Sunday, February 29, 2004

Week of Captivity/Day of Jubilee

This weekend was a doozy. I cleaned; I vegetated; I conquered. And in between, I was able to pinpoint when exactly I started watching network television with abandon (fall 1994), and how I feel out of love with it all (cancellations of wonderful shows and commercials that made me hate). I was confused by Solaris, confounded by my high school love of Pearl Jam, and dogged by ghosts of Fiona Apple's When the Pawn... (Finally, I realize why I have such a problem with it. It sounds less like a Fiona Apple album and more like a P.T. Anderson soundtrack. Jon Brion is the guilty party, and he must be stopped at all costs.)

I was up at roughly 4:30 this morning, all these thoughts racing through my head, plus others (I ruined the carrot cake; I'm not going to be able to wake up for church; why do I have a sore throat again; I am a computer killer, I broke the poor computer, I am guilty of computer murder, what will my parents think, will God strike me down like so much chattel; I wonder if I can find that live Pearl Jam cd from their show in Seattle on eBay for less than $10, because I can't imagine spending more than 10 dollars on a PJ cd anymore, even if it is three discs long), when I was reminded by one of the things I gave up for Lent: Internet shopping (there goes that cd).

E-shopping has been my downfall since Christmas. Obscure cds, books, and movies all at my fingertips. I can't get enough of it. So, like Michele, I said so-long. I didn't even binge on Fat Tuesday, stocking up as it were for the fast ahead. My last online purchase fell some two weeks ago, when I reconnected with an old friend named Waterdeep.

Somewhere after Everything's Beautiful and Enter the Worship Circle, "Everyone's Favorite Indie Band" started slipping off my Hot List. Maybe it's because they were no longer indie, maybe it's because Kenny Carter left the band, maybe it's because I was desperately trying not to develop a crush on this girl I strongly associated with all things Waterdeep. I think, though, the death knell might have been the craptastic version of "Those Who Trust" on their solo worship cd You Are So Good To Me. Not long after that, their record label (Squint) folded, most of the band was let go, and Waterdeep went bankrupt. Now, I don't believe in karma, but if I did, I'd point to those first few measures of "Those Who Trust" version 2.0 (and the look of horror on Andy Senter's face when he heard it for the first time) as the beginning of the end.

But behold, everything that was old is new. Bankruptcy forces cut backs, resulting in a wonderfully sublime acoustic tour (with, not one, but two of the most cinematic moments of my young life [stories for another time]). New albums, released independently, were produced and sold via the Internet. I didn't bite for over a year and a half though. Didn't visit the Swim Team boards, didn't borrow a cd, didn't even download an mp3. But one day, maybe three or four weeks ago, I started listening to Sink or Swim in the mornings while waking up. And suddenly....

Flash forward to last week, opening and listening to new albums -- one Waterdeep with mostly Don, one solo Don, and one solo Lori (p.s. the absolute apple of this proverbial eye). Mostly, I was worried about peppy "Christian-eze" lyrics (that had wormed their way onto Everyone's Beautiful). But much to my surprise, most of the 42 songs were "Sweet River Roll" in nature (minus the "sweet Jesus" refrain at the end). It was fresh and vital and exactly what I needed.

Then hell sprang forth from the depths. On Tuesday, a publishing project I had been working on for weeks came back from the printer's with major problems. On Wednesday, I had a "State of the Job" talk with the boss, that while it went well, left me with the feeling that I had played my last trump card. On Thursday, I started getting a sore throat again (4th cold of 2004). And on Friday, our server hiccuped, wheezed, then gasped it's last breath (fingers crossed that I'm wrong). It was like that episode of ER where Dr. Greene saves the baby but loses the mother due to various complications he wasn't fully trained to handle. Except I don't think I saved a thing. I worked on it from noon until 8:30 at night with a 15 minute dinner break at about 6:00.

I have never felt so helpless in my life. This was worse than my Summer of Suck and the Med Student Physics Fiasco combined.

But I am taking this day, February the 29th, as a sign that things are going to be different. This is special. This is unique. This is a day I will live less than any other day of the year in my lifetime (let's call it my own personal Day of Jubilee). And I will rest in that. Let the debts be made null, and let the land be returned to its rightful owner. I will rest in the plans that are laid out before me, misty though they may seem, stretching further than I can imagine, made solid by my trust in that which cannot be caught by human eyes, only felt through a hope that cannot be overcome.

God, I'm such an existentialist.

No comments: