Friday, April 23, 2010

Every one of us has all we need

I've been thinking of eighth grade lately. That was the fall when The Beatles released the immortal single with "Yellow Submarine" on one side and "Eleanor Rigby" on the other.

What an amazing record. A simple giddy romp, almost a children's song, backed by the gorgeously mournful portraits of the isolated Miss Rigby and Father MacKenzie. All the lonely people, where do they all come from? And the band begins to play.

I confess to being a weird kid, but those who knew me then are already aware of this. I would walk down the halls of the school singing "Yellow Submarine" at the top of my lungs. The song filled me with such innocent joy that I didn't care how eccentric that made me seem — or perhaps I was relishing the chance to be eccentric.

Strangely enough, not long ago, sitting in the audience taking notes as a small-town crowd debated whether to allow a fast-food restaurant to invade their unique tourist community, I was hit by that old familiar sense of innocent joy. No, I didn't break out in a chorus of "We all live in a yellow submarine," but I did feel a wonderful contentment of being back where I belong.

Odd to be so happy at something that at times has felt like drudgery over the years. But it was a warm understanding that chronicling the news of a small community has turned out to feel like part of my life's mission. We all have a purpose, and it's delightful to be doing it.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Offline and back

I've been offline for a few weeks while things change (for the better) in the day job. Three years ago I was invited to move from the small town to the big (well, medium-sized) city; last fall I let it be known that I was content with the job but miss the small town. Now I'm being moved back to a place that I pretty much loved for five years, and I'm tickled. Official announcements are still to come.

In the meantime a variety of projects remain in limbo, including my 20th homemade album, Ten Thousand Days, and its accompanying series of podcasts ... the long-promised book Refuse to Be Afraid ... and my little Christian music podcast Ikthuscast, which I find myself thinking may have run its course after 150 installments.

I have at least one book report to write up for you and a handful of other thoughts and observations, but for this morning I just wanted to check in and say hello. As for that yet-to-be-announced change I started this note with, I've become one of those folks who is getting paid to do work he loves, and that is always good news.