From the Archives

The following is a post I originally wrote on 11/11/2009. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. I’m re-posting it for a couple of reasons.

1. If you are new to my blog, you may not know it’s title “Life and Love and Why” is a Switchfoot song.

2. While the following post was written 6 years ago and (due to busyness of life, two little boys, and not listening to music much) I haven’t listed much to their newer albums (“Vice Verses” or “Fading West”), I’m super excited that their 10th album titled “Where The Light Shines Through” will drop in July. With a theme of Hope, I’m hopeful it will be a well timed musical ‘pick me up’ during recovery.

3. If you are bored, all of my posts that mention Switchfoot can be found here.

When Parallel Lines Collide…

…with a hurricane, there must be some kind of resolve.

What do I mean? I think that I mean I see the world in lines. Intersecting lines of intellectual thought, theology, emotion, creativity, spirituality, philosophy, scientific calculation, and mathematical exactness to name just a few.  These lines run in many directions, until they swirl around in a seemly abstract jumble – giving the appearance of both mysterious chaos and understandable structure at the same time.

From this – I like to see the connections and draw more lines between the lines that already exist. Integration. That’s how it is for me with the music of Switchfoot. The lines that I draw between, through and around the songs, the parallel (and sometimes perpendicular) lines of my life, the planet I tread on, and that which I cannot see – though hope for.

Let me go back about 9 years:

I first heard “Dare You to Move” in college – off of a friend’s mixed cd, playing in his truck. Nice. I liked it. I thought they were from Canada, because up until this time, none of my US friends had told me about this band full of surfers. Through the school year, the song played, and the debate raged, which is better, the chorus or the bridge (everyone knows it’s the chorus after the bridge).

And so my introduction to Switchfoot was complete.  I picked up “Learning to Breath” and I was on my way.  Many an evening was spent studying to the cd, or taking a study break to practice my simple beginner’s beat – drumming to the title track.

And so I went on with life, time went by, and I spent my hours studying and jamming to Switchfoot. Through the course of the year (after I was thoroughly hooked) the rest of the world started hearing about them because of the soundtrack of a little movie called “A Walk to Remember”.  I also went to the Edmonton Switchfoot concert for about 2 bucks, the definition of College: good music on a budget.

At the end of my college career, I participated in a trip (long story – supposed to be teaching English in China – ended up painting in Philadelphia).  While I was slapping blue paint on Nursery walls, singing my heart out to “Playing for Keeps,” thinking about how This is for real. Life is all in.

We went on a field trip day to NY City.  6 hours. One huge place. My main memory, Virgin Records store, Second floor of 4. The brand new Switchfoot Album “The Beautiful Letdown” which I purchased and then convinced 4 of my other 5 team mates to also buy.

As the trip ended, I head back to E-town for two final weeks with friends before I ripped my heart out, returned home from the frozen tundra and grieved the end of my childhood, and the death of college friendships that can not be kept up from afar.

You may recall the song “Meant to Live” the break out single. I remember track 2 “This is your Life” – from the opening sounds. Hearing, and  closing my eyes take me back 6 years to sitting in front of a computer, playing Roller Coster tycoon, waiting for my friends to come home from work.

This is your Life, Are you who you want to be?

This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be

when the world was younger, and you had everything to loose.

That’s it. The question. The abyss of future starkly in front of me. This song, and this cd became the definition of the notes I was living. It paralleled the world I was walking in.

Over the years, I’ve caulked it up to the fact that Jon Foreman (lead singer, frontman and song writer of Switchfoot) is a couple of years older than me. So naturally, he writes a song, it gets on an album, and by the time the album comes out, it’s a couple of years later. The song breaks into my world at approximately the same age and life stage that Jon was living when he probably wrote it.

On that note, I went home.

I spent three years working for a construction company. Digging back in time, listening to old school Switchfoot.

Albums like “the Legend of Chin” and “New Way to be Human” got me by with their punk rock youthful spirit, a good dosing of fun and an occasional song with more sobering questions and pleads.  Particularly off of New Way to be Human — Let that Be Enough.  When I was feeling like life was NOT what I thought it would be – I would drive, run errands for work, listen and cry along to this song.  At the age of 22, a college grad, slightly having lost my way in regards to career, missing my friends, and wondering “is this it,” I was signing

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing …

…It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could now
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

Beyond those sad and sometimes, simply dark, times – Switchfoot followed up with “Nothing is Sound” – in my discouraged world, occasionally sick and worn out — The rocking album, though not one of their best, was dark and with a touch of anger.  Yes there was a little hope – but in my world, most of the “Sunshine” emphasized the “Shadow” Not the other way around.  All I saw was shadow. And in my world “Happy” was most definitely a “Yuppy World.” Happiness seemed shallow, empty, and unattainable.

I didn’t stay completely stuck in the mud. I went back to school. Grad school at that. Though in many respects, my attitude and outlook was equally as torn down. My “Lonely Nation” of just me – was going to classes, starting to soak up some life, but it wasn’t how I wanted it to be.

With a new degree in hand, but no job, and a harsh break up of sorts freshly added to my resume, the end of Grad school looked to be similar to undergrad. Not what I wanted – because I wasn’t what I wanted. How had I bought the lies?  After all this time – I had the truth for so long… Again, not the highlight of the Switchfoot repertoire, Oh Gravity! but it brought some new tunes, and new ways for me to scream my lungs out to something I knew I believed in.

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us…

…I want out of this machine
It doesn’t feel like freedom

This ain’t my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I’m tired of fighting for just me
This ain’t my American dream

Here I am – about 9 years since the words and melodies, the disonent, minor chordes of grity guitar started weaving its lullubies in and out of the themes of my life.

Today is my 29th Birthday.

Am I out of the dark forest completely – no probably not. I still struggle with things like “being tired of fighting for just me” – I see a bigger world, bigger things, I want to be a part, I want to jump in head first. But the song I’m singing has changed for brighter tones. Not without discord – not entirely. But with a bit more hope. With that I leave you my current Switchfoot anthem

Hello Hurricane – Your love is a song:

I hear you breathing in
another day begins

the stars are falling out
my dreams are fading now, fading out

I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open

your love is a symphony
all around me
running through me

your love is a melody
underneath me
running to me

your love is a song

the dawn is fire bright
against the city lights

the clouds are glowing now
the moon is blacking out

I’ve been keeping my mind wide open
I’ve been keeping my mind wide open

your love is a song

with my eyes wide open
I’ve got my eyes wide open
I’ve been keeping my hopes unbroken

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under cardiology, music, switchfoot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s