Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

Imagination Communities, Part 2

Who made up all the rules
We follow them like fools
Believe them to be true
Don’t care to think them through

And I’m sorry so sorry
I’m sorry it’s like this
I’m sorry so sorry
I’m sorry we do this

Jem - "They" from the album Finally Woken

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Imagination Communities

I have been thinking about how terribly difficult it seems for so many people to change...particularly adults who are set in certain known and unknown rhythms. If we consider changing for the better a good direction, why is it so difficult?

I am reminded of how the core of Jesus' teaching was a simple (or not-so) call to move in a different direction, by a different beat, by a different narrative...change the soundtrack, the theme, the plot, the rhythm. Re-imagine the way the world works.

You have heard it said ... but I tell you.

But re-imagining is very hard work...particularly when we are steeped in alternate narratives/imaginations. We are constantly yielding our own imagination to lean on others' hunches/imaginations/dreams/thoughts/ideas. And this is, of course, normal...we are not shaped to live life or think thoughts on our own.

And this is, I am finding more and more, so very important. You see, the radical call to re-imagine the world in which we live (not just dreaming about Heaven, mind you) cannot be done on one's own...on my own...on your own. I cannot re-imagine everything around to raise our child, how to birth our child, how to use my money and other resources (like time, talents, etc.), how to interact with others not like me, etcetera and onward.

I simply cannot re-imagine everything. Nor am I meant to.

We need imagination communities...people around us who can help us imagine and re-imagine over and over, time and time again. Which is a huge part of why we moved to San Francisco...and why we took our trip this last year. In order to sustain the call to "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" we must be in real relationships with others who are re-imagining the world and it's workings...and San Francisco just seemed a place for us to be surrounded by those folks.

Don't get me wrong, there are re-imagineers all across the world we now know, but California was kind of like home and San Francisco a good place to land.

If we mustn't give up meeting together to discuss this other world that is possible, then we ought not do it to repeat mindless clichés...rather we must use our limited time to help each other re-imagine more and more deeply what our Creator's world could be should we choose to embrace our human calling, to love Creator and Creation.

If we are to change, let us not change on our own (if we even could). Let's open ourselves up to allow others to change us, believing that this God in us (Emmanuel) can teach us through each other as we love each other.

I love having friends who know more than me, who are further along than me, who have re-imagined certain things that I can rest on as I press on in the dark. Cheers to a Kingdom that cannot be forged by individuals alone.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Help a Sista Out

Hey there, so my sister pretty much had a shit day yesterday. You can read about it here.

Most of you who read this blog probably read hers as well, but if you don't then I'll fill you in. She's moving to Japan to teach English...a big step. And right before she's leaving, she's driving to TX and her car died 50 miles east of Yuma, AZ. She's now stuck with about $3500 in towing charges and repair for a new transmission.

So, I thought I'd ask you for some money...anything will do...and all proceeds will go directly to Lisa. Just click the below link...and then head over to her blog and tell her that you love her.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Redeeming the journey

Thank you for your words, oh kind sages...the solidarity soothes this soul.

So, I thought I'd take another stab at forcing myself to journey. I found that the kitchen might not be the best petri least at this point. But the garden I know a little better. After all, I did plant a mean herb garden back in Oceanside. I was the envy of all my neighbors. And I've wanted to start getting my hands dirty and get our garden up and running.

So, today we went to a local nursery and got some advice (good starting place, I'm thinking). You know, come to think of it, we didn't consult anyone on the Eggs Florentine. Perhaps a good starting place in the journey is to not just read about something, but to talk with someone who has been there or who is at least passionate about making Eggs Florentine. So, we got some advice.

You see, I want some pretty flowers that are simple and smell nice and will weave in and out of our chain link fence that guards our front yard. It'd be nice to play down the chain link fence as much as we can.

The nurserist (?) recommended Jasmine to us. We bought some and some organic potting soil. Came home, dug a hole, planted one of them and potted the other. They're on either side of our fence so that hopefully they'll grow towards each other (with a little guiding).

And I enjoyed this. Removing trash from our front yard and fence and replacing it with flowers. This seems like the Kingdom to me...replacing refuse with life. Ahh. The journey...I love the journey...philosophizing as we live out the Way.

Who knew that I just needed to get out of the kitchen and into the garden...perhaps this is a metaphor for life vocation? Or perhaps I'm full of shit and this was just easier for me than cooking Eggs Florentine!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm not into the journey

So there. I said it. I am not always such a fan of "the journey", a phrase of many who enjoy the hike for the hike's sake or songwriting just as an act of creation. I wish I could say that I love the journey, but man, I just like arriving at spots really. Like San Francisco...I'd rather just know the City, my neighbors, the hot spots culturally, etc...not learn them.

What the hell's wrong with me?

Take, for instance, dinner this evening. Holly and I decided to make Eggs Florentine. Sounds yummy, right? And honestly, how hard could it be? Well, almost nobody sells Hollandaise Sauce...a crucial ingredient. So, I figure, why not just make it?

Turns out things get smokey...really smokey. It was freaking chaos. I had to start over with the Hollandaise Sauce after having made it once and ruining it.

Holly tried poaching eggs...anyone know how to do this? We tried 3 different methods and none we ended up just frying them instead. Not bad. But still, I would have rather just known from the get-go that we'd end up frying them...the journey to find that was lost on the likes of me.

At least we had some yummy wine. Turns out Idaho makes a fine merlot.

I am no California wine snob...I like wine from all sorts of places. In fact, one of my recent faves was one I had in Kansas...who knew? Yummy.

Anyway, the wine helped...but it simply helped to get me through the journey.

Finally, and in the end, it was a tasty meal...but who cares about the cooking process?!? I mean, I just wanted to get through it.

So, if I am to read this right...I hate the journey. I just want to arrive and know everything. Until then I'll be pissed that I don't.

Any questions?

"the nose-ringed, closely-shorn artist" = My Wife

Always interesting to find someone writing about you. Thanks for the link Jeff. It's an article written by someone who attended last year's Emergent Gathering.

One of the nose-ringed, closely-shorn artists tells me she and her husband wept when they read McLaren's A New Kind of Christian. They never thought followers of Jesus could be kind, tolerant, open to the world. Now, she says, the couple is between homes. Her husband's band has a new CD out, they're touring the country with it, and figure they'll land somewhere with one of Emergent's startup churches. Edgy, nomadic, artistic, kind, on the hunt for a new kind of evangelicalism...any church would be blest by such mobile members.

Thank you for the kind words. But no, we probably won't end up at a new Emergent-brand startup church, nor are we on the hunt for a new kind of evangelicalism. What we are looking for is a more authentic and true way of living life in the Way of Jesus, free from the trappings of the American Dream or the American Church...two things that I wish not to participate in...or at least participate in as little as possible.

So why exactly did we choose San Francisco? The short answer might be friends...but we've friends all over the States that we'd love to be closer to and live life with. Which might lead to a longer answer that perhaps I'll work on later. In the end, I think a huge part of moving here had to do with being a part of one or multiple imagination communities...clusters of people who are really rethinking things, attempting new ways of living, creating new art, embracing new ways of being human.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Bit of a Blog Hiatus

So, between moving, prepping for and hosting a garage sale, having several friends and family come out to stay with us, putting art on our walls, and finishing several S7 projects, I have barely been able to think, let alone blog. I do hope this short season is coming to an end...and it feels like it is. The house is feeling much more put together...and I promise photos this week.

An old friend from Texas came out to visit for a couple nights. Jon Taylor, Holly, and I went up to Russian River Valey for a beautiful day of driving the coast, eating fish n chips, and wine tasting...mmm. Some photos...

As I posted previously, my MAC got sent to it's maker and returned a much more functional piece of machinery. Praise the Lawd! The RAM was bad and is still in transit to me, so I am operating off slow. Still installing software, restoring music and photos.

This past Saturday, I took BART beneath the Bay and on to Berkeley to the Craigslist Foundation Non-profit Boot Camp. C'mon people...loose the military metaphors! Freaking evolve already! Anyway, it was a good day with Darin and Craig. Craig covers it pretty well in his podcast. And then Sunday, the Korch and Hoff clans came up our way for some family reunion time.

This morning I am working, but also still getting my iBook back up to snuff. I just finished importing all my photos from this last year. And looking back over all our photos of the Pilgrimage makes me feel heavy...almost brings me to tears. I get short of breath seeing photos of Glorietta last fall, Mike and Stacey with 2 beautiful children, Rick and Kristi in Tampa, a cold day in Atlanta, friends throughout Texas (new and old), Michigan, Ohio, Philly and Camden, the Northern California coast, Portland and the Great Northwest, Matt Casper and our dear friends in San Diego. Europe, the US, relationships, wine and conversation with so many people who have become such dear friends. Thank you all for these memories.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Got the computer back. Apple is fast. Computer seems to be back up and running.

Sorry for the lack of 'thoughtful' posts lately...have seemed very busy. Hoping to share some thoughts soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bad Mac

Well, my Mac has been acting up for about 18 months now and I finally got Apple to hold up to its end of the whole AppleCare agreement and take it in to fix it. I am shipping it in a box tomorrow. Let's hope.

So, I might not be easily reachable via web for the next few days...or I may be. Who knows?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Live: Deconstructing the American Dream reviewed

My buddy Andrew in Florida reviewed the latest The Cobalt Season album for Infuze magazine. You'll probably need to register to read it in full.

A snippet...

We all have to, at some point, stop and acknowledge the questions that start to nag at our hearts and minds regarding our world and our faith. For Ryan and Holly Sharp, the husband and wife team who comprise The Cobalt Season, this time came leading into the fall of 2005. Having endured hardship within some musical endeavors, serving selflessly as impromptu pastors, and contributing to the grassroots movement of Emergent, the Sharp's found themselves at a crossroad of questions and decisions. Disgruntled with the American notions of materialism and Christianity, the two set forth on a pilgrimage, traveling from town to town relying upon the hospitality of old and new friends as well as the grace of God to see them through, searching for answers and insight into the questions they found themselves asking.

Live: Deconstructing the American Dream is a snapshot into that journey.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Do I Smell Piñon in the Air?

And oh, I wanna go
Where the air is clean
And oh, New Mexico wait for me

- David Mead, New Mexico

About this time of year, my heart starts pining for that clean, fall mountain air...those red, moonlike deserts that pop out of the ground almost instantly to form the most bizarre of mesas and mountains. And the smell of those piñon trees split open on the fire for our warmth and light.

About this time of year, I am putting in our registration for the Emergent Gathering near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This year, though, we won't...because we're scheduled to have a baby that same week. And well, while it makes sense that the baby would come during that season (which for us is the advent of our year), we are already grieving missing the get-together.

What is the Emergent Gathering? you ask...well, it's a sort of retreat where we eat together, live together, share stories of inspiration and hope, despair and cynicism. We talk about life, love, God, wine, how to change our world, how to allow ourselves to be changed, how to live in the way of Jesus, and how to help others along the way.

If you are the least bit interested, please check out the blurb for it on the new Emergent website...and sign's free and no one gets paid to do it. Just a beautiful, generative family reunion of sorts.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Weekend In The City

This weekend was a, not really, more of a high or something like it. It was our first real weekend in San Francisco.

It was in the 70s all weekend...except at night, when it'd drop down into the 60s and we could all wear sweaters and/or scarves. Is it really July?

Friday afternoon, Holly and I drove down to see Hailey Scandrette's performance of The Tempest. She was a wonderful jester. Then we headed further south to the Mountain Winery in the mountains. We went there because we had gotten free tickets to a Bruce Cockburn and Shawn Colvin show...well, free with a pledge to our locally supported radio.

It was a fun evening...Shawn was amazing...just her and her acoustic and some stories. The songs she played from her forthcoming album were our faves.

Then Bruce. Now understand that several friends along the way have told us that we'd really be into Bruce Cockburn because he's a singer-songwriter with similar sensibilities. Some friends (thanks Carla and Jimmy) even gave us some of his music...and I've been getting into it. But live? Well, it was only okay. But I'm still glad we got out of the house and went to do something fun.

Saturday we took the MUNI to Mission Dolores Park for a picnic with some friends...then helped another friend move into the neighborhood...and then Craig and Lora dropped by. It was good to see them since they've been in ASIA for 3 weeks now, eating pig stomachs and fish eyeballs.

Saturday night, we took BART to see Deccatree play at BOCA in downtown. Adam, Amy, and Aurora accompanied us. Fun. Public transportation is such a novelty for us because we both grew up in fairly suburban cities where almost no one took public transport.

Sunday was chill...trying to get everything wrapped up in the house...and we're getting close. Pictures later this week.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Can anyone help me with some code to show who the comments are from? Anyone? Fry? Bueler? Anyone?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


My life is out of balance.