Essays | 01
I’m writing at our breakfast table, journal open, black ink on skinny lines. The rain is slowly dripping off our grey deck. The light floating in is grey, matching my grey and white tablecloth. Knobby, naked trees beaded with rain drops stand watch outside. But there are bright yellow daisies in a vase and the tea kettle is steaming and new music from my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify is playing.
I’ve always been a Both person. Rainy days and yellow flowers. Salty french fries dipped in chocolate ice cream. Mourning loss and celebrating new life in the same year. Give me both so I can fully appreciate each. Maybe that’s why the Trinity has always weirdly made sense – three divine entities held in the tension of each other. Creator God held with Jesus who dwelt with Creation held with the Holy Spirit that dwells inside the created.
It’s so nice that the Spotify people put together weekly playlists of new music for us. Scott and I often comment on Sunday that our new Discover Weekly playlists will be out tomorrow. I’m sure it’s just an algorithm based on likes, but I’ve never heard of most of these artists. How do the Spotify playlist makers know that, for my playlist, the sound is just as important as the lyrics, and that I like my lyrics heavy on the poetry and symbolism? In my mind, the playlist makers have to be millions of normal people each assigned to a handful of Spotify users. Mine is a girl with red lipstick, a straw hat, saddle shoes, and a blue bike she rides into town to fill her front basket with fresh flowers. They’re among us, people – the Spotify playlist creators, and the red lipstick, floppy straw hat girl knows all my secrets.
I’ve been watching old interviews of Adele at the release of her album 25. (I can binge watch/listen to interviews of artists/creators all day long). Adele only does seven to ten interviews each time an album comes out and she’s fantastic at it. She shared that every Friday she buys a new album of music and listens to it all day long. She looks forward to this weekly tradition. So on Fridays I imagine Adele with her cup of tea, padding around her house in pajamas, new music floating from her record player, learning from artists and actively participating in music as a listener.
Yesterday my parents and aunt and uncle drove an hour to deliver their hand me down (super nice) stove to our house. I grew up in a small town with most of my large extended family living within ten miles of me. Often, Scott and I will drive home from my small town and marvel at the connection that was available to me growing up, and that’s still available to us when we drive back. This small town family network travels to us (in the big city) and does things like install stoves and sit around large tables, exclaiming over the quality of pizza just ten minutes away. After they left, the same marveling occurred.
“Your parents drove their stove here and installed it,” Scott said. It’s no wonder I have a thing for big gestures. My parents are always modeling that for me.
All this Spring-like surprise weather brings back all my favorite Spring memories. The sentence “Stars blossomed in the dark sky” was a subject of Lectio Divina on Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, and it immediately made me think of this memory from my senior year of college. Somehow, all my favorite people crammed into the back of our friend’s truck and we drove out to the soccer fields to watch a meteor shower. We lined the bed of the truck with our sleeping bags and lay, shoulder to shoulder, laughing from the bottom of our bellies as meteors streaked across the sky. The weather was a mix of warm and cool air, swirling the smell of thawing ground around us. Does anyone else get butterflies in their stomach from the promise of Spring and then Summer?
I don’t remember if I knew that I had a job after graduation or if I was still sending resumes into the void, hoping someone would call me, but I do remember feeling for those few hours that everything was funny and safe and cozy as we stargazed/waited for campus safety to yell at us.