As it turns out, there just might be something to maturity,
and what death does to a man,
and love as an action unto the least of these.
As I was leaving Albuquerque to begin my last tour the morning after I said goodbye, I had the thought that driving away from my friends felt like a small death. It felt like small deaths the further east I moved. It feels like a small death when I think of going back home without them there, now. It feels like a small death when I think of my wife being home without the friends that used to be there for her when I was gone.
My heart has been heavy since I’ve been home. My tour ended the day that Alton Sterling lost his life. I had a show that night, and then a sixteen hour drive home from southeast Missouri to Albuquerque which we started right after the show ended. I drove all night long wishing I had something that could describe the kind of desperate heartache / sickness I felt – something to contribute along with the rest who felt the same way.
As I sit here and try to figure out what to say, all I can think of is the word "mercy." That you were a man who understood the need for mercy. That you would long for me to be a man full of mercy. Even in your darkest moments you were able to perceive that mercy was the thing that we lacked. It's almost laughable, how poignant that statement was, like the eye of your storm spent on a glimpse of our future.
When you work for yourself, there is no clock-in-clock-out unless you are incredibly disciplined at creating your own parameters, and most people aren't that disciplined. This is probably extra-true of artistic types who don't like any structure whatsoever. I sort of like the idea of both, so I switch back and forth between them and talk to everyone about how one is better than the other depending upon whether I'm in a season of waking up early and hitting the gym and regimenting my days, or if I'm awake until 3 a.m. because - you know - creativity only flourishes in the night or whatever.
We have begun taking inquiries for the third installment of the Dont Sink Tour which we're hoping to start just over a month from now. Over this past week of being home, I've been in cahoots with many of you who submitted yourselves as potential tour hosts for the upcoming evenings, but the offer still stands: we'd love to hear from you if you think this night of community, coffee, conversation and performance would be a good fit for your town.
Crowdsourcing these dates - an experiment that began with Chapter 02 in the Central US region this March - turned out to be a success, and we're booking Chapter 03 in the same vein.
What that means is: we're now accepting host inquiries from people in and/or around the cities listed for June and July this summer.
I am pleased to announce that I will be taking the Correspondence (a fiction) story back out on the road for the third in a series of DONT SINK tours that will be taking place around the country this year. Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrapped up Chapter 2, and was incredibly happy with the way the tour went. We were able to create a unique experience for people that was above-and-beyond a "normal show."
The wake of death is a mountain. Our ankles roll in crags that are love and loss and confusion and anger and time and memory. Cancer should have not stripped the strength away from our friends. The cold should not have come to take away our fathers. Razors should not have bled the life from our lovers. Age should not have claimed the youth in our grandparents' eyes. Death was not always a part of life. It did not always come to reap a harvest. Nor will it forever reign. Hope is not buried in a grave. Whether you have loved and lost, or feel like you are losing, death is not the bookend. Death only spilt blood that spoke a better word.
I pictured you both as children.
As dreamers. As dreaming as though till death do we part
were no more than words on a page.
As omniscient as youth is on a wedding day,
when love hopes all things, and believes all things,
and promises to do the same
when love must bear all things, and endure all things,
when all things change.
Dear king, I wonder how your wife is? The priests are praying for you and the prophets are convinced that the efficacy of your fathership - your model of adopting the fold of the fatherless - rebounded to compound upon the sense of insignificance that left your kids broken chains in the legacy that became your gospel.
To a certain degree, I've always crowdsourced tours. That's sort of what independent, touring artists or musicians have to do without booking agencies and managerial backing. Sure, over the years, I've built relationships with a few go-to people around the country who have always been down to help, but since the majority of them are regular ol' people - great people, but not vocational promoters - they're often not in the same place, or available with the same resources, once you come through next time around.
As is usually the case, I’ve come to this list in a state of frantic confusion. Frantic, because I’m trying to remember what in the world I listened to this year, and confused, because I don’t know why I never keep track of what I know I’ll want to write about come December, and I’ll spend the whole 12th month knowing I’ve got a list to write, but knowing I have no idea if I even listened to ten new albums that came out on that calendar.
Congratulations, Zac Bailey, on an amazing pen-drawn-and-hoodie printed design! It is unique and beautiful, and captures the magic of the Correspondence story through a different medium of art than we've taken to over the last couple of years. Thank you, Zac, for submitting your visual rendition of the narrative for the contest!
I hope that a more respectful and logical conversation is possible than the one that sounds more like clamoring to be right about an issue than what to do with our rightness as ambassadors of Christ in this world, and I don't think that that conversation automatically equals compromise, or the sacrifice of biblical faithfulness.
I've got scene kids in my mind who already have a hard enough time feeling welcomed in and by the church for wanting to pit at shows. How're they supposed to wrestle through questions like these when they've already been cast out for listening to the Devil's music? And I wonder why love and / or acceptance is predicated upon agreement. Or did we as Christians forget that we agreed on nothing with God before we were loved by him?
My copy of Preston's book is stained with tears and holds more of a Wreck This Journal vibe than a new release, for all its underlinings and margin scribbles. That's not me being poetic. I want to love people well, and I know that there have been / are times when I haven't / don't. That's where I think I have to start if this is going to be a conversation I have - with my sin.