Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pates Family Singers: October 29!

Back in June we loaded up the hospitality van (light blue '97 Honda Odyssey) with our music gear and drove only a few blocks to Waynoka Cove, where our friends are sharing life, growing vegetables, and now, hosting music festivals.

It was, without a doubt, the most fun I've had sharing music. It was undoubtedly the coolest night of the summer (a mere 89 degrees, I'm sure), with homemade baked goods and tiki torches and people of all shapes, size and color. I was reminded that though the Kingdom is not yet fully come, it is still also already here and still being built.

And now, on October 29, The Pates Family Singers will play with some other great Memphis musicians at the Fall Music Festival at Waynoka Cove. {Click here for details} We're super-pumped to celebrate community and music and goodness with these good folks!

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

{music & lyrics} for Nana

Today's been a day for writing and remembering. Here's some of the outflow of that. This is a raw, just written, still-needs-work recording, as are all of my {music & lyric} posts!

The lyrics are below the video...

(I'm sorry I don't have better recording capabilities. The timing of the vocals and video is off.)

You were a breath of fresh air
in a world where no one tells the truth
and we watched you take the high road
time and time again

You were the faithful one
in a world where faithlessness rules
and we watched you take the hard road
time and time again

I see the picture of you
there in that wedding dress
and it's my face I see all wrapped up in yours
So I'll gladly carry all the good you've given me
as you've moved along
as you've moved along

You were a patient teacher
showing us what we didn't know we needed
Now we'll walk in the ways
that you've been walking all along

We'd walk in and you're at the kitchen table
waiting to help us work it out
and you listened, how you listened,
to our youthful carrying on

And we listen as you tell us
a story we'd heard time and time before
But how could we have known
oh, soon we would know,
you were giving us so much more

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

taking care

"I don't make coffee," Pop, my 78-year old grandpa, declared today. "Your dad's been making the coffee." So, two-heaping scoops later, the coffee's brewing, and we're standing around the kitchen on round 3 of the same story, something about how Joan (my grandmother, Nana) used to buy plate lunches for some of her friends at the Senior Center.

Meanwhile, while she's laying in a hospital bed, unaware and unable to feel, while I think of the words to tell him that she's not doing so well, because taking care of him also involves telling him the truth in a way that he is able to receive it.

On Monday eve, with work-tired minds and Starbucks in hand, we rolled down the Interstate, leaving Memphis behind. I think now that the most difficult thing was not the knowing that she would be connected to tubes and machines, or even that I might not make it home to see her alive. Maybe the most difficult thing was that I may have missed the last of who I know her to be, the Nana who slipped me $20 on my last visit, who receives my letters in joy, who showed us meaning in the washing of dishes and the hanging of clothes on the line.

And though the end of breath and heartbeat has not yet come, what life is left has changed - for all of us. Already we're taking care of one another in ways we did not need to only a week ago.

A drive to the hospital, so mom can allow tears and thoughts to come.

Reminding each other of the Grace given us through her, all of these years.

Holding Nana's hand, though she cannot feel it.

And of course, brewing the coffee.

My season here to help take care of this family I love will be short - shorter than I wish it could be. But when I leave them, and when I leave anyone in the future, I'll say these words, "Take care!" and I'll remember what this means. That we not only take care of ourselves, which is what I usually think of when I send someone off with this, but that we take care of the ones whose life and breath are tangled up in ours.

And in taking care of each other, we, too, take care of ourselves.

Today, take care.