31 October 2011

Where did they come from? Where did they go?

Back in my tender youth, the Lutheran school I attended had a songbook we used in chapel. It was a bunch of typewritten pages bound with a brown back and a clear cover. There was a big treble clef on the front. Some of the songs were:

Jesus Is the Light
I Cannot Come To the Banquet
Give Me Oil In My Lamp
I've Been Redeemed
It's a Happy Day
What Do You Do With a Man Named Jonah (sung to "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor")
They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
Kum Bah Yah
He's a Peach Of a Savior
I Am a C
My God Is So Big
Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia

I am curious as to the provenance of these songs. None of them were sung at the AWANA program I attended with a friend at a Bible church* during the same time period. Some of them were sung at the Lutheran summer camp** I attended a few times. The brown/treble clef book did not survive the parish's transition to contemporary worship. Turns out praise songs are great for kids to sing, and then the kids know the songs for church! Wow! However, there was a memorable transition which set "Go To Dark Gethsemane" to a funky rock beat on the Clavinova.

Have these songs been utterly consumed by the contemporary worship machine? How did they get into Lutheran use in the first place? Am I the only person who remembers them?

*The Bible churchers sang, in addition to the Awana songs, "Peace Like a River" and "I Like Bananas" and . . . hey, that's all I can remember! I'm shocked.

**The dorky Lutheran summer camp musical canon is another curious topic, but I'm not as familiar with it beyond knowing that a bit over ten years ago it was prospering in Seward's DCE program and at a certain Lutheran Gymnasium in Slovakia.

28 October 2011

Great news for Anonymous and the creep in Gauntlets' grocery line

Apparently all the ethical women of the world have taken care of the population sitch, and now you jerks who buy clothes at Target are the problem.

24 October 2011

To the person who donated these pjs to the CSL Resellit Shop nigh on ten years ago

I just wanted to let you know that six babies have worn them. Thanks. :)

22 October 2011

Is there a happier sound in the world

than the kids all giggling at some silliness they have conspired together?

20 October 2011

Open letter

Accomplishing nothing, CSPP style

Dear Everyone Else,

You have your reasons, a million different things ranging from passionate intensity to a lack of all conviction. You look to like, if looking liking move; and when it doesn’t, well then the First Amendment paves your tongue’s way and if you have a right to your mind then surely I have a right to it, too.  

But listen here: There is something wrong with a man who would follow a woman into check-out lane number nine just to tell her—loudly, persistently, and in front of the sentient recipients of his scorn—that children are scum. (I’m looking at you, squashy dude with that archipelago of warts floating on your wind-whipped face. Why? You looked into those aeviternal baby eyes, and failed to see that it is Life who animates them? That sneer was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. If the sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds, then what is to become of you?)

Don’t be that guy, dear Everyone Else. I get that you're you, but don’t be that guy. Wrinkle your brow or curl your lip. Mutter to your companion words like “disgusting” and “irresponsible,” just loudly enough for me to hear. Glower at my back. Be rude, if you like. Charge me more. Whatever. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and we’re used to it by now.

But try. Affect the likeness of Man. Don’t ever speak your invectives to my children’s faces, ever again.  

All the best.


17 October 2011

Internet doula

Big thanks to Pastor Weedon for saving me some one-handed typing. :D She's here, she's great, and we didn't have to use the carbirth preparedness kit. How can we thank thee, Lord?

15 October 2011

Have you had

that baby yet?

12 October 2011

Better safe than sorry.

10 October 2011

If Scrooge had been in prodromal labor instead of haunted

"You may be an undigested bit of pickle, a blot of yogurt, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone macaroni. There's more of Baby Ruth than of baby about you, whatever you are!"

Or is it?

08 October 2011

Word to the unwise

Dear kid,

If you're going to write on something on which you should totally not be writing (such as a book or the couch or someone's pants), write something other than your own name.

Love, Mom

05 October 2011

I'm waiting to be impressed

When is TV going to make cleaning up the kitchen as hip as it made cooking?

I really don't care how great this tastes. Where are my sink and counters?

04 October 2011

Childbirth Orthodoxy Translation

And it came to pass, as [Rachel's] soul was in departing (for she had special circumstances) that she called his name Benhazak: but his father called him Benjamin. Genesis 35:18

The need to trust their bodies took hold upon them there, and powerful sensations, as of a woman breathing down her baby. Psalm 48:6

Therefore are my loins filled with pressure: surges have taken hold upon me, as the surges of a woman that birtheth Isaiah 21:3

I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I vocalize like a woman experiencing uterine waves Isaiah 42:14

For we know that the whole creation chanteth and worketh hard toward the natural expulsive reflex together until now. Romans 8:22

And she being with child produced harmonics, deeply relaxing in birth, and visualizing to be delivered. Revelation 12:2

Quit scaring women, you medicalizing medicalizer!

02 October 2011

Crazy, conjugated

I’m Crazy.
You[sing.]’re Crazy.
He, she, or it (especially she) is Crazy.
We’re Crazy.

You[pl.]’re Crazy.

They’re Crazy.

Gauntlets helpfully brought this up again recently, but I think we can scarcely revisit the topic too often—if for no other reason, than because the creeping creatures of darkness skitter and scatter when we spotlight them.

There are so many things we could say about Crazy. Here’s one important corollary (or perhaps antecedent) to the universal conjugation of Crazy: The Grass Is Not Greener. Still. Really. I’ve had a few recent peeks into “normal” (i.e., two-income, Done after limited number of babies, outwardly sane-looking households) and I say again with confidence, The Grass Is Not Greener.
Why is this so hard to get? While I’m thinking wistfully about how clean her house must be, without barbaric mud-footed hordes tromping through all day on their various (but invariably messy) projects, she’s thinking wistfully about how clean my house must be, since I’m there all day to clean it (*cough*). Meanwhile, no one’s house is clean! For real! Unless they’re expecting company! And maybe not even then!

Or: I’m peeling potatoes or kneading dough and thinking that a break from the kitchen might be nice; she’s buying DiGiorno and wishing she had time to cook from scratch. I’m thinking how I might like my kids more if I saw them a bit less; she’s wishing that between her schedule and theirs, she got to see hers a bit more.

This is true: We all make meaningful choices. This too is true: We are none of us as free as we like to think—nor is the woman on the other side of the fence as free as we like to think she is (“freedom” to leave the house and commute to work does not of itself true freedom comprise, despite what we housebound fence-hangers may feel in our darker moments).

Comparison isn’t simply the death of contentment—it’s also a very slick step on the Crazy overlook. We spiral downward to Crazy when we play the comparison game, foolishly pretending that we’re making a valid assessment. Apples to apples, people—and as it turns out, life’s fruitbasket is so diverse that bucket balances and bar graphs are useless here.

Routes to Crazy abound (as even a brief review of posts on this blog will attest). So, I remind my foolish self, if you must go to Crazy from time to time, at least take an honest route, and get back as soon as you can. Don’t let bad math trick you into a needless dark detour—and if you catch yourself going down that road, pull a quick U-turn and burn some serious rubber out of there.

Make tracks, before you're needlessly mired in the Slough of Despond.