Sunday, April 29, 2012

lyrics: vows and grief, Mississippi-inspired

This weekend has been full-on emotion: overwhelming joy walking alongside understated grief. Heaven and hell.

But with this weekend and all it gave me - celebration of marriage, old friends, beginnings of good, new friendships, holding hands with a man who cannot speak to me anymore - has come a flood of words, expression.

I am thankful for the songs that will come, giving someone a melody, a song they may not have been able to ever sing themselves.

 Here are the pieces.


I remember climbing those stairs
But I don't remember seeing you there.
Your dad so elusive; your mother so shy,
It's enough to make the brothers cry
enough to make the brothers cry


Skies of piercing blue cover us
Watch you coming towards your awestruck groom
And I wonder can I hold such joy in my heart?
I can't contain, cannot contain.

She was so damn beautiful
in that 50s black and white
but now she's gone, and he cannot hold on.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

work: the way the world runs

"How was your day?"

"Work was super stressful. My to-do list keeps growing;
there's never an end in sight."

All too often, conversations begin something like this. "Work" or the physical surroundings of the place we call work, consume our thoughts and our conversations. And why not? It makes sense that a building we drive to or a role we play for 8 hours a day would consume our thoughts.

The world runs on work.

Insurance agents quote a policy. Investors count the cost. Grocers stock the shelves. Farmers grow the food. And without these tasks, this work, many things we take for granted wouldn't get done, or at least, not without us doing each task ourselves.

This makes work sound pretty important. Why, then, is it so often the thorn in our flesh, the source of greatest headache, the stealer of sleep?

Because once, all at once, work became toil. God, speaking to man in a garden where perfect relationship with the Maker was just broken: "...getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you'll be working in pain all your life long.'ll get your food the hard way... sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk." (excerpts from Genesis 3: 17-19, The Message)

Toil can be described as "hard and continuous work" or "exhausting labor or effort". Even, "battle, strife, struggle". (from

Now, this sounds more like what many of us describe as how we feel about work.

How, then, can we encourage work? How can we who live in urban centers with so much poverty and laziness, look at the men on front porches day in and day out with a Colt 45 in their hands and say, "Go to work, you sluggard!" (does anyone really say sluggard?) while we so often feel that our own work is battle and strife and struggle?

What do we say to this?

(More to come in the next post...)

Friday, April 20, 2012

poetry: hard to be with you

Home always beckons like a voice I can't ignore
and memory always fails me of all the times before.
How hard it is to be here
underneath the weight of the load you give.

Constant words shoot like arrows through the air
pass out complaints, free of charge
How hard it is to be here
underneath the weight of your unhappiness.

We cannot pay attention to the stories of our history;
our ears have long forgotten how.
She tells with great remembrance
while we nod and glance -
the disinterest stares right through.

I've longed to draw so close to you
but your desperation, it suffocates.
You call out to know me
but you mostly do not want what's really true.

So, I won't give myself to you.

Sitting in this home, a Monday mid-afternoon.
You're airing all the things that haven't gone your way.
And though it's true I love you -
forever, I will love you -
I'll never be able to meet you,
save you,
please you,
when all that's wrong is all you see.

How hard it is to carry the weight you've laid upon us.
How hard it is.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life Together: the layout

Many have visited the Malcomb House; still many more have not [yet]. We've had different names and faces stay for different lengths of time - days, weeks, months, more than a year. Now, we are a house of 5 (you read that right; and 3 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom... and 5 people).

We're always navigating space - where to store things, the discipline of putting things away, and how to just find a way to read and breathe and think without tripping over each other. And yet we're still thankful for the space to be together - to pray, to eat, to notice. Easy? No. Good? Yes. It takes energy and even more grace, yet still we're growing in our life together.

Here's where we live...

{living area: the favorite blue chair. and lots of books.}

{living area: on Thursdays, at 7:30am-ish, we pray together.
And sometimes Common Prayer leads us.}

{living area: the coffee mug tree. and record player, which plays a
little Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Civil Wars.}

{kitchen: dishes, ah dishes. we have as many (or more) conversations about dishes
as we do about art and music and theology.}

"Everybody wants to live in community, but nobody wants to do the dishes." We're all guilty.

{kitchen: the refrigerator/community board. every home knows how this works!}

{the reading nook}

{@ the reading nook: your reading options.}

{the hooks: they're for hanging hats on your way in and
grabbing reusable shopping bags on your way out.}

{the garden: we've got kale and lettuce for the eating; beans sprouting;
melon and cucumber seeds freshly in; and peppers, tomatoes,
and other goodies just waiting to get in that soil!}

Sunday, April 1, 2012

new lyrics: the wounds of what was

It's 3:40pm on Sunday afternoon, and upon eyeing a picture on my nightstand, the inspiration's come.

What do you think? Do you connect with these words? Are they telling any sort of story to you, even pieces of a story you'd want to hear more about?

Leave your comments; I'd love your help in writing...

miles of green
at least, miles it seems
more between you, between me

still, I have come
to see you grow up
and move on like we both know you should

one day, we'll call them memories
but today they're the wounds of what was
you'll go and cry in your pillow
baby, what else could I have done?

at the edge of your bed
but you've long fled
to the mountains you're so sure will give you life

in 2 months time
this little note you'll find
to remind you what I never did forget

one day, we'll call them memories
but today they're the wounds of what was
you'll go and cry in your pillow
baby, what else could I have done?