Me Stories
I’ve been busy and not so busy.. making music and spending time in thoughts and in the city,.. working and living and trying to find solid ground. I’ve decided that for the mean time I just need to breathe a little more, live a little more in the moment and not fret so much about future possibilities.. after all. We know that God is so last minute.

Wendy has been to stay and that was soo fun. We had an Eastercamp meeting. I am tired but I’m exfoliating again so that’s responsible of me. I went to the Kristin production of Les Mis with Jeremy and Jono. My amazing students.. were amazing. We went to the Speights Alehouse and it was woefully lacking in good atmosphere, but it was late at night. I miss Dani more than words can say. I cannot wait til she gets down under.

I had a complete blast at Te Atatu Union.. just in case I didn’t mention that, so much so that I would seriously consider swapping denominations and I can’t wait to go back.

Street Stories
It’s grey and dull in the city. Everything is damp, and dampness permeates bones, turning them cold. The bustle of the city in winter is drawing the homeless and the down and out into it’s central heart. The Auckland City Mission is close at hand, and I think the busyness makes you feel less lonely, although the skies are so dark.

I saw Mary three times last week. I know that she wasn’t around town before that, because I would have seen her. She has such a familiar gait, with a half-limp from a swollen left knee. She rolls her jaw listlessly as she walks slightly diagonally up and down Queen St. I saw her twice on Monday, once on Wednesday and then twice on Thursday and Friday. Obviously Mary isn’t her real name, because that would hardly be fair.. although she’s not likely to ever read this page. I know her real name because I’ve known her for more than a few years now. She doesn’t recognize me anymore.

I first knew Mary when I spent a summer working for the Merivale Womens Refuge. That was a long time ago now. I ran a school holiday programme for the kids that were staying there at the time. All but 2 were Maori and Pacific Islanders, mostly from South Auckland and further south. One family of four kids were in the refuge for the second time. The youngest was 5, and the eldest 11. All up there were about
12 kids over the summer. Mary had a baby. A small, underfed baby. Her bronze skin was sallow and saggy over tight little elbow bones. Her nose was always encrusted with snot carelessly brushed away. She was the cousin of another of the women staying at the refuge.. all of them from gang families, making a break together.

In between the first time I knew Mary and the second time, the baby disappeared. The second time was in Mt Eden, during the summer. She was wandering aimlessly but fervently.. scalping for money mostly, and rarely food. Because it was warmer suburbia is okay.. depending on where you are staying, a central suburb like that is easy to get to. It’s when you’re homeless that you head for the city .. there are more places to hide, to sleep, to shelter. So, the second time.. Mary recognised my face and knew my name and was shameless about identifying her need. She wouldn’t take the food I offered and wanted the dollars. I was hard hearted, thinking about her baby and refused to empty my wallet for anything other than food for her mouth.

The third time was in the city a year later. She recognised my face but my name had fallen through umpteen cracks.. she had lost weight and gained a limp. She still approached me with open arms and dry, acidic breath, damp armpits on a humid day.

Last week Mary didn’t recognise my face or name, and she was wearing the same knitted wool jersey she had the last time. I was waiting for her to ask me for the money, to accost me with her human smell of decay and desperation. She did not and I felt criminal. Around her mouth were dry white flakes, and her teeth black. She walked vacantly through the crowds of corporate suits, stains running down her clothes, wind and rain in her hair. I suspect that the gaps are getting bigger in her mind.

I don’t know what to do with Mary’s story.

Confessions To A Crowded Room

you probably don’t know this but in recent days when
you have been talking about your favourite song
and wanting to roadtrip across america that you’re talking about
my favourite song and that’s a dream i have had of spending
an american summer with you travelling from coast to coast

i am friends with a married man who has no idea
that if things were different i would love him
in a heartbeat and because of that i have to be careful
about the amount of time i spend with him
and he probably has no clue and that means
one day I will have to stop it and hurt us both

i actually like the fact that so few people have
my home phone number and that people mostly
don’t like to travel all the way to my house
because I never have to worry about being
caught in the act of things I shouldn’t be doing
like drinking my favourite bottle of wine alone in candlelight

i have a romantic notion that won’t go away no matter
how hard i pray or try to teach myself new ways of
thinking and being and living. every time i do it gets
stronger and bigger and I have to live in the reality
that I actually do believe in the picture God gave me

I know that I am meant to be your mature and responsible
youth pastor, but to be honest I enjoy your company so
much that I wish we could just be friends because I like
you so much better than some of my other friends.

I miss you so much that it feels like there is a dying
going on inside me all hours of the day. there is a constant
groaning that suggests something is not right and I am powerless
to do anything about it. I don’t think I even miss
who you are anymore, just the memory of how you were and that
makes me horribly unhealthy and ill-adjusted.

i am not so secretly horrified at the thought of men i
used to love before I realised what love actually can be
in fact i’m embarrassed because now I see how they have turned out
and i’m awfully judgmental about it and glad to be without them
because my life would have been so wasted otherwise.

Sometimes I do wish that I had taken up the offer of a drink
with the tour guide from New York, because he had sparkly eyes and
instead I was so in love with the city, and missing you, that I
threw away an opportunity for a wild, secret sordid affair.

Other Thoughts ..
I was thinking again the other day that we do an exceptionally good job of emphasizing the birth and death of Jesus.. and it’s true that it’s the means of our salvation and the entry of God into the human sphere. But also I have been thinking that it’s the life of Jesus between those two events that catalyses it for me. Jesus wasn’t just born to die, but rather the life he lived made his death all the more
significant, and his death made his life deep and rich. So maybe that is
similar to the music process…

Something is conceived and birthed and eventually it will end with an
album, and a tour. Then some new thing will be conceived and birthed..
this ongoing birth and death.. but the life happens in the studio.. like
nuances and discoveries that may never make it to the album, little
soundbites that just work.. moments that bring meaning to it all.. I wonder which of our ‘little darlings’ will perish on the cutting room floor.

Song Of The Moment : Steady As We Go
Dave Matthews Band

I walk halfway around the world
Just to sit down by your side
And I would do most anything girl
To be the apple of your eye
Troubles they may come and go
But good times
They’re the gold
And if the road gets rocky girl
Just steady as we go

Anyplace you wanna go you go
You know i’ll be next to you
If it’s treasure baby you’re looking for
I’ll search the whole world through
Though trouble they may come and go
But good times
They’re the gold
So if the road gets rocky girl
Just steady as we go

When the storm comes shelter me
I don’t say a word
And you know exactly what I mean
In the darkest times
You shine on me
Set me free
And keep me steady as we go

So if you heart rings dry my love
I will fill your cup
And if your load gets heavy girl
I will lift you up
But troubles they may come and go
But good times be the gold
So if the road gets rocky girl
Just steady as we go

Shine
Shine
Shine
Shine on me hey

Reasons why drumming is dangerous.

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