the family, and celebrate!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, 19 December 2014

A Good Story

For those who enjoy a good story, and a holiday appropriate one, should check out the A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast run by Julie Davis and Scott D. Danielson, where they talk about "It's a Wonderful Life" and what lies beneath the surface. It's already my favorite podcast, but this seasonal episode deserves a link of its own.

If you're a fan of good storytelling, you might want to catch this discussion. Chances are it'll be more than worth your time.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Goodbye Sky Harbor

By the band Jimmy Eat World. Though I have grown out of a lot of the music I listened to when younger, some still stick with me. This is one. It is the final track from the band's breakthrough 1999 album, Clarity, and one of their most famous.

They were a pretty big deal in the late '90s and early '00s, but since the pop world is so fickle, there's a good chance no one in that scene listens to them anymore. I have been to concerts where bands with well crafted songs and engaging themes are not as warmly received by the audience as the newer flash in the pan bands (and I mean flash in the pan, I looked up some of the bands I mean and they haven't done much in years), but some manage to keep marching regardless of how fickle their audience might be.

The lyrics on this album are probably the best the band ever put out, and this sixteen minute song (!) is one of the best of the decade. Seek it out if you can.


Goodbye Sky Harbor
Written by: Jim Adkins, Rich Burch, Zach Lind, Tom Linton and Thomas Darrell

Is tomorrow just a day like all the rest?
How could you know just what you did?
Like all the rest, how could you know just what you did?
So full of faith yet full of doubt I ask . . .

Again, I shall ask you this once again:
He said, "I am but one small instrument"
Do you remember that?

Time and time again you say:
"Don't be afraid, don't be afraid!"
The only voice I want to hear is yours.

Again, I shall ask you this once again:
He said, "I am but one small instrument"
Do you remember that?

So here I am above palm trees so straight and tall,
You are smaller, getting smaller . . .

But I still see you.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Great Endings

Here is one of my favorite endings of any book I've ever read. I'm not going to tell you the author or title in order to avoid spoilers, but it is incredible.

Without further delay:

“She shut her eyes and saw the pin point of light but so far away that she could not hold it steady in her mind. She felt as if she were blocked at the entrance of something. She sat staring with her eyes shut, into his eyes, and felt as if she had finally got to the beginning of something she couldn’t begin, and she saw him moving farther and farther away, farther and farther into the darkness until he was the pin point of light.”

Thursday, 4 December 2014

“I wonder when in the world you’re going to do anything, Rudolf?” said my brother’s wife.*

Advent, for those who know the basics about Catholics, is about waiting. Waiting for the baby Jesus to finally be born, sure, but about waiting in general. That is a big theme of the fourth Joyful Mystery in the Rosary about Joseph and Mary presenting the baby Jesus in the temple. They waited their whole life for that moment, they had to be patient and trust in God, and they were rewarded.

Stories are the same way. The main character and the villain both want something. The main character, the protagonist, is usually distinguished by willing to wait to get what he wants and getting the opportunity given to him or being impatient and setting on his own to find it for himself and ends up stumbling into it. While the hero might foolishly blunder ahead, he usually has virtues on his side to make up for his imperfections. A good hero is one you can root for. The villain is ALWAYS characterized as selfishly claiming what he wants for himself without regard for anything regarding patience, let alone temperance, fortitude, grace, or love. The villain should never be pictured as more noble than the hero, because a villain has no interest as such a thing and is always, in the end, out for himself in one way or another.

Life is about making choices, good ones and bad ones, and stories are a reflection of that daily battle we all face. But sometimes, we have to wait for our questions to be answered and our choices to be rewarded. We aren't always like heroes or villains and making the right or wrong choices so explicitly. Sometimes we refuse to even make choices for fear we might get what we actually want, or maybe we won't get anything. But life is about making choices, and sometimes those choices are not rewarded on page one-- sometimes they only get rewarded on the last line.

Be patient.

Have a happy December and a fruitful Advent.

*The first line of "The Prisoner of Zenda" by Anthony Hope