Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a few more hours

a few more hours - one of the reasons i write poetry, short stories, and the odd song. upper-case songwriting in a lower-case teenage-angst-kind-of-way. once fronted by one andrew foote, and accompanied by a few friends (one brandon dodds here), afmh was borne of brantford, ontario, creativity, a shared north park collegiate experience, and penchant for big-world observations on small-town happenings. afmh's one and only release is hard to find, but a gem to those who have a copy, and the epitome of high school lo-fi. davey von stone's first public perfomance, a duet cover of travis' "the humpty dumpty love song" at the age of eighteen, would have never come to fruition had it not been for the spearheading of foote. that was over seven years ago, and to this day i still think afmh's "on about" is one of the best songs i have ever heard.

who says you need to make a buck on creative output? output for output's sake is what an eighteen year old afmh might have said.

"i wanna buy you an electric guitar / we could both be rockstars"

oh how i love finding old music that brings me right back to the creatively fertile days of high school.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Album Wish List

If I had more spare change lying around, I would purchase the following albums:

1. Jonsi & Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
2. Dead Man's Bones - self titled
3. Doves - Some Cities
4. Doves - Kingdom of Rust
5. Doves - Lost Souls
6. Ohbijou - Beacons
7. The Swell Season - Strict Joy

If anyone feels the desire to purchase these for me, that person will not be denied.

Also, I would purchase a new record player, because my record collection has unfortunately gone silent for years now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Anxieties Involving Our Culture

I have been blessed recently in being able to read some incredible books that have had a profound impact on me - much of which I have spoken of previously on this blog. I broke out the Dietrich Bonhoeffer this past week, and today while reading "Life Together" I had another one of those profound moments. Interestingly enough, it had very little to do with the themes and messages Bonhoeffer was trying to get across, but more with his character being revealed. This guy really loves praying the psalms and reading scripture. There is this simple love and joy conveyed in each word he speaks about it, and I won't lie - I am envious of that simplicity.

And what, might you ask, does that have to do with my anxieties? Well, he talks about praying the psalms and reading scripture in morning (not my favourite time of day), emphasizing that, "For Christi
ans the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day's work. At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it." The new dawn bore significance because God had stayed the darkness (Remember, the darkness was frightening before we had streetlights), fulfilling his promise. Ah, what rich metaphor!

I'm not sure about you, but my morning usually consists of stumbling out of bed, grumpy because I'm having to get out of bed, and hoping my house mate Susan is gone to work so I can go downstairs in my boxers to check my email and watch SportsCentre on TSN. Before I have time to catch my breath for the day, I'm rushing a shower, grabbing a granola bar, answering emails from staff and students, and running late. This is progress.

Earlier today, I was reading an article in one of the school newspapers at U of T that was discussing the future of education in the next 30 years. There was talk of Sony's application for a patent involving sending information straight to one's brain, effectively eliminating the need to listen to a lecture. This is progress.

So here's the truth. When I look at how obsessed our culture, our humanity, seems to be with progess I feel a little sick, a little anxious, and my heart gets a little rattled (literally). It makes me want to be a Luddite, though I don't hate technology. It's not that technology is bad, but the places it takes us haunt me. And yes, I realize I am a bit of a hypocrite blogging about this on my MacBook.

I really want to have a simplistic relationship with this world, so that I can gather in and appreciate the grand gestures of a creator that sustains it (and us). It's difficult in an era of instant-messaging-satellite-television-web-surfing to keep it simple, or get back to the slower paced things in life. This is why I absolutely love using my typewriter and writing letters to people. There is this element of long-suffering and patient longing as you wait for the post office to send your letter to its recipient, and for a reply-letter to be sent. The same goes for the warm embrace between friends who have shared words in ink, and have waited for the moment when they can have fellowship together in person. There is joy unspeakable in that wait, that anticipation, that our age does not know. When I write a letter, whether by pen or typewritten, it is an expression of my love and care for the person I'm sending it to. I want them to know that they are worth every long moment invested into the creation of that letter; it has not been an email sent quickly with little thought, but the exact opposite. I guess, essentially, I'm wanting to imitate a creator that desires relationship with a humanity that often can't see him past the glow of the neon gods they're [we're] worshipping: Our progress.

I am really anxious about our culture not because technology is evil, but because it feels like we lose God, and each other, the more we let it run our lives, and buy into its false promises of progress. Sounds more like regression to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Did you know that October is my favourite month? For real. I'm not sure what it is, but I've always found October to be a great month. Even during times when October has been terrible, I've chosen to believe it to be a great month - the greatest month - year after year after year. I think my love for October started when I was a teenager, listening to the U2 Best of 1980-1990 album, and hearing the 'secret song' come on. That was when I first fell in love with October. So, even if it's a tough month, I always choose to love October. We're twelve days in, and I'm choosing to love October.

and the trees are stripped bare
of all they wear.
Why do I care?

and kingdoms rise,
and kingdoms fall,
but you go on,
and on.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grace + Dinner

If you've been following this blog for the last while, you might be one of those folks who have followed the "Letter of Grace" serial of sorts. If you're one of those people you might have wondered what ever happened to it. Well here's the scoop.

The piece was half finished when I first started posting, and I was finishing it as I went along. I have a few more pages beyond my last posting, but the last two pages or so still need to be completed. I had my mind set on finishing them near the end of September/beginning of October; however, sometimes things enter into a writer's life that swallow his or her ability to continue a story, as if that ability was a morsel that gives a story sustenance. I have encountered a devourer. As such, my plate has been wiped clean before I was able to finish the meal.

I have not gotten up from the table, but know that it may be a few weeks before a fresh meal arrives on my plate, and my ability to sit down and write the final pages returns. So I'll be patient. I know how the story ends. At some point you will know how the story ends. The image of grace hasn't changed - the image yet to be revealed in its fullness - but these fingers are unable to type on an empty stomach... for the time being. Thanks for your patience.

This is what happens when you talk about writing after Thanksgiving dinner.

Side note: I started reading John Donne again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oct 1,2,3,4,5,6

I have not slept well in days.