Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Recordings

My brother Braden left for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah a little over a month ago, and is due to leave for Poland next week. He requested that I record some piano for his mission. He also requested that his friend Marissa record some tracks of her singing. Neither of us wanted to record ourselves solo, so we decided to join up and compose some hymn variations together.

Some tracks have guitar, played by our friend Ed, and by my brother Jesse.
The songs are simple so they'll be mission appropriate.

The music was recorded at a friend's home studio. We're grateful that we were able to lay down tracks for free. The music hasn't been mixed much and doesn't sound professional, but you can still get the feeling.

I'm happy to finally have something of mine recorded, and thrilled that Braden will have something personal and sentimental from Marissa and I for his mission.

This link should be accessible to anyone who wants to hear and download the songs we recorded.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

If I Could Go Back

I had a dream that I was trying to convince a new missionary not to leave the field and go home. He was set on it, and he sounded very dejected and hopeless. I remember crying and pleading with him to just stay, because of how happy he would be in the long run. I had a feeling that there was someone he was supposed to change forever, and I told him that. I woke up with watery eyes.

I went through my mission journals yesterday. I've just experienced some powerful feelings that I haven't felt in some time. Here are a few of them.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

These Times

Safety Suit-These Times
This is the perfect expression of my life right now.
These times will try hard to define meAnd I'll try to hold my head up highBut I've seen despair here from the insideAnd it's got a one track mind
And I have this feeling in my gut nowAnd I don't know what it is I'll findDoes anybody ever feel like,You're always one step behind?
Now I'm sitting alone here in my bedI'm waiting for an answer I don't know that I'll getI cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hard
And I know there's someone out there somewhereWho has it much worse than I doBut I have a dream inside, a perfect lifeI'd give anything just to workIt's like I'm only trynna dig my way outOf all these thing I can't
And I amSitting alone here in my bedI'm waiting for an answer I don't know that I'll getI cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hardBut they will passThey will pass.
These times will try hard to define meBut I will hold my head up high
Sitting alone here in my bedI'm waitng for an answer I don't know that I'll getI cannot stand to look in the mirrorI'm failingI'm telling you these times are hardBut they will pass
And I know there's a reasonI just keep hoping it wont be long til I see itAnd maybe if we throw up our hands and believe it!I'm telling you these times are hardBut they will passThey will pass

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Edge of the Earth

I'm on vacation in Atlantic City, North Carolina. My family is renting two beach houses, next door to each other, right on the beach. With all the spouses and extended family, we have about 22 people. So far, it has been the best vacation I can ever remember having.
Last night, a big storm was rolling in. I sat in a rocking chair on the back porch, facing the ocean, letting the wind whip past me as I stared out into the dark landscape beyond the deck. The sea oats were flailing, and the entire scene was lit periodically by lightning from the distance. The storm clouds had not yet reached the shore, but the sky was rather unusually clear, letting the stars shine through.

I sat with my grandfather. He was discussing with me his life, and his advice for moving forward in the young adult stage. He is one of the wisest and quick-witted men that I have ever known. I sat listening to him speak while rocking in the swift, salty wind, anticipating the huge storm that was on its way.

I felt something that I have felt many times before, but never in the way I did last night.
Rising to my feet, I was asked where I was going. Not wanting to entirely betray the overwhelming calling I was feeling, I whimsically replied something about needing to have a meeting at the shore with Poseidon.

The path from the porch to the surf is only about seventy yards. I walked quickly and nervously into the wind and toward the roaring ocean.

Arriving at the edge, right where the waves reach their limit, I stopped, and looked up. I looked left. I looked right.

It is almost impossible to describe how it feels to stand on the edge of the world.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


You know those big boiling pots of molten stuff that sit atop the castle gates? When their ropes are cut, they tip sideways, spilling out over their enemies below.
I have one of those inside me. It gets hauled in, uninvited, and placed at the top of my brain. It's not filled with anything hot, however. It feels rather more like glue. And what lies below is reason, love, spirit, joy, emotion, kindness, decency, and essentially, me.
I can tell when the big pot is put in position. And once I can feel it there, I can rarely get it to leave. It's just a matter of time until it spills over.
It seeps down and fills my head first, then my arms and legs, until I become slow and powerless.
It can take some time to get the glue all out. 

I'm told that by involving others, it can become easier to keep the glue out. But what a mess! Who am I to ask others to get dirty helping me? And besides, it seems that no one I know has much experience with de-gluing.
When I feel glue-free, I try to be aware and to help others who feel stuck, in whatever way they may be. I want to. I enjoy helping other people.
But when I feel bogged down, that's when the room clears, and other wait awkwardly away from me until I become me again.

It's not going to be this way forever. I don't know how else to ask. Yes, through a blog post is immature and not likely to be effective, but-
I'm filled with glue right now so I just don't care that much.