Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nashville Train....

This is an old one that recently made it back into rotation in our somewhat spotty practice schedule....

Nashville Train

All my life, I've been waitin' on that train
To roll through my town and past my house and carry me away
Didn't matter much to me how the track was laid
All I knew is I would do almost anything

And if you listen very carefully
You hear that Nashville Train
From Memphis out to Muscle Shoals
And the little towns that lie between
And I don't know jus' when I'm leavin'
Or even if my ticket's paid
Think of all the dreams I wasted
Waitin' on the Nashville Train

There are things that you can come to love
More than life itself
They can pull you down and turn you out
Leave you stale up on that shelf
An' while I'm not too sure
What this life is all about
All I know is I could do
With a little less self doubt

And if you listen very carefully
You can hear that Nashville Train
From Athens out to Bato' Rou'
And all the dreams that lie between
And I don' know jus' when I'm leavin'
Or even if I'll make the grade
Think'n "all the time I've wasted"
Waitin' on that Nashville Train


There's a lot of people out there
Been waitin' jus' like me
An' waitin' never done no good
Never set no captive free
And I been sittin' here too long
To worry on my state of mind
When it comes to movin' on
There's always things you leave behind

And all my life
All my life....

And if you listen very carefully
You hear that Nashville Train
From Memphis out to Muscle Shoals
And the little towns that lie between
And I don't know jus' when I'm leavin
'Or even if my ticket's paid
Think of all the dreams I wasted
Waitin' on the Nashville Train


© D. Dain, 1998.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Effective Love

My father went to be with his Father at eight-thirty AM, May 3rd.

He spent his life, both public and private, caring for people.

As he grew older, he lost some of his considerable mental faculties. But he still had the ability to shoot to the heart of the matter.

Love, he said, defined for practical purpose, is simply "beneficial caring". And he didn't mean just the niceties of modern philanthropy, writing that check to the deacon's benevolence fund or aid for Darfur, but actual in-your-face care. For many, that check might assuage the guilt complex which passes for conscience, and provide a false self-satisfaction; but my dad's aim was "Effective Love".

So it comes down to what's important: the self-satisfaction most of us seek and settle for, or real, deep and abiding effectiveness. Beneficial caring requires effort -- and response. It's a sure-fire guarantee of effectiveness, in both the giving and receiving.

Dad left school in the 8th grade to support his father, mother and sister. Called away from this for WWII, he refused a deferment and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Army. As a member of an anti-aircraft artillery unit, he served for 3 ½ years in the European theater from North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France to Germany, being awarded a Bronze Star -- which he never wore.

He returned to assume care of his family, caring for his own invalid father for eleven years.

The young man who didn't get past 8th grade taught himself to read both Hebrew and Greek, and taught college courses.

He was the best father a boy could hope for and the best friend a man can have.

My dad was effective. And his whole life was a demonstration of Effective Love.

And my father was a righteous man.

My father IS a righteous man.


Love you, Dad. Goodbye and hello and see-you-soon.


"And there are more i remember
And more i could mention
Than words i could write in a song
But i feel them watching
And i see them laughing
And i hear them singing along

We're all gonna be here forever
So mama don't you make such a stir
Just put down that camera
And come on and join up
The last of the family reserve"

- from The Family Reserve, by Lyle Lovett


And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter's shop
And every house must have it's builder
And I awoke in the house of God
Where the windows are mornings and evenings
Stretched from the sun across the sky north to south
And on my way to early meeting I heard the rocks crying out
I heard the rocks crying out

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green
That fills these fields with praise

And the wrens have returned and they're nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again
And the streams are all swollen with winter
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now
And I'm amazed when I remember Who it was that built this house
And with the rocks I cry out

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green
That fills these fields with praise

- from The Color Green, by Rich Mullins

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Darkness at the Edge of The Shire

Mayberry Existence

Took the long way (Is there any other?) back to Athens last night, and coming down the hills back of Lithopolis I looked across into the valley west of Lancaster and north of 33 and saw the new Dominion-Centex-MI-etc., moneypit/cookiecutter scourges, all packed in on top of each other.

It reminded me of a smaller version of the view-by-air of Denver, or the West side of Columbus from certain parts of Interstate 70. My first thought was, "Dear Lord". My second thought was "fly - run for your life". Then it all went behind the hills and I turned up the everybodyfields and headed toward the Mayberry part of my existence.

Darkness is coming to The Shire.