Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Music is..

We had a retreat of sorts tonight for the music ministers at my church. We're going from 4 Masses down to 3 in June and there are currently 5 different sets of musical groups that either have a Mass or want to do a Mass. Do the math. However, this gathering was about praying and reflecting together with no discussion of what the future will bring.

The highlight of the evening was a discussion about what it means to be a music minister. On the question of what is life giving about being a music minister, someone said "Music is breathing."

Holy cow that hit me. It was something I'd felt in my heart but never articulated into words. It encompasses everything I think about music. You cannot hold music in. If you do, you'll pass out, same as if you held your breath. You also need to breath it in to live. Just like air, it fills you and becomes part of you.

I've always said that I don't play guitar with my hands, I play it with my whole being. I need to put all of my emotions and energy into playing. I breath out music. I've also heard it said and truly beleive as a musician you are what you hear. The way you play is affected by the music you listen to. I breath in music. Just like breathing is needed for you to grow physically, breathing music in and out makes you grow spiritually.

Thanks Bob.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our trip

We decided pretty last minute to spend April break in Washington DC. We got here Saturday afternoon and are leaving tomorrow morning (Wednesday). Overall we had a good time, though there were some notable not so fun things. Like trying to get into the Library of Congress and Capitol Visitor's Center with a tiny little pocket knife. If we'd have thrown it out, we could have gotten in. Yeah, right. However, we had some very cool times, like going to see the National Cathedral and the National Portrait Gallery. We also decided to bring along a monkey Christopher got at the Air and Space Museum last time we were here to help us chronicle our adventures. Here's some of the good pictures. Now this coming weekend (starting Friday), the boys and I are off to a boy scout campout at park ranger school in the Adirondaks. No rest for the weary!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Tonight was the transition meeting for Christopher from 8th to 9th grade. That's right, he'll be starting high school in the fall, class of 2014. You would think it was scary, your oldest going to high school. Truthfully, that's not what scared me. It was the academic load he'll need to carry and the tough requirements colleges these days have to get in.

Unfortunately, his track record in middle school does not fill me with confidence that he can excel in high school and get the grade which he's capable. It doesn't seem to bug him that much when homework doesn't get turned in, assignments get turned in late, and his grades take a hit when his assingments are not in on time. And his organizational skills are poor which doesn't seem to bother him either. As an example, he wanted to get school logo gear when wrestling season started. So we wrote out a check for what he wanted and gave it to him to give to his coach. This was in December. I went through his backpack about a week and a half ago and guess what I found in the bottom? That's right, the envelope with the check. His response? "I could have sworn I gave that to my coach." Which would be funny if it wasn't for the fact he does this ALL THE TIME.

I hope tonight put some of the fear of God in him. He keeps saying he wants to get in a good college, but not the way he's going now. If the fear of God doesn't work, then I'll put the fear of me in him. He's going to do well in high school if it kills him. And it might.