Saturday in Seattle

We are just waking up after our third night in a row of staying up far too late, though last night was well worth it. The concert was amazing, in a beautiful old club downtown with rows of star lights for a stage background. Once in awhile you come into the presence of clear, strong musical ability and its beauty is startling. That’s how I felt last night. Over the Rhine has built such a beautiful sound over the years, his masterful improvisation on the piano, her passionate voice. I had no idea what a treat I was coming to see. I love seeing artistry in all its God-breathed grace. Today we’re in for a bit of earthy art; a drive up into the Cascades with a picnic and some soaring sort of soundtrack for accompaniment. It’s a good way to end the summer.

I was intrigued by some of the comments on the last post (hey Uncle Wiley!), and want to write more on some of the things I’ve been thinking about loneliness and community and the need we have in our time to draw back into relationship with each other. I will write a longer post when I’m home, but for now I’ll say that one of the abiding griefs of my own life, and something I have observed as becoming epidemic in the lives of others, is a deep loneliness. There are countless individual causes for it, but I think they all stem from the fact that we live in a modern world that is becoming increasingly isolated because of media, technology and the fragmentation of traditional community. But we are also a culture that is highly individualistic in values and our view of our own lives. Life is about finding my work, my fulfillment, my call, (especially in the college years) at any cost, instead of valuing faithfulness to relationships. It becomes rarer and rarer to find people who love and believe as I do, but it is even harder to find basic, life-together fellowship. The old arts of home and hospitality and community (as in a local church, people who see each other on a daily basis, etc.) are being lost and it causes so much loneliness.

So, the short version of my thoughts is that I want to reclaim and recreate community, faithfulness, beauty, hospitality in my time. I’ve spent the last few years of my life looking for it. I felt so sure that there would be some college, some group, some town, some country (!), some Christian ministry that would have the fellowship and friendship that I craved. But no matter where I have gone, it has still eluded me. So I’ve decided that the only option left to me is to begin crafting it myself. To partner with a God who is Love and loves me and begin to renew that love in my own time. It has begun with my making choices to stay closer to my family, to build on the relationships I have, to seek out and renew friendships. But my searing hope is that I can take it farther. I want to someday create a physical home to shelter the lonely, to strengthen family and friends, to be a refuge of beauty, a niche of strong love in a cold world.

So, there’s a shot of unfettered idealism to begin your Saturday! I hope you find it full of music and beauty and friendship. Happy autumn day to you all!

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6 Comments

Filed under Music, Musings

6 responses to “Saturday in Seattle

  1. joydancer

    Always thankful for your ideals, your words and your God-given dreams. May your days ahead be filled with generous peace, gracious mercy and abundant lovingkindness. I anticipate with great expectation, watching what unfolds.

  2. Thank you, Sarah 🙂 May God bless you as you journey with Him in this. In coming to know the Father more each day and in the making of my own home (and that is a process that lives and breathes and continues), I am finding what I sought for so long. I am praying with you! Q

  3. Debbie Unruh

    Ah Dear Sweet Sarah … reading your blog is like climbing into a time machine for me. Born into an unruly and unmannerly family, schooled in literature and arts at a worldy university, then married into a “normal” family with no feeling for refined taste or arts … I was often bereft of ever finding my spot in this world. Yet, I continued to pray and offer cups of refreshing water (oft times in a waterford goblet, other times from a dresden tea cup). Sometimes the only taker was my beloved husband. The joy of the Lord led me down paths that looked forlorn, lonely, and empty, yet I always managed to emerge into a bright meadow along the way for a picnic with others. Rarely did I find a true kindred soul, however I learned to enjoy the repast with whomever I managed to engage in conversation and my light continued to burn brightly (even when the other conversant looked at me blankly or with disdain). I am much further along the road than you with my delightful husband by my side and five children as well. They have become my beloved inkblots and yet I still keep the door ajar for any seeker wishing to join our tea party. It amazes me to see who the Lord brings down the path of my cottage. SO many long to share the secrets of literary longing, true beauty, and spiritual journey. When I gave up the notion of finding “the group” I realized they were milling all around me. They trickle in … we share … some leave and others knit themselves so dearly to my heart that we shall never part though our paths diverge. I encourage you to carry on as the Lord leads you; he will assuage your loneliness with a cup of coolness — just keep asking. Journey on, sweet girl, and you shall not be disappointed. I read your blog and delight in seeing the light of the Lord’s call on your heart. Rest, when necessary … roam when called … but never despair. Godspeed!

    With Love From a Kindred Spirit in CA : )

  4. lachanteuseincessant

    Dear Sarah!!! How I love reading your thoughts! I’m so interested in hearing more about this new idea of yours! So funny, I’ve been coming to very similar conclusions lately, and I love how you’re seeming to be taking yours a step further! And as you can see, I’ve joined the wordpress world! Took me long enough! I’ll be talking with you soon, far-away friend 🙂
    ~Annie

  5. Debbie in CA

    Oops! seeing my post in print caused me to gasp as the words “UNLIKE YOU” should precede my being born into an unruly family. Never meant to suggest your family was akin to mine! Your sweet whole-hearted family rings out with joy and love. I came across your mom’s books early in my childrearing days and I cried out for joy, “There are more like me out there!” We, too, life whole heartedly in our cottage in CA. I so enjoy your family anecdotes so deeply suffused with life and truth. Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly. My homeschooled daughter (17, now away at college) has found like-minded friendship in short supply outside the hearthside. Your sharing encourages her. : )

  6. Sarah, I think you are definitely correct in your assessment of the loneliness pervading our culture. We are so connected and hooked to information we are on overload. We’ve been lulled into thinking we are communing with each other through all the blogs/emails/texts that are everywhere, but really sometimes we are only hitting the surface level. I think many people struggle now to even maintain and develop relationships that are face to face. At my job, coworkers prefer to email a conversation than talk in person. Its like we’ve lost the art of relating te each other in person, and many people hide behind the guise of a computer screen because it feels safer. What we thought would connect us, has instead pushed us farther apart.

    I think its our job to dig deeper with those around us and to take relationships to a deeper level. How do we develop the community, relationships, and love that we are called to be characterized by in scripture? I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Still no big answers, just daily efforts to die to myself and go deeper as I get the opportunities.

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