Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah, Melissa, take me back....
So, I had a bit of a thing for Melissa Etheridge. It didn't last forever, but I loved her hard.
I know you girls who knew me in college know what I am talking about....
Yes, I am talking about Melissa, and specifically, That CD. Yes, that one....
Melissa Etheridge, Self-Titled.
Her debut album.
The same one I listened to not just once every night, but three times....three times a night for over three hundred nights....
I had it bad.
My roommates would not come in my room when that CD was on. Mostly because they learned fairly quickly that album made my clothes fall off....especially that ONE song...
Like The Way I would so be my stripper song, if I ever was one...
In fact, I've recommended it to several strippers, but curiously they never take me up on it...
One night, as sort of a great inside joke, Jennifer and I watched a strip tease given to this our men at the time, dressed in drag....that was extremely hilarious....
At any rate, I had put aside Melissa. I kind of gave up on Melissa when seeing her live the second time, and the last time. It was a night with strange emotional context, which probably didn't help things, but Melissa did nothing to me.
Nothing, especially in comparison with what she did to me the first time.
Yes, it was the only time "that" ever happened just listening to music, and it happened during that song. Seeing her perform it live was just that thrilling to me....
So, I am reading this book right now, an autobiography of Melissa, and it talks about that song, and I realized it effected others the same way.
Here's what it says, in "Melissa Etheridge: Our Little Secret", by Joyce Luck, about that song:
"When Etheridge does "Like the Way I do" in concert (often drawing it out to last ten minutes or more), the effect on the crowd is dynamic: the responsive energy she creates down on the floor snaps and crackles. There's always a point when she and the audience reach a plateau, and the performance becomes almost an out-of-body experience for her. She has described the effect many times to interviewers. She has to take a deep breath to ground herself again."
Ha! I find this hilarious.
That year in college, I wore this album out, but the funny thing was that it was actually Jennifer's CD. When we moved out of the house we shared together, (the old "Pink House"), I tried to give her the disc back. She gave me the funniest look. She was thoroughly disgusted. She knew what I had been up to in my room with that particular disc.
"Uhm, keep that one..."
So, I had to buy her a new copy....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


She asked me to shuffle the deck. I know how this works, how my energy is transferred in this manner to the cards. I also remember that sometimes it just feels right - sometimes a card just jumps out at you. In this case, I kept coming back to one card, and put that pile at the top of the deck. She turns the card over.
"Wheel of Fortune, reversed..."
Twenty minutes later, I had heard her sum up the upcoming changes in my life. The message was positive, but it also revealed some information about two major players in my life that surprised me greatly. Both were confirmations, one a confirmation of fears, and the other of a hope for the future.
The next day, I played the recording the lady had made for a friend of mine. We talked about the message, and I thought about it a lot that day. I was trying to decide what to do with the information presented. I felt torn between revealing it to the other two people involved, or waiting to see what unfolded.
Finally, I told one of them. Curiously, he contradicted what the cards told about him. I thought the cards accurately represented something I already suspected, and it's possible that this person was telling an untruth.
However, if they were being honest, and it really was untrue what the cards revealed about them, then were the cards wrong about the other person? I am not sure I am completely a believer about any of it, but I wonder. If it is possible that what came out in the cards was really my fear about this person, would what it revealed about the other person just be what I hoped would happen?
Only time will tell.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

San Bernadino Area, California, August 09
(Yes, I am still talking about my road trip vacation, so I am a slacker, almost done! )

Have you ever had a moment where all your senses just seem to gel, where a song came on the radio that coincidentally summed up what you were experiencing at that moment from your other senses? That is what this was like for us. We couldn't even talk, held into the moment, the sensation of watching these sublime peices of machinery crank out to the tune of the song that happened to come on the radio, "Shine on Crazy Diamond". It was a Pink Floyd moment like something from a video movie of theirs. I can't recreate this for you, except to say that here are the images we were processing, only their motion was perfectly matching the movement of the song, the lyrics of which I am throwing in here, to give you a sense of what we were experiencing....

Remember when you were young, You shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond.

Now there's a look in your eyes, Like black holes in the sky. Shine on you crazy diamond.

You were caught on the crossfireOf childhood and stardom, Blown on the steel breeze. Come on you target for faraway laughter, Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, You cried for the moon. Shine on you crazy diamond. Threatened by shadows at night, And exposed in the light. Shine on you crazy diamond. Well you wore out your welcome With random precision, Rode on the steel breeze. Come on you raver, you seer of visions, Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine

Friday, January 01, 2010

"The Shack", by Wm. Paul Young
I recently read a book that changed my perceptions, or illuminated some previously held ones, and wanted to share my thoughts on this book with those around me, including those who occasionally peek on here to see what I am up to.
I just finished this book today and am still digesting it, so I am sure I will have more to say about it in the future. After I finished it, I went back through it and marked certain passages that really seemed to speak to me. In fact, the whole book seemed to be speaking to me, which is something I haven't felt in a long time. I wanted to write about it now while I still had the copy in my hands, and before I send it to someone who I would really like to share it with.
I have become aware that there is a lot of controversy about this book in Christian circles, which shouldn't really surprise anyone (isn't there always, particularly in terms of Christian fiction?). It doesn't surprise me, in a way, in terms of what I read in the book. There are some unusual ways of confronting ideas in the novel, a prime but obvious example that God is personified by a large African American woman with a sassy attitude and penchant for cooking and funk music. There are also some unusual ideas for approaching some questions of faith. The most notable examples that are highlighted in the controversy are the explanation of the trinity, and salvation and its relationship with sin.
This book was recommended to me by my friend Rachael, who had listen to me struggle with some common questions of faith. The same questions I raised, and many of us Christians raise, are dealt with in this book, and answers are offered, although not always the ones you would expect, questions such as:
How does a merciful God allow evil to exist in this world?
Why do bad things sometimes happen to good people?
What is expected of us in our relationship with God, and what can God offer us, and why?
What does God's love mean for us in terms of a relationship with Him, and with others?
How does the Trinity work, really?
How do we reconcile with those who have pained us in our life? How do we reconcile with God for the pain that exists in life, even when we love and trust in Him?
What does sin mean in this world, and does God use it to make decisions about our lives, both here on earth and after?
This is a book about forgiveness, and about how to love. This book may challenge some ideas you have about God, or confirm them. For me, it opened up my heart to accept some ideas I had been fighting in my personal life and relationships, although not in a way I would have expected, nor that all I know agree with. I feel like it helped me grow in my relationship with God and with others close to me in my life, as well as those I don't know as well but who are involved in the community around me that God intended for us to be involved in. I feel it calling me to walk down the dock of faith and trust, even in the absence of certainty, and love in the way God calls us to love, and not just in the way that our society teaches us to love. It's letting go of these preconceived notions, and freeing ourselves to really trust completely, that let Peter walk on water, with Jesus by his side, and right now, that is what I am intending to do.
Faith. Trust. Love.