Category: Media & Art

Franklin Graham, Amygdalas, and the Futility of Fighting with Fear

Amygdala of the brain, artwork

Amygdala of the brain, artwork

I made the disastrous mistake of accidentally reading today’s Islamophobic diatribe from Franklin Graham (how did this show up in my newsfeed? I *blocked* all FG posts ages ago!?).

But instead of getting mad at him or losing my shit over the comments (because seriously – my head pops off and fire erupts **exactly like** on InsideOut, which is the most emotionally accurate film ever made – don’t even try to debate me on this.), I scrolled through comments, careful NOT to read them, and prayed a blessing on each Image Bearer who commentstands either in solidarity against Muslims, or against those who’re against Muslims.

Because listen: Scared people don’t need to be yelled at or berated. They don’t need to be mocked. They don’t even hear it.

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underCover: “Lovesong”

About a year ago, my brilliant guitarist husband (Paul Koopman) and I worked out what we think is a great cover of The Cure’s ageless wonder, “Lovesong.” 

I’ve always been moved by the song’s simplicity. Lyrically, it’s nothing terribly fancy, and yet it says everything we want to say to and hear from our lovers. Full of that agape/eros love that’s totally invested, utterly vulnerable, and completely unconditional.

However far away…However long I stay…Whatever words I say…I will always love you.

There’s this magic to it. This real-life base that cautions even as it guarantees: We won’t always be together, some times will be shorter than others, and in the together and apart, I will absolutely inevitably say things that hurt you… 

But.

I will always love you. 

These promises are tucked into the reality that is Love: When I’m alone with you, I’m whole and at home. I feel young and wild, like a kid in a candy shop. I feel free. And clean. 

This song is the epitome of the hope inherent to Love.

There are songs every songwriter wishes she wrote, and this is one of the grandest for me. If I had written this song, I’d feel no need to ever write again. It says everything, perfectly. 

We love the song. And so we who never cover songs decided we ought to cover it. And we ought to make it as emotive and vulnerable as possible. 

And thus, we give you our cover of “Lovesong.” 

Dreams and Deliverance

All rights reserved by Ryan Montgomery [source: flickr]

“underwater 1” | All rights reserved by Ryan Montgomery [source: flickr]

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had one superpower in my dreams. I don’t fly. Flying terrifies me. Even if I’m riding on a particularly strong and sure dragon, I lack the confidence to remain peaceably in the air. And more often than not, the dragon gets very angry with me because I’m clinging so tightly to its scales as to cause pain. To a dragon. But water? I can do water. When I swim in my sleep, I’m afraid for about three seconds until I realize I can breathe under water. And it’s amazing. Exhilarating. Magical. 

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Winter in Bloom: New Ink

Sounds weird, right? Nothing blooms in winter.

So last Summer, as I considered what I wanted to get for my new tattoo – the all-important, representing-my-life-and-it’s-many-woes-and-wins-since-Eli-was-born ink – I ran the gamut. Flowers? Dead flowers? A specific plant that blooms once and then dies, but in its bloom is utterly magnificent? And how to represent the family around it? Birds. Okay, birds. But what birds? What kind of bird would Paul be? And Matt? And Eli?

Well, finally, I settled and simplified and landed on a barren tree – you know, for barren me – with four little nondescript birds hanging around, one of which would be flying away (because, you know, Matt’s 15 now and about to…fly…away…).

I scheduled the appointment for the weekend after my birthday with an artist in Nashville. He’d done my Amaro-Rwot tattoo, which I love Love LOVE, so naturally I assumed this one would be equally awesome. Right?

Wrong:

IMG_4038

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The Tomb, The Womb, The Imposter, and The Beloved

God is in the kitchen.

I know it if by no other fact than the myriad themes running through my life, iterated by everyone from friends to my therapist to our pastor to daily Scripture to the devotional book I randomly found gathering dust under my bed.

The Tomb. The Womb. The Imposter. The Beloved. The Labor Pains. The parallels woven throughout.

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