Posts Tagged ‘andrew richards’

Smother Me With Words

July 31st, 2009

My friend from college, Annette Richards, wife of Andrew-who once wrote a guest snide– recently made a list on her facebook.  Her list was of different musicisans she had come to like, because a friend of hers shared them with her. 

annetteslist
I thought it was really cool, and at the same time, I wanted to be on that list.  So I was determined to come up with some good songs or artists that she might not have heard of.  I sent her a list of songs and artists, and she had heard of a few of them.  So I took the remainders, and along with my great birthday cd of 2006 (I should post that one too), I sent her 2 cds with artist samplers.  Maybe she will fall in love with one of the artists (I predict Phoenix), and I can make her list.  Here are the cd’s.

The Chaos Around Me
The Chaos Around Me Side Two
Smother Me With Words
Smother Me With Words Side Two

I Just Got Lost, Every River That I Tried To Cross

May 12th, 2009

May 12

We awoke to street noises and the st. mark’s bell and then got our day started around 9am.  We debated heading all the way back to the train station to check the schedule for our exit the next day, but instead decided to hit the internet cafe.  I also was needing to email our next hotel as they wanted notice a few days in advance, of our approximate arrival time.

We got to the internet cafe, and it was not due to open for another 15 minutes, so we found a nearby street cafe and had an espresso and a cappichino.  It was my first attempt (I think) at an espresso and I must say it was quite bitter, I think I eventually had a bigger sugar to coffee ratio.  However, I had most of lisa’s cappichino and it was the best one yet of the trip.

The cafe opened and we took care of buisness.  At that point we decided to get on a water bus and make our way across the backside of the canal and go to a few churces across the way.  But once on the bus, we had front seats in the air, we didn’t want to get off at the 3rd stop.  So we decided to stay on for all 15 stops and then get off at the last stop and do the Accademia museum instead.  We were enjoying our cheap bus ride, in the open air.  Part of me thought we should just go round and round all day.  It was that much fun.  Though, we got off at the Accademia museum, and before going in the museum, ate some pizza at a cafe right outside.  Mike would have loved this pizza because it was not very high quality and tasted like it was frozen pizza from back home.  Lisa barely made it through a slice, and I wasn’t gonna leave it.  

There was no line for the museum and it was not very crowded.  It started with some byzantine art, but worked our way through art by Veronese, Bellini, Giogiorne, and some Tintoretto’s.  I recall from my trip in 1997, that my favorite two items from this place was The Tempest by San Giogiorne and The Feast in the House of Levi by Veronese.  I’m not sure why I included the Tempest, because on further review, there wasn’t much special to it.  Although, it had a long and complicated history, so maybe that is what I found so pleasing.  Veronese however, I think I really like.  I like many of his pieces, and The Feast I think is one of my favorites.  I also like the story and history behind it.  It takes up a giant wall and is full of details.  I think I could spend hours looking at it.

redentore_sm

Part of me wishes that there were some great museums with just one or two pieces of art.  I think I’d like to once, just sit for 2 hours in front of one piece, reflecting, praying, writing, and seeing what thoughts come to mind.  But in days of fast travel, and even quicker society, there isn’t time for that.  Maybe one day.

Speaking of speed, we made it through that museum in a mere 45 minutes.  Hopped back onto the water bus, with intentions and determinations this time of getting to the churches across the way.  The first church was called Il Redentore (the Redeemer).  This church is beautiful.  Not only is it pretty, but every nave seemed to have a great piece of art by Tintoretto.  I loved the arches, and the domes and the perked ceilings.  I snapped a couple of pictures, but then got reprimanded, albeit kindly.  Il Redentore has a cool background story.

sangiogiore_smWe walked a few blocks and then realized that we needed another water bus, and found our way to San Giogore church.  Lisa enjoyed the beauty of this one more than the last.  It is a gorgeous church with a large campinelle.  It housed great works of art, and we could take pictures more freely, and explore more depths of the choirs and main basillica.  We took the elevator up the campinelle for great views of Venice.  As Dr. Carlander would have said, “beautiful.”  Lisa must be getting at least slightly annoyed, as I keep reminicing about when I was here last, travelling with school, enjoy the friendship of Andrew.  Some things that we are doing, such as visiting these 2 churches, were things that I did and enjoyed so much before.

Along those lines, after San Giogore, we took a water bus to the San Salute church, which when I was here, was our stop.  I was attempting to find my way back to the hotel I stayed at before, so I could show her where we would climb in and out of the window, and how it was right across from where a famous poet once lived. We found the Hotel Messener, but despite going in every alley, could not find my window or the poets house.

tintoretto_smWe traversed over bridges, through alleys, across squares and then more bridges and found our way back to our room.  I did some Snide prep work and we rested.  Then, we went back to the itnernet cafe where I spent a frustrating 2 hours trying to publish my Snides.  The attempt to upload a video to youtube kept failing, I would get typed and insert a bunch of photos and tags, and then the computer or server would freeze and when I would re-enter into the right page, I’d find that I lost 20-30 minutes of work.  We kept buying 30 minute increments, and eventually I completed (all but the youtube video) of my posts up until Venice.

We then walked about 45 minutes looking for the perfect place to enjoy our last meal in Venice.  Sadly, we didn’t find the perfect place, but gave up  looking cause we were tired of walking, and energetic for food.  I had a caprese that was substandard and Lisa ate some very good minnestrone soup.  My next plate was Spaghetti Pomodoro which was very delicious, and she had a pizza Margerhita that was substandard.  All of this chased down by frizzante (Peligrino).

We made our way back to our hotel, stopping briefly to take some very nice pictures in St. Mark’s square, as the sky light was perfect.  We tried to set an alarm lisa downloaded for her computer as we were going to attempt to wake up at 5:00 am so that we could catch the 6:00 am water bus, that would get us to the train station by 6:30 so that we could catch the 7:20 train ride to the Cinque Terre.  This train ride would take approximatley 7 hours so we didn’t want to miss the early train as the next one was 2 hours later and wouldn’t get us to our destination till 6pm.

Needless to say, I was not expecting a great night of sleep, as I had my doubts on if the alarm would work.  Little did I know, that it was going to be an even worse night of sleep than I expected and would still end in failure, with slight redemption.

stmarksdusk_sm

Fun Fact #5,033

April 18th, 2009

I recently started messing around with a vhs to dvd converter.  I have been practicing with an old vhs tape from a trip I took with school through Europe.  It was the best time of my life.  Here is Andrew dropping dimes of knowledge on us from St. Mark’s in Venice.

Don’t You Dare Mess With My God

April 5th, 2009

DavidAs I have been thinking and preparing for my upcoming jaunt to Italy, I have been looking through old art and personal journals from previous travels.  I’d like to share what I wrote on June 1st, 1997.

Michelangelo’s David is spectacular.  The veins in the hand, the muscles, the proportions from foot, to hand, to face, the contrapossto – or weight shift were all signs of its marvel. 

Michelangelo didin’t often sculpt the iris of his subjects, but he did here and it emphasizes the determination of the young boy.  Andrew mentioned something to me, and I agreed to disagree with what the board said about the figure.  The board said the statue was done after the battle.  But the figure, I believe, has a look of determination.  I personally think that it is representing before the battle with this thought on his mind:  “Don’t you dare mess with my God.”

Cause Edge Is On A Completely Different Timing As Usual

March 30th, 2009

Mycenae

Music touches my soul.  I love how lyrics, or melodies will shed light on life for me.  A simple song can resonate with my heart and make me feel in union with emotions.  You may have noticed throughout these snides lyrical references.  It is plain to see, that music accompanies my life.  If you haven’t read it yet, you should read the guest snide by Andrew.  He quotes Hans Christian Anderson who says “Where words fail, music speaks.”  I have not been much of a talker in my life.  My introversion doesn’t mean I am much of a thinker either, so don’t be too confused.  I am a feeler.  The trouble comes in trying to express those emotions.  Music potentially then, is something I find release in.  A heavy lyric opens a well of emotion inside me.  As Andrew writes, music is “something your soul needs to hear at that moment… something that resonates with the tonality and rhythm of the song.”

Chris Brahmer walking amongst the columns

Chris Brahmer walking amongst the columns

Anyway, all this is brought up cause I was looking through art journals and personal journals from my trip to Europe in May of 1997.  On one particular day in my art journal, we were travelling through the biblical city of Corinth, as well as some old Macedonian cities.  We were looking at architecture and tombs that dated back to 1250 B.C.  Up to this point I had been having a fascinating, eye opening trip.  I was learning from the time, from the art, and from the crazy collection of people I was travelling with.  Despite the constant community, my emotions were feeling mostly isolated at the time.  I felt, not really at a crossroads, but I could feel the winds of change (yes, 2 cliches, on purpose!) approaching off the Greek waters.  I was about to enter my senior year of college.  “The greatest time of life” was soon to end.  What was my legacy?  What had I accomplished?  What did I want to suck out of the remaining year?  What would be my final memories of friends and places?  And I held with me a fear of the future.  I had never planned past college.  All of my dreams post college were of wives and kids (OK, one of those was in a singular sense).  I was soon to be venturing into the deep unknown.  What did I want to do in life?  What sort of job did I want to find?  I had no direction.  All I had known in life was one grade to the next, one school year the next.  I don’t plan ahead very well.

Dori, Karen, Courtney, Karen, and Autumn under the Lions Gate

Dori, Holly, Courtney, Karen, and Autumn under the Lions Gate

As I was walking through the lions gate, and viewing the beehive tombs, I wrote at the top of this particular art journal entry, a poignant lyric that was resonating with me that day.

I am standing at the entrance
To a new world I can see
The ruins to the right of me
Will soon have lost sight of me
Love rescue me

-U2
Love Rescue Me
Listen Now

This is a beautiful song.  Even the “sha la la la” touches my tear ducts, as cheesy as that sounds.

I wonder if I am the same person as the person that was writing these things back then.  Life is full of lessons and experiences.  I have learned that I am spoken to, and speak out of lyric and song.  In the journey, I must seek occurrences in my every day life that challenge my reflections.  Finding the little lessons is sometimes the joy of life.  Whether I am the same person mentally and emotionally as I was back then, is tough to know.  Maybe a lot of that me remains.  Maybe a lot of that me has washed away.

On that same days art journal I wrote, “Also, while on this bus tour, it wasn’t a scheduled stop, but I saw something I felt was remarkable and worth noting.  [There] was a pier from 200 B.C built at the Port of Corinth or also known as Sinclair.  This port led to big steps in exploring and travelling to Asia Minor.  All that remains is a few stones.  I found it beautiful.”

 My life is like that pier.  Sometimes my life is full of travel and exploration.  Sometimes my life is a vital part of existence.  And other times, I may feel incomplete.  Life, in some seasons, may be down to just a few stones.  But I find it beautiful.



Ok, this is not the same U2 song as the one I quoted.  I used the term “heavy lyrics” which is a term I always think of because of this clip below.  In it B.B King says to Bono, “Those are some heavy lyrics, young man. You mighty young to be writin’ lyrics that heavy.”

Two other tidbits on this video clip. 
– I love when they are backstage and Bono starts talking about “not the first verse, first chorus, not the second verse…” and then Larry is being a drill sargent about the song.  And then he says the title to this snide:  “Cause Edge Is On A Completely Different Timing As Usual”

– B.B says “I’m no good with chords…I’m horrrrible with chords.”

– “A lot of emotion right there, that’s alright young man, that’s alright”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH81Klu1FAw

Small World

February 6th, 2009

I have been recently looking into planning a trip to Italy and perhaps some of its neighboring countries.  With the train systems and the cheap inter-continental flights, Europe can seem like a “small” place, that is easily manuervable.  But when I really started to examine it, I realized again how massive it is.  How, you cant easily get to Germany via a train thru Switzerland, because of something called the alps

Picture by John Minton

Picture by John Minton

I was chatting with my friend John and looking at some of his pictures from his trips to Europe.  John loves the outdoors and sci-fi/fantasy.  So he showed pictures of valleys, and waterfalls, and talked of Tolkien.  When he was showing me pictuers of the valley and glaciers near Grindelwald, Gimmelwald and Muerren, I realized, again, that the world is full of beauty.  There are popular places in the world to travel to, often because of its beauty.  But there are also little towns, little cities, little nooks and crannies that we often don’t think about, that are undisputed beauties.  How did God create such a magnificent world.  And to also imagine the beauty that we don’t often get to see–underwater–the world amazes me daily. 

People travel to parts of the world to see its history, to see its architecture, to see its art–to see the genius of God, the genius of artists, and the inexplicaable feats of building massive strcutres with non-modern equipment.  I am often blown away by the overall size of churches, and castles and other buildings across europe, that were built in the 1600’s, without the use of modern equipment such as cranes.  Furthermore, this makes me contemplate, what sort of feats of architecture do we erect today?  Are we building anything for the pure beauty of it?  What will our generation be remembered for?  Also, sure there are parts of the east coast that holds “history”, but what will “remain” for future tourists on the west coast?  What do we have in america where people travel to “see”, and not just be?  What “genius” are we presenting and will be remembered for?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I also find it contemplative, if there is a reason it is a “small” world.  I think everyone at one point or another, has been travelling in a remote part of the earth, and have ran into someone they knew.  John was describing walking thru that valley, and having one of the best days of his life, and running into the Lees , a couple who he knew.  When I was in Europe in 1997 with other students from my college, this happened to me twice during my 6 week jaunt.  The first occassion, I was travelling in Florence, walking down the street, and I recognized the sister of a friend of mine.  And then an even more random experience, was Andrew and I had just come out of Westminster Abbey in England, and im staring at the ground, looking at the cobblestones as we walk up the road.  When then im just staring at someones shoes, and there is silence.  I did one of those movie slow pans up, and then surprisingly exclaimed, “Sean Foster!”   We had ran into one of our classmates that was not on the trip with us.

I am sure we all have stories like this.  It always seems to happen, and the line always used is “its a small world.”  Is there a divine reason for this?  Perhaps, its a way of God reminding us that we are never alone, and never outside our community?  Is there some profound reason that this happens so often?  Perhaps it is just that we are more concious and aware when travelling, that we notice these little things more clearly?

Which reminds me (yes, this snide really fits the category of “rambling”) of the freedom of travelling.  I had an experience in Europe in 97 that I will never forget, and never be able to duplicate.  It was such a free time — not in the money sense, but in the freedom to think, freedom to live.  Every day was set in the moment, and my mind and eyes were seeing awe and thought inspiring places.  I felt so alive.  I was in community and was free to challenge myself and others.  It makes me wish I was young again with the freedom from responsibility, where I could just travel around the world, seeing and doing remarkable things, being inspired to interconciousness–yes, I just made up that word, but I think you know exactly what I mean.

Opening Chords

January 30th, 2009

Andrew Richards is one of my closest friends in the world. If I had to put him in a box (by the way, the phrase “inside/outside the box” has become the antithesis of what that phrase really means) I would call him a “thinker.” I have been blessed over and over by Andrew through his thoughts and his friendship. We established a mantra early on in our college life, but didn’t see it truly manifest itself till we spent 6 weeks gallivanting around Europe. Andrew currently resides with his wife wife and 2 and a half year old son in San Clemente. He spends his days learning, surfing, and mobilizing the church to join with God in His mission of reclaiming, redeeming and restoring (or something like that).

Opening Chords
by Andrew Richards

Have you had this happen: the opening measures of a new song come on and instantly you like it.  Why is that?  Is it a feeling, an emotion, just pure aesthetic appeal?  Or is it deeper – something your soul needs to hear at that moment… something that resonates with the tonality and rhythm of the song?  Is it all shaped and informed solely by preference?  Or is there something deeper and more universal in music?

Something Hans Christian Anderson has said pops into my mind quite often:

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

We seem to live in a culture of word worship.  It seems like we can’t handle silence.  Or maybe it’s because it requires too much work to read a person’s non-verbal communication and really connect with their experience, so we settle for their words.

Or more accurately, I settle for my understanding of their words.

How do you truly listen to music?  Who truly listens to music? How can we truly listen to each other if we don’t know how to listen to music?

What was the last song that made you cry?

This Week I'm Thinking About: Kelly Le