Monday, April 30, 2007

Song of the Week

This song has made it into both my theology of music class and a recent post this week. It's the song of the week.

Language or the Kiss - Indigo Girls

i don't know if it was real or in a dream
lately waking up i'm not sure where i've been
there was a table set for six and five were there
i stood outside and kept my eyes upon that empty chair
and there was steam on the windows from the kitchen
laughter like a language i once spoke with ease
but i'm made mute by the virtue of decision
and i choose most of your life goes on without me
oh the fear i've known
that i might reap the praise of strangers
and end up on my own
all i've sown was a song but maybe i was wrong

i said to you the one gift which i'd adore
the package of the next 10 years unfolding
but you told me if i had my way i'd be bored
right then i knew i loved you best born of your scolding
when we last talked we were lying on our backs
looking at the sky through the ceiling
i used to lie like that alone out on the driveway
trying to read the greek upon the stars
the alphabet of feeling
oh i knew back then
it was a calling that said if joy then pain
the sound of the voice these years later
is still the same

i am alone in a hotel room tonight
i squeeze the sky out but there's not a star appears
begin my studies with this paper and this pencil
and i'm working through the grammar of my fears
oh mercy what i won't give
to have the things that mean the most
not to mean the things i miss
unforgiving the choice still is
the language or the kiss

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Songs to Make Me Cry... For the Wrong Reasons

AKMA has a post today linking to the AV Club's list of songs that make them cry. As a lifelong crier, I don't want to denigrate any such list too much. I'm moved to ask, though, why they all seem to be by men.* Really? even when it comes to tears, men are the only ones worth citing? I thought that was supposed to be women's special domain.

It took 25 comments even to get Joni Mitchell in there at all. Hello? River? the remake of Both Sides Now? her cover of Hallelujah? pick any grouping of Joni's music and you'll find a tearjerker.

Here are my 18 tearjerkers, then, to counter the men's. Yes, they're mostly women. Yes, there are repeat artists. Yes, all that is partly on purpose and partly because that's what I actually listen to.**

1. She's Saving Me - Indigo Girls. This is the song that has most consistently made me cry over the longest period of time.
2. I'll Miss You Till I Meet You - Dar Williams. I'm never sure whether she's singing this for an ex, or a dead friend, or a dead ex. I don't really care - it's heartbreaking either way.
3. Don't Lay Down - Catie Curtis
4. Tangled-up Puppet - Harry Chapin
5. Leavin on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul, & Mary. I wept for months after leaving camp one summer, listening to this song over and over.
6. Hallelujah (I don't care whose version, really - mostly I listen to either Joni's or Rufus Wainwright's)
7. Fields of Gold - Eva Cassidy's version
8. River - I came to this song on the Indigo Girls' version, but Joni Mitchell's version works equally well
9. Hurt - but again, I don't really care whose version. Cash's and Reznor's are heartbreaking in different ways.
10. Fighting Chance - Melissa Ferrick
11. Don't Cry Anymore - Catie Curtis
12. Fields of Athenry - my version is by One of the Girls, but I'm sure there are more commercial versions out there.
13. Fatherless at 14 - Kendall Payne.
14. Hold On - Sarah McLachlan
15. And So It Goes - Billy Joel
16. American Tune - Paul Simon
17. Untouchable Face - Ani Difranco
18. Language or the Kiss - Indigo Girls

*Admittedly, some of these aren't bands I know at all. Maybe there are women in them; maybe one or two is even primarily/exclusively composed of women, though I doubt it. I still don't see anything that makes women artists visible.

**And, no, I'm not even letting myself use musical theater tunes, which could be their own 18 songs.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Temporary Sanity

Sorry, those of you who don't read this on a feed.

I'd meant to change the colors here for a long time. But since I really never look at my own blog, I kept forgetting how awful-looking it was.

So, I decided that if I was going to put off doing anything with the template, I'd at least pick one that was standard and boring rather than unsightly in the meantime. I'm hoping to remember to play around with it more soon, because I actually don't like this much, but there we are. Also, I'm going to have to reconstruct the links, and that will take me a bit of time to do - but then, my links were out of date anyway.

Friday Five: What are you...

1. Wearing - Dark cuffed jeans and a nearly-lime green cable knit 3/4-sleeve sweater, green and brown argyle socks, and brown clogs.

2. Pondering - my favorite saints

3. Reading - the book about preaching and powers theology that some of my friends had in their preaching class last term, the name and author of which I cannot remember, because people just called it the powers book.

4. Dreaming - I had a dream last night that one of the same hymns was used at both evening worship and noon Eucharist today. Not exciting, I know.

5. Eating - Right now I'm really hungry and envying Tripp's Aztec hash, but soon we're going to dinner, at which point I will probably be eating either sushi or green beans with bok choy at Koi, or bibim bop or cashew tofu at Mandarin House. Except now that I've mentioned bok choy, I'm craving the vegetable risotto from Wild Mango. Which is in Cleveland. Sad.

Saints of Favor

Name your four favorite saints, your favorite blessed saint, and the person you think should be canonized.

Thecla - both a favorite and one who should be canonized, since she's a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches but not in ours
Mary Magdalene
Augustine of Hippo
Mary, the mother of Jesus

Mother Theresa is really the only blessed I know, unless you're counting all the people the Anglicans have added to our calendars but who aren't Catholic saints. I've included them in the regular saints, though.

And I tag Tripp, Lauren, Ryan, and Susie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Song of the Week

Or maybe Tuesday will just become the new song-of-the-week day. The song for the last week comes from the musical version of The Secret Garden, and it's been on my mind through a couple of conversations with different friends in the last week.

Hold On

What you've got to do is
Finish what you have begun,
I don't know just how,
But it's not over 'til you've won!

When you see the storm is coming,
See the lightning part the skies,
It's too late to run-
There's terror in your eyes!
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say:
"It's the storm, not you,
That's bound to blow away."

Hold on,
Hold on, there's someone standing by.
Hold on.
Don't even ask how long or why
Child, hold on to what you know is true,
Hold on 'til you get through.
Child, oh child
Hold on

When you feel your heart is poundin',
Fear a devil's at your door.
There's no place to hide-
You're frozen to the floor!
What you do then is you force yourself
To wake up, and you say:
"It's this dream, not me,
that's bound to go away."

Hold on,
Hold on, the night will soon be by.
Hold on,
Until there's nothing left to try.
Child, hold on, There's angels on their way.
Hold on and hear them say,
"Child, oh child!"

And it doesn't even matter
If the danger and the doom
Come from up above or down below,
Or just come flying
At you from across the room!

When you see a man who's raging,
And he's jealous and he fears
That you've walked through walls
He's hid behind for years.
What you do then is you tell yourself to wait it out
And say "it's this day, not me,
That's bound to go away."

Child, hold on.
It's this day, not you,
That's bound to go away!

Limited Time Offer

Today in class, the guy behind me leaned forward and said, "Hold still, there's a sticker in your hair." He pulled it off, handed it to me, and said, "You're 30 cents off."

My class was relatively amused by this alone, but way more amused when I looked at the coupon sticker and said, "Yeah, but only if you buy two packages of butter."

Thanks, guys.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Two Thoughts

One: Tofu dogs go well with avocado. Tofu dogs go well with mac & cheese. All three together is a little weird.

Two: On Thursday, one of my friends turned to me and said, "When are we going to see One of the Girls again? I wanna be a groupie! Can we be groupies?" This seriously totally made my week. It's so much more fun to be a groupie when you're doing it with fun people as opposed to alone.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Five: Joy

It's probably been months since I've done a Friday Five, but I actually have time to blog this Friday. Here we go:

Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.


Preaching. I expected preaching to challenge me intellectually, creatively, and emotionally. I didn't expect it to love it so much, and I definitely didn't expect to find healing in crafting my own sermons the way I have with several of my better ones.

My roommates. When I first met my current roommates as prospectives, one seemed sweet and nice but I wasn't sure how much we had in common, and one seemed kind of overeager to come to Seabury. (Yes, they know this already.) I didn't mind being placed with them, but never expected them to be the incredible blessing in my life that they have been this year.

My internship with ECM. I honestly didn't know ministry could be that incredible. I learned a lot from that community about what joy and healing even meant. (Their new chaplain is a lucky man.)

Falafel. I know it sounds strange, but it's true. When I moved to Germany, I didn't think I liked falafel. Discovering that there was this delicious, readily available, affordable, protein-rich, vegetarian meal all over the place, coming off a year of not being able to eat very well, provided an intense joy and a lot of healing for my body and spirit, even if it may not have been the very healthiest option to eat that much fried food. I still love it, though it's hard to find really good falafel over here.

My little "corner" just inside the altar rail in the Seabury chapel. It took me a couple of years to find it, but it's just a perfect space - for prayer, for napping, for praying while napping, for solitude.... It makes me sad to have Easter, because we take down the rails until Pentecost, which is more or less the rest of the year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Song of the Week

It's the wrong day of the week to be posting this, but I've slipped out of the habit. This one is meant for last week, but could go for this week too. It's the second movement of the Brahms Requiem; I'll post the German original first and the English below.

Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras
und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen
wie des Grases Blumen.
Das Gras ist verdorret
und die Blumen abgefallen.

So seid nun geduldig, lieben Brüder,
bis auf die Zukunft des Herrn.
Siehe, ein Ackermann wartet auf
die köstliche Frucht der Erde
und ist geduldig darüber,
bis er empfahe
den Morgenregen und Abendregen.
So seid geduldig.

Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras . . .
Aber des Herrn Wort bleibt in Ewigkeit.

Die Erlöseten des Herrn
werden wiederkommen,
und gen Zion kommen mit Jauchzen;
Freude, ewige Freude wird über
ihrem Haupte sein;
Freude und Wonne werden sie ergreifen
und Schmerz und Seufzen wird weg müssen.

For all flesh is as grass,
and all the glory of man
as the flowers of the grass.
The grass is withered,
and the flowers fallen away. (I Peter 1:24)

Be patient, therefore, brethren,
unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for
the precious fruit of the earth,
and hath long patience for it,
until he receive
the early and the latter rain.
So be patient. (James 5:7)

For all flesh is as grass . . .
But the word of the Lord endureth forever.
(I Peter 1:25)

And the ransomed of the Lord
shall return,
and come to Zion with songs
and everlasting joy
upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
(Isaiah 35:10)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weird Person #5, Reporting In

Ok, Ref tagged me for this a couple of days ago, but I've had trouble completing the assignment, so here it is finally:

Rules: 1) Post six weird things about yourself; 2) Tag six weird people to do the same.

1) I'm not a huge chocolate-peanut butter fan. Now, I do like Reese's cups, on occasion. But most chocolate peanut butter stuff - ice cream, easter eggs, whatever - is just way, way too sweet for me. I'm told this is really, really weird.

2) Phobias. I'm unnaturally afraid of both marsupials-resembling-ROUS's and tickling. I know admitting to that second one makes it look like you should now try tickling me to see it in person, but I promise you it will cause lasting damage to both your person and our friendship if you do.

3) I have an apparently weird memory for certain details, especially dates and spatial arrangements. I can tell you my high school boyfriend's birthday, or where in my food crates the canned ravioli is, because they just stick in my head, taking up space that could be used for other things.

(Ok, figuring out what's weird about myself is hard. I've been thinking for two days now and I'm still having trouble.)

4) Oh, I tend to cover my stomach with my hands or arms almost no matter what position I'm in. I'm told that's a little weird.

5) I actually prefer room temperature drinking water to cold drinking water. I don't like my drinks too cold. I think this may come from my time in Germany, but I'm not sure.

6) There are probably people somewhere on this planet who think it's weird that I feel compelled to post this meme. If you don't think that counts as my sixth one, you can count my phobia separately, or comment and tell me what I've missed!

I'll tag: the Archer, Emily, Marisa, Nicole(though I'm not sure she reads this), and Marie.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Happy Bengali New Year

In celebration of which I just had some really yummy aloo gobi, spicy potatoes, and some sort of paneer dish. Oh, and some rice pudding. And they were homemade. And did I mention they were yummy?

In other news, if anyone runs across the sermon that's begging to be preached in Seabury's chapel for the feast of James Lloyd Breck this year, please send it my way. Barring that, I'll be spending most of my free time between now and Monday noon scavenging for it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

For the record

I don't listen to it that often, I know - but I'm once again convinced that if I could have only one musical work for the rest of my life, it would be Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem. It's extraordinary.

Monday, April 09, 2007


I'm - well, not diving back in, if I'm titling this post resurfacing. I'm starting back up again, I guess, with another song of the week. The last couple of weeks where I missed them, I had songs of the week that I didn't really want to explain, so I didn't post them.

At any rate, I missed a significant amount of Holy Week due to illness (which was also responsible for my not blogging). I went to all the services, but I still missed large chunks of them. So I'm in a weird place now where we seem to have skipped from Lent to Easter without hitting the Triduum. And today, I've been listening to Joni Mitchell's version of "Hallelujah" on repeat. It just seems appropriate to make it the song of the week for the last week.

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe I've been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you'd let me know
What's real and going on below
But now you never show it to me do you?
Remember when I moved in you?
The holy dark was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Stations of the Cross

If you're not already, I strongly recommend that you head over to the Archer's place this week and follow with him as he posts ArcherComics stations of the cross. They're quite well done.

Edited to add: Oops. Forgot the link. The link now there is to the Archer's intro to the stations - click around from there.

Another shuffle meme

if your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

opening credits:
Language or the Kiss - Indigo Girls

waking up:
Perfect - Children of Eden

first day at school:
It's a Fine Life - Oliver!

falling in love:
Unforgettable - Natalie Cole

breaking up:
Teenagers, Kick Our Butts - Dar Williams (seems to me this would go better in some other place...)

Candle in the Wind - Elton John (not a very happy prom, I guess)

life's okay:
Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks

mental breakdown:
The Temple - Jesus Christ Superstar (Savior complex, anyone?)

Spin, Spin, Spin - Jim Croce

One Headlight - Wallflowers

getting back together:
Into the Groove - Madonna

Touch Me Fall - Indigo Girls (Rock.)

birth of child:
Spring Street - Dar Williams (Interesting...)

final battle:
The Cobbler - One of the Girls

death scene:
Goin' Up - Great Big Sea

funeral song:
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something

end credits:
In Lonesome Dove - Garth Brooks