It has been an interesting hiatus over the past few days. I apologize for the veil of secrecy, but I'll give you a glimpse of a naked corner of my soul for the night. Perhaps it will be worth the chasing of un-damning for both of us.
A friend of mine decided to leave me. At the Powell show, one who I called my friend decided to pack up his toys and leave, so to speak. I will leave the revelatory details at that, so out of deference, please don't try and figure out who it was. However, he left me no explanation. He simply told me off and refused to talk about what was bothering him. I haven't heard from him since. The show itself was no better. Besides the loss of a friend bearing death to any hope of that elusive musician-audience communion, few people showed up, and a humdinger of a storm descended with a brooding concentration on Knoxville. Looking back though, I can't tell you of the sweetness of the release when it finally broke. All evening, throughout the show, it sat outside the door and inside my heart, mumbling. A dark old man with a secret. I am terminally ill with a raging case of self-condemnation (which, for those of you keeping score, is simply a mutant form of pride), so my friend bailing out on me did nothing for my outlook. I might has well have tried to win Waterloo. But on the way to a sympathy-dinner at Cracker Barrel, the skies lost all dignity and burst out at every seam. Blackest night was unleashed with the brightness of noonday sun, and the rain fell catastrophically with an unstoppable percussion. If it had just been me, I would have been out there dancing in it and shedding clothes as I went. The scouring rage of the storm was a welcome salve.
And to further destroy any thoughts you may have on God being a clean-cut individual, this weekend, Andy and I drove up to Kentucky to play a couple shows. No publicity, just booked a few gigs and drove up to wing it. With that setup, one can hardly expect a system of regularity. But even so, I would have thought that we would play at the venues that we booked. But God had other plans. We played Ground Effects two nights in a row, for two different sets of small nomadic crowds. And the whole thing was a lesson in art and spirituality - at least for me. My heart finally felt itself nestled for once in that place where art is for the gifted reflection of the Wild and Boundless Love of God. An indestructible Life. It was not merely to feed all the conventions of being a gigging musician. It was a chance to say to the Master, "You left me with one talent, and see, I have gained one more." For the burial of neglect is as much an interrement as misuse. So, not to say I am so much the wiser, but God blessed the whole of the weekend in a surprising way - which, if I may say so, seems to be the only regular thing about God - to the ironic and often side-splitting confusion of us poor traditionalists.
So now I sit here waiting for the sun to rise and the alarm clock to wake up so I can cook breakfast. I have a jar of M&Ms for company, and they're beginning to wear out their welcome. For now, I certainly don't think that this musical pursuit of beauty will be a career, but I hold onto a hope that it will always be a profession - to the glory of God for redeeming his servant.
I have a glorious week off to spend doing any and all things non-Starbucks related.
For the evening, good night.