August 20, 2006


Every so often I decide to go through all the web links I've accumulated and delete as many as I can. It helps save on a little hard drive space (to be used later by video files) and provides me the opportunity to reminisce.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon doing this, mostly because it's been ages (like a whole year) since I last catalogued and reorganized the links. I was amazed at how many I'd accumulated since last august. Some were
funny, some were just odd, some begged to be introduced to the sidebar of my blog (you may enjoy Oolong), some led down memory lane, and some ... well some led to places I hadn't expected to go.

As I searched through a folder surrepticiously labeled "music," I came across a link entitled "my dream guitar." Upon clicking the link, I was whisked away to the Taylor website and the image of a guitar I'd discovered on one of my sojurns to guitar center with Mike.

It brought back a lot of memories, memories of using "I need a new pack of strings" as an excuse to grab Mike and wander over to a music store to stare at, and dare I say, play the guitar I so desperately wanted. But it also reminded me of a time not so long ago when I had a dream of being the best worship leader ever. I was going to single-handedly lead people to Jesus simply by the beauty of my playing, the amazing worship program I'd built at the to-be-determined church I'd been working at where everybody loved me and my beautiful-yet-intelligent/witty/humerous wife and two beautiful kids who were top of their classes in school as well as good musicians and athletes.

And I'd be modest and humble the whole time - I was going to do it all.

I'm not sure when it was that I started to grow up; maybe when I got married to the beautiful girl (who really is all those things, don't know HOW I managed that one) and realized that it's a lot harder to have 'the perfect marriage' than I'd thought (whaddya know, it requires effort). It may have been when I read Blue Like Jazz and started wondering whether or not there was more to "church" than the services. It may have been when I graduated college and suddenly didn't know what I honestly wanted to do with my life in light of the aforementioned book. But I think it happened when I came to Australia and discovered that the world is much bigger than me - the dreams of six billion people couldn't possibly be fulfilled as we all expect.

We're never who we think we are. Not really. Some of us get a picture of ourselves that's closer to our true nature than others do. I know that I still delude myself, both about my ability to afford a $5k guitar (the black one) and my ability to pull off a lifestyle as I'd dreamed it would be. I'm not even certain I want that lifestyle anymore - it's not realistic or even right.

Is life then about the re-forming, the remaking, even the redeeming our dreams? The dreams I have now are much different than the dreams I had in high school and college. While I used to dream of being the perfect Christian, humble-yet-popular, now I dream of a life where I may in some way measure up in the end, where I at least don't screw up too much. I used to dream eventual stability, triumph, and perfection. Now my dreams belie my uncertainty and confusion, the future a mystery instead of a given. I still dream of stability, but I can't go back to America the way I left, innocent and dreamy-eyed. I can't ignore what I've seen here; poverty and war are things I never noticed at home - they're easy to ignore if you fill up your schedule enough.

The music of my dreams used to be a triumphant orchestral theme with a romantic countermelody. Now it's a dark, rustic, acoustic guitar solo with a soft string pad and a lonely piano playing softly, just out of reach. My dreams have changed - I have changed - and it only brings me to wonder, how will I have changed in a year from now? Ten? Fifteen? The dreams I dream now are not the dreams I will dream years from now. I know I'll keep changing, and lately I think I've changed so much that I've given up trying to figure out what the future holds.

But it'd still be nice to know.


cruz-control said...

I think there's a song waiting to happen somewhere in that last paragraph.

Chris said...

you think? I've been really awful about songwriting lately. I stopped just after I got married, like my creative juices suddenly up and disappeared. To be fair, I don't think it was my new wife, but rather the amount of energy I put into my schoolwork, my church, and my job... it was a busy year. Then I went back to look at all the stuff I'd written so far and decided only about three of the fifteen to twenty songs I'd written were any good.

I've just started thinking about writing again, and only one song has come out of it (an assignment from my wife, to sort of jog my songwriter's memory). Maybe there is a song in there ...

Lorie said...

What a GREAT post!