Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday has come to be a marker-point each year for me. It begins a season I look forward to (and fear)... Lent.

I did not grow up Catholic, so Lent is a bit of a new thing for me... something that I've only really discovered in my adult life. But it has been a formative thing these last couple a few years.

Lent is an opportunity each year to work out of my system some form of unhealth, whether it be spiritual unhealth, physical unhealth, both, all, whatever. It's a chance to release something for 40 days to focus on something else. And at the end of the 40 days, it's a chance to re-negotiate one's relationship with that thing.

Holly is going to attempt a more additive approach this year. I might stick to my nominal subtractive formula.

Will has some comments on Lenten Practices. He says This year in community we will also be practicing a proactive discipline. So, instead of simply denying ourselves something, we will be seeking to actively do something that strengthens our ties to our community, whatever that community might be.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Track 8: My Pilgrimage



I feel as though I have shared an abbreviated version of this story a thousand times now. That almost 5 months ago, we moved out of our Oceanside apartment, packed our stuff into storage, and left.

What a trip it has been. What a trip indeed. A pilgrimage. A chance to go out and learn from others. Share stories and hear even more. To be inspired and hopefully somehow inspire along the way.

Autumn air has been our cure in so many ways...


Well today is a brand new day, I'll start again
Open-eyed, I can see the sky open up for me
Here we are, you and me, we can see we're going somewhere
But where we go, I dunno, feel it out when we get there

Well yesterday, you could say, is just a blip on my screen
Follow me close, heel to toes, you'll see what I mean
Or maybe you won't or you shan't or you can't hear what I say
Either way, yeah or nay, gotta go, gotta leave this place

And the mysteries they follow me into the backroads
And the sunset comes to tuck me in; wake to the sparrows
The road becomes my home again if I need one
The earth becomes my bed; my light, the sun
Oh and I will follow...

Too many dreams, crazy schemes, for us just to sit here
Not that we know what's ahead, but we're dead in the water now
Home's not what we thought, what we bought, did we buy, I'm not so sure
But seasons change, rearrange, and autumn air has been our cure

And the mysteries they follow me into the backroads
And the sunset comes to tuck me in; wake to the sparrows
The road becomes my home again if I need one
The earth becomes my bed; my light, the sun
Oh and I will follow...

Please don't forget us while we're gone...

And the mysteries they're taking me down the backroads
And the sun is up to lead the way... east, I suppose
The trees becomes my travellin' friends cause I'll need one
The earth is now my bed; my light, the sun
Oh and I will follow...


Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Great River

Turns out I have been using parts of this quote for months, but I have to thank Smallman for showing me where it was from. And what a beautiful speech this is. And how timely for some of us.

We have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.

And there are things to be considered. Where are you living? What are
you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in the right relation?
Where is your water? Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth: Create your community. Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader: This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that
there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the
shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and they will suffer

Know the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore, and push off into the
river, keep our eyes open, and our head above the water.

See who is in there and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to
take nothing personally. Least of all ourselves. For the moment that
we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word
struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that you do now
must be done in a sacred manner... and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for...

"The Great River" - The Elders, Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Thanks to Mike for one of the funniest things I have seen online in some time. A new book called A Field Guide to Evangelicals and Their Habitat.

As Mike said, it's worth your time to check out the previewable chapter.

Here's a screenshot of the MASTER LIST OF WHO GOES TO HELL...

We're Playing In The Bay, Yo

So Darin wanted to know where we were playing in the Bay... since I only posted dates/cities on our itinerary. So, for those of you interested in seeing The Cobalt Season (me and Holly), go here for a complete list of dates and maps. Below for you slackers who just want the quick info...

Thursday 8pm Red Rock Coffee - Mountain View, CA

Friday 7pm Mama Buzz Café - Oakland, CA

Saturday 8.30pm The Well (House Show) - San Francisco, CA

Monday 8pm Brainwash Café - San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Revised Itinerary

Some of you have been asking where we're going to be and when... For you, here it is, our 'official intinerary'. Cheers!

Please, please, please... if it looks like we will be in your area, let's connect!

Feb 23 - Los Altos, CA
Feb 24 - Oakland, CA
Feb 25 - San Francisco, CA
Feb 26 - Oakland, CA
Feb 27 - San Francisco, CA
Feb 28 - Oakland, CA
March 1 - Northern CA Coast
March 2 - McKinleyville, CA
March 3 - Redding, CA
March 4 - Chico, CA
March 5 - Davis, CA
March 6-9 - Sacramento/Tahoe, CA
March 10 - Modesto, CA
March 11 - Sacramento, CA

March 12-22 - Houston, TX

March 23-24 - Driving to OR
March 25-27 - Portland, OR
March 28-29 - Astoria, OR

March 30 - Driving to WA
March 31-April 4 - Seattle, WA
April 5-7 - Olympia/Tacoma, WA
April 8-10 - Seattle, WA
April 11-14 - Olympic Peninsula, WA

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Traveling and more traveling...

It's been a good while since I last posted (by my standards) and I know some of my posts have been fewer and far between. Some of it has been intentional... that is, I wonder sometimes about the value of dis-embodied ideas on a screen... I mean, is information really that transformational outside of real relationships? ...and some of it has been simply because we have been traveling so much. And that does not look to let up soon.

I will continue to post songs on each Monday (taking a break on behalf on Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Washington, God rest their souls), starting next week.

I will also attempt to post an itinerary for those of you who would find it useful... so you can track/stalk us if you wish.

Hope you are well. What a wonderful opportunity we have had and continue to have... traveling to see and interact with other's lives. This has been a remarkable season of life for us. Wow.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Adbusters Activist

I stumbled upon this article online. I love this magazine.

Unfortunately, I dropped the activist ball as I settled back into my daily routine. There was work, soccer games and homework. So I left it up to “them” to handle in a sensible way, but while I was clocked out, the bosses took liberties. They constructed an invisible terror.

I can’t put my finger on what “it” is because “it” is in an imperceptible fog. Sometimes I stop dead in my tracks and spin around to see what’s watching me. Usually, it’s just a camera or uniform that’s there for my safety. This should be fine, since I asked and paid for this security in a roundabout way. But it doesn’t feel right.

In a bizarre example of this trigger-finger patriotism, an American citizen was arrested in a suburban mall for wearing a t-shirt that said “Peace on Earth” and “Give Peace a Chance.” Most of us laughed at this caricature of overanxious mall cops, but deep down, we felt a twinge of terminal illness, a shortness of breath.

What was once considered a basic freedom of speech can now be deemed anti-US. Protesting against government machinery could be considered sympathizing with terrorists. Worse, the laws are open-ended – purposely ambiguous, they cover any conceivable scenario.

Our incessant need for home comforts and paternal protection has birthed a police state of sorts. We’ve become a republic of jumpy guardians, anxious to perform our patriotic duty at all costs. I thought I was just being paranoid, but then I looked at the Patriot Act, which essentially says that anyone could be arrested for being a member of any group that at anytime might be considered anti-US.

Read the whole article. Or read about ways that America is keeping its citizens safe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Track 7: Pull Me Through



I want to save the world. I want to rescue everyone (including myself) from self-destructive patterns, to help them to see a better way. I want to be everything to everyone.

But I've realized that I can only do so much... and that's hard to come to grips with.

Parker Palmer, in his book Let Your Life Speak, writes about becoming aware of (and familiar with) our shadows, our weaknesses, our liabilities. He says that when you build a bridge, you consider the strengths and weaknesses of the elements that you will build with. Wood has certain properties that make it wood, but there are weak, shadow sides to the wood as well. It simply cannot be steel.

People are not raw natural resources to be extracted and then made into whatever someone wants them to be. We all come with some preset (or at least pre-disposed) strengths and weaknesses. Not all of us can be astronauts or the President of the US or a business-owner.

But isn't that freeing to hear? Aren't those saving words? That we can be who we were created to be and not who society tells us or expects us to be? I think so.

Still, this song is about personally coming to terms with that before we left Oceanside.


Closed eyes
Bruised heart
I would know you anywhere

Too many times
Been torn apart
I know what's behind that stare

But I can't pull you through
I'm not the one to

These latter days
Been flyin' low
Not knowing what's to come 'round here

If salvation rings
And mercy sings
Then why all of this played-out fear?

It's just brings me down
I can't come around

Holly sighs
Says it's a long-time comin'
Perhaps I shoulda listened back then

Maybe we're the same
Or maybe I'm to blame
But something's gotta give or bend

And you can't pull me through
Even if you wanted to

You can't pull me through
I know you wanted to

Won't somebody pull me through?


Monday, February 13, 2006

Lost in Augora Hills, CA

This afternoon, Holly and I drove up from South Orange County to Ventura County. We are staying with some friends near Thousand Oaks.

They live near these beautiful hills. So, after catching up with them for an hour or so this afternoon, I say, "Let's go hike those hills." We did.

We began our trek at least an hour before sunset...with plenty of time to get up and down and back home...but we got lost. And we found ourselves traversing through bushes taller than me in the dark and near-dark.

Dark outside I tell ya. Dark. And noises. And oh the scurrying that we heard.

But we made it home. Ahh.

So strange that civilization was always in sight, but we just couldn't find our way back to it. That's got to be a metaphor for something right?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Back in O-side

Played a show with Mike Devries and friends tonight in Orange County. Drove south and now we're about to crash at the 814 in Oceanside. Nice to be back at 'home'. Time for sleepytime.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Thanks Scott for the thoughtful posting today.

Too often our motives smacks of paternalism {as do the words downtrodden, underclass} I the wealthy westerner, reach out in compassion to help you improve yourself. We see ourselves as on the side of Christ by giving to the needy, Mathew 25 makes it plain however that Jesus is on the side of the poor, and we serve best by elevating the downtrodden to the place of Jesus... - Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tax Day

Working on Turbo Tax today to file our 2005 Income Tax Return... you know, filling out our Schedule C, learning about interesting exemptions and deductions... like this one...

Who knew? I wonder what checking that box would get me.......

Monday, February 06, 2006

Track 6: Glory



I wrote this song just after hearing about this news story. I guess some of my details are/were off, but the point stands: One person's decision caused these people's death.

It struck an interesting chord in me because in light of the US occupation in Iraq. One man's decision resulting in so much death.

Some say pride is the biggest sin. I think that stickin' to your guns when you're dead wrong might just be pride. You do the math...


im so tired of hearin the same old story
to grim to bleak to have to look towards that one day in glory
when one mans plan seem to force some to head over... before their time
but he ran away, run away, don't think he'll mind

run away... you'll be fine...

damned when our dreams dont get realized
damned when we're found out by all our petty lies
damned when our plans fail, damned when people try
damned when i cant see the truth through these jaded eyes

these eyes... see through these eyes...

but i'll tell ya somethin'
more than i want to know, i want to feel
that somehow... its all gonna be alright
tell me it's gonna be alright

ill tell ya about this young man who thought it was over
still that gas-guzzlin suv just couldnt crossover
damned boy walked though, kept to that high ground
them people had no choice, inside those train cars they drowned

he walked away... from this mess...

tell me bout that president from yesteryear
somethin about a better way of life through military fear
somethin about a better plan, this better man was stickin to his guns
damn theres gotta be a better way this world can be run

but i'll tell ya somethin'
more than i want to know, i want to feel
that somehow... its gonna be alright

and more than i want to see, i need to hear
someone tell me somehow... that it's gonna be alright
tell me it's gonna be alright

GET THE ALBUM or better yet, come see us play...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hello San Diego!

It's been nice to be back in San Diego. Got in Friday night. Had dinner with my sister. Spent some good time with our 'hosts'... Brooke and Jason Evans. Last night did a house show at their place. What a great time. Incredible conversations. And plenty of New Castle and hefeweizen. Mmm.

Some pics of the Matts who went before me...

And of us...

Nights like this remind me that it is good that we are doing what we are doing. That it fits. That it's potentially helpful. That helps me sleep at night.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Heading South

We left Santa Cruz (and the whole of the Bay Area) on Monday and headed south down Highway 1. Saw the elephant seals...they had just had pups.

We stopped in Cambria for a night (thanks to Travelzoo) and found ourselves a couple wineries. The next day we met our friends Brad and Birgitte Clark in San Luis Obisbo for lunch...then headed up to Hearst Castle (which was closed).

Spent the last couple nights in Lompoc (where the Clarks reside). It's been a restful, conversive time. Good stuff.

Today we're heading south to San Diego, where we'll be for the next week or so. It's good to be back on the road...really good.

And I'm excited about this trip. It will have a very different personality from our Fall Pilgrimage just because we're playing more bars and coffee houses and going to places where we know less people...but places we are drawn to all the same (Pacific NW).

Exciting times lie ahead...in so many ways.