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One song a month (hopefully) that moves me in a deep way what goes on in my head when I hear it. 

  • What is Song for A Sunday
    SFAS was started because Sunday mornings have always been a time of deep reflection for me. In the past, I was either attending church, leading worship, teaching churchy things or hosting a home church meeting. Now, later in life, after some movement away from traditional religion, I find that I still desire those times of deep reflection. These days they happen at dinner with friends, talks with colleagues, and in the online sphere. Still, that Sunday morning time exists for me, as I know it does for others, as a space carved out where not much is happening. I’d like to think that it’s still a good place to sit and reflect. My goal with SFAS is to share one song a month that moves me in a deep way and explains to you what goes on in my head when I hear it. Also, I want to hear what you have to say about it. Does this song get your brain and heart going too? What kind of dialogue and action can a song like this spark? Together we can continue to reflect on this life, our parts in it and how we can make it worth living. SFAS doesn’t exist to try to explain what the artist was trying to say, there are plenty of interviews out there where you can find their story. One of the beautiful things about art is the ability of the one experiencing it to collaborate with the artist in creating a unique meaning. A song might only have 100 words but 100,000 meanings to all the individuals listening to it. The gift of art is its communal nature. Together we create. Together we grow.
  • Why I Almost Quit Song For A Sunday
    Music is so subjective (understatement of the year). Once, I was so excited about an album that when I loaned it to a friend (back when loaning someone a CD was the only way to share music) I said to him, “Be careful what you say about this. I feel like I’m handing you one of my children.” To many of us, music isn’t just something playing in the background at work or a signal in our earphones – there is a deep, deep place that it settles to. Like when you get to the bottom of a cup of coco and all the chocolate that didn’t dissolve is there waiting for you. Whether it’s classical or classic rock, EDM or folk, if you’re a Swifty or a Parrot Head – that deep place can be sacred and hidden; a place where you and the music meet to commune. There are songs that can move me to tears for reasons I just can’t quite explain (which is awkward and dangerous when driving). Likewise, there are songs that demand me to turn the volume knob up to 10 and stomp around playing air guitar. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Those secret experiences where a song climbs into a backroom of your mind and fellowships with your heart. Maybe it fits the vibe of the day or maybe it just sneaks up on you, bearhugging you from behind. A song is a specter that can haunt your soul. When I started this journey called Song for a Sunday (SFAS), I thought it would be easy to simply write about a song that moved me, explain the reasons why and hope others would respond with insights of their own. I realize as I start my second entry that the task is harder than I first realized. As I perused the list of songs that I had chosen, I came up against the same obstacle again and again. “That one’s too private.” “That one’s too personal.” “That one’s too hard to explain.” Each song was not just attached to some sort of memory – but a movement of heart and head towards…. what exactly? A feeling? A state of being? An epiphany? Whatever it was, I wasn’t sure that it would translate. You can describe a breathtaking sunset, naming the colors and the hues, but can you describe the awe you felt at seeing it without reducing it to cliché and metaphor? Do descriptions just cheapen an experience, turning it into an exercise in forced catharsis? Maybe each of us should hold our own song close, like a poker player’s winning hand, and simply nod our understanding to everyone else around the table, knowing that they also think their cards will convince others to fold. Is it enough to know we move through communities where, like a picture, a song is worth a thousand words, perhaps best kept to one’s self? I was ready to give up on this whole venture, until it dawned on me. The artists who create these songs don’t hide them from the world. In fact, they seem compelled to share them. Like a child who brings their newest finger painting into the kitchen hoping it will get hung on the fridge; an artist creates something private, but longs to show it to the world, hoping it will be accepted for the gift they feel it is. These songs are created out of joy, crushing pain, mistakes and experiences as unique to the songwriter as the song itself. The lyrics and music leap or crawl or claw their way from the persona of the artist and land “out there”, in the void we call the airwaves or music streaming services. A newborn, wet and crying for someone to pick it up, love it for what it is, and adopt it as their own. So, if an artist can be so vulnerable with their creation, why can’t we as listeners do the same. What stops us from opening our mouths and hearts to profess what has happened to us since we first heard…. that song. SFAS is my place to do just that. To be vulnerable with the understanding that the art of a song can be picked up, examined, and then shared again through another form of art; namely writing. Hopefully taking this risk will encourage others to tip their hand as well, and as we do, we all learn that the cards we were holding so tightly to our vests are beautiful, each in their own way. One of the greatest things any of us can experience in life is to truly be heard. The gift of someone listening to us, without interruption, as we spill our guts on the floor – and when it’s over to look up at us and say, “That’s awesome. What beautiful thoughts.” Hopefully, being consoled that our secret didn’t scare them away, we in turn open our hearts a bit more and say, “Thank you. Now you tell me about yourself.”
  • Read the Song for A Sunday Essays
    Sunday, May 8, 2023 "Young at Heart" - Four Years Strong, Brain Pain Sunday, April 2, 2003 “Sleep Now in the Fire” – Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles
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