Thursday, September 09, 2010

Concerning the Fall

Dear Humans from Earth...
I take this opportunity to address the issue of a few appearances.
A couple of local goings-on. The Tokens Show, for instance, is a local happening, viewable and downloadable, conjured into existence and hosted by one Lee Camp, writer, teacher, activist, song & dance man. I'll be joining him onstage Tuesday of next week with many a talented friend. Details here. I'm also joining Richard Goode for a conversation at the Southern Festival of Books. I believe we'll be in the Old Supreme Court Room on October 8th at 1:00.
Sarah and I will both hit Waco, Texas for David Crowder's Fantastical Church Music Conference the weekend of October 1st.
And on November 17th, I'll be doing an evening talk/conversation at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. No Internet-ish publicity for this just yet, but I'll give you details if you ask for them.
Oh and Gloria Gaither did an incredibly gracious radio interview that was mostly about the Sacredness of Questioning Everything. I offer her my thanks. It can be unearthed once you scroll down a little right (# 21)
UPDATE! And lettuce now add unto the mix Tuesday October 5th. I'll be sharing words with Trevecca students. All are welcome. The details.
This it for now. But I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to drop into your laps a recent poem that draws heavily upon Carolyn Forché, an Ubuntu saying (via John Mbiti), and Robert Palmer. I think we'll call it Come On In.

We're going to have to find ourselves beautiful
It will involve libraries
Of Country Music
Not as a genre
But a possibility,
A matter of opening
Again and again
The Book of what happened
Of learning to to savor the sighs
The incomplete sentences
Of other people,
To view with imagination and deep affection
Our addiction
To love
Our only hope
(We might as well face it)
And with impossible-feeling
Drawn into the circle of song
Dragged into
The space of the talkaboutable,
The plainspeak,
The ancient candow
That knows (always knew)
There are no unrelated people.
I am because we are.


Gail Standish Ward said...

Lovely, lovely. The events and the poem, thanks.

way said...

That poem is really great.

It bears some resemblance to a string of thought that has been towering my conscience for the past few years. I summed it up in a few lines a couple years ago:

heather said...

oooh, Indiana...! *wheels begin turning*

Mike Todd said...

Beautiful. Thanks David.

john swatz said...

thank you david!

mjaneb said...

amen amen.

Clint said...

"There are no unrelated people." And on this 9/11 anniversary, especially as opposed to all the other ones, what an excellent reminder from that ancient candor. Thanks so much for sharing!

The Mom said...

So nice to see your touch is just as adept with few words as it is with many. Blessings dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I was at tonight's Tokens show and really resonated with most of your commentary. I look forward to giving your book a read through. The idea of offendedness especially struck a chord with me. From my vantage point, the more one defends a belief correlates with that individual's lack of belief in that being defended. In other words, we only attack/defend those things which we perceive as threats/vulnerable. I did disagree with one comment however - South Park tops Colbert and Stewart on my list of people who make me think... if you can get past the offensive language. Keep up the good work and may the days of the 'non-conversation, conversation' be numbered.

jdaviddark said...

Thanks for the kind words, everybody. And anonymous, I think you're onto something with the belief/defensiveness correlation. A moving and entertaining insight.
"Non-conversation, conversation." Thanks so much for noting this. I'm not sure I'd've remembered it. It now resides more firmly on my hard drive.
Glad to have you among us.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found my comment insightful - and wish I could take credit for it, but I heard it at one of those churches of 'What's Happening Now' my Mom warned me about on the left coast. When I heard it, it immediately felt both counter-intuitive and completely right. It was refreshing to find a venue in Tokens where all things theological weren't just business as usual. Being a native Tennesseean, I knew coming back would present certain challenges in raising our son to be a critical thinker. I was spoon fed my religious beliefs by my Southern Baptist parents ( just repeating the pattern, bless their souls) and then spent countless hours/dollars in counseling just to come to a place of ownership of what I truly believe. After all, it's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you do know that ain't so (fitting that that quote should come from a southerner). If you know of any discussion groups in the Nashville area where questioning everything is welcomed, please let me know. In today's volatile world, it's more important than ever to not necessarily challenge a cherished belief, but for people to be OK with the questioning process. I think that shows the greatest faith. In a way, the question itself seems secondary. Otherwise, revelation and inspiration become casualties as everyone digs in in defense of their opinion. My mantra 'A mind expanded by a new idea can never retain it's old shape' has served me well 'til now and am eager to find others in a similar pursuit.

Aaron Mitchum said...

Hi David,

It was great to hear you again (we met in a former life in the context of a CMC class invading your Nashville home in the early 2000's) at the Fantastical conference earlier this month. The generosity shown in your main stage appearance was greatly appreciated.

I left your time thinking about the goodness of creation and how the arts (including the form of story) act as language or sign posts for the ever existent beauty of God that is around us.

At one point, you received two very similar questions in a row, at which point my wife leaned over and said, "didn't he just answer that question!?" You had, but you seemed to understand that the concepts you were unpacking were foreign to most folks in the room (and not easy ones). Your response was respectful and seemed to give freedom for that person to take a step closer to what you were saying.

The take away phrase from your time that has been rattling around in my brain went something like this, "Christians should be the most sane, the most creative because we have access to reality".

Thanks for your participation!

jdaviddark said...

Thank you, Aaron. I'm encouraged by the compliment(s). I'll throw in a tiny qualifier to the phrase you gleaned. I wouldn't want to exclude those who don't share in the Christian confession from the fold of those who engage and seek reality sanely and robustly. I'd only emphasize that the Christian tradition, as I understand it, demands of its adherents the deepest engagement with the world we're in (the world we are) that we can manage; not, as many self-described Christians often imply or state directly, a dismissive, reductionistic, it's-all-going-to-burn-anyway disregard of the everyday.
But this is the English teacher quibbling. So glad you enjoyed my contribution and said so. Thanks again
All the Best,

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to read-- Thank you!

(from Anne in Olympia)