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  • Prufrock
    January 28, 2014

    Andrew Shepherd has been one of my dearest and best friends for a long time. He even named my car. Today, living in Brooklyn, he posted a video to go along with a song that we wrote together 9 years ago in Arkansas and in Dallas, and I think the video is beautiful. This recording of the song, I made in my apartment in the suburbs of Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Have a look:


    from Charlotte, NC
    January 17, 2012

    I sometimes find myself in strange places. Actually, that’s not quite right. It’s more like, sometimes I find it strange, the places I find myself in. The places themselves aren’t necessarily strange. What’s strange is the “it” which we fill in with an entire situation: a place and my finding myself there.

    Anyway, getting on with it, I find myself, tonight, having missed my connecting flight to Little Rock, in a hotel room in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the second time in my life — the second time in six months, and that seems to mean something — that I have found myself out here on the colonial proclamation line, resigned and patient. (But probably never patient enough.) Hotel rooms are strange things when one is alone. It seems to take a group effort to really occupy them. But alone there is hardly enough of me to fill it. So, I have simply accepted a stalemate of presences here — of my presence and the strange unfamiliar presence of the hotel room. I will not leave, and it refuses to become familiar.

    Hobbits. They are what come to mind. Certainly, I am in no caverns deep beneath the Misty Mountains. Nor am I creeping through the fortress behind Cirith Ungol. The walls here are beige, the curtains mauve, and everything else summons similarly unexciting adjectives of French origin. Yet I cannot help but feel as though I am wrapped up in some story that is larger, and that this was a turn that I had not intended to make, and how I wish I could go back and maybe not leave the Shire. And, you know, I think it’s perfectly alright to think that. So long as it’s brief and innocent, just to let the thought flash through so long as you know that of course there is no going back — and going back’s not even the thing. It’s never having left that’s the thing, and it’s not a thing at all, since it never happened and so doesn’t exist. And from here, there is only forward because that is where the story takes us, and it is better to be in the story than to not exist.

    But oh, John Daniel, what have you got yourself into?

    The Elder Zosima’s Young Brother
    November 13, 2011

    from The Brothers Karamazov

    “Birds of God, joyful birds, you, too, must forgive me, because I have also sinned before you….Yes, there was so much of God’s glory around me: birds, trees, meadows, sky, and I alone lived in shame, I alone dishonored everything, and did not notice the beauty and glory of it at all… I want to be guilty before them (only I cannot explain it to you) for I do not even know how to love them. Let me be sinful before everyone, but so that everyone will forgive me, and that is paradise.…Truly each of us is guilty before everyone and for everyone, only people do not know it, and if they knew it, the world would at once become paradise.”

    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Compline prayer, p.134
    October 28, 2011

    Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

    Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

    hope does not disappoint us
    October 8, 2011