I train my eyes to rest on these beautiful things during work days, reminiscent of the time I discovered an open E chord on my guitar and played it for a solid half hour in as many ways I could, with my ear resting on the body of the instrument to soak up the resonance. There’s a stability I’m finding here that is good and right, that reminds me of the growing stability of my hands mastering those first basic chord shapes and transitions.
I absolutely think that the history of frequent moves, adjusting, new people — all that affects my making today. It takes a lot of courage to be a maker of any kind. It requires many decisions, commitments, and lonely times in your head. The nomadic life built up my courage for new things and change, sort of immunized me to sameness, and made me invite the adventure of mystery and unknown.
Name is related to identity, and identity comes in part from story. When I learned more of our stories, I could see my family and myself in a new, larger context; I could enter into relationship — into community — with both the quick and the dead; I could inhabit a richer understanding of what community means. I could even “burst into poetry” and celebrate my heritage, my name.
Matt and I suddenly found ourselves writing songs we couldn’t play in church. Songs that would fit better in a bar or a club — venues we had started playing when we were too young to drink in them.
The songs we were writing weren’t necessarily risqué, but they were more about eros than agape — more focused on the divine in human love than the love of the Divine.
We were driving home to Nashville after visiting family in Chattanooga — a 2-hour drive that we do fairly often. The moon was out, the kids were asleep in the back, and all was silent except for the hum of traffic as I held my husband’s hand and laid my head against the window. I tried to count how many trips we’d made like this when suddenly, the sweetest thought dropped into my heart. This is what I’m going to remember when I die.