Monday, December 8, 2008

Time and It's Trappings

I’m sitting once again at a favorite coffee shop of mine, hot chocolate in hand, Christmas music playing from the speakers, considering the last year of my life. Lately I’ve been struck by the abstract nature of time. I know time is passing, I know the green grass has dried up and turned brown, the flies that invaded my house this past summer have finally left, and I will soon (as I did last year and the year before) have to think twice before I write the date on my checks. I know this is happening. I know.

At church yesterday I watched the children run across the wood floors of the old building we meet in, and I was struck at how fast they are growing! Wasn’t she just pregnant? When did that little girl turn in to a teenager? When did that cute baby get out of that stroller and start walking around?! When did this happen? Well, over time. Over these last years.

This reminder of time’s unforgiving consistency is what causes me to consider my life of 2008. A year in which not much has changed from it’s beginning to now. It seems. A year in which I wrote dozens of songs, some of those songs ended up on a couple records, I played dozens of shows, traveled to many places, watched too many hours of television, read some books, got slightly better at playing the piano, met some new people, grew some relationships, and hopefully learned some things. But it seems to be a dud of a year when I consider the children in my life who have done things like learned how to talk, how to walk, or how to eat solid food! Now THOSE are big accomplishments. This is the point in my thought process when I realize how much our culture shapes the way I look at my life. Culture tells me that my worth is found in what I have accomplished, when I know this is not true.

When I sign off of this website, I’ll still be pondering the funny abstraction of time and how it seems to change it’s dimensions as I get older, but I'll stop pondering what I’ve done over the last year because I know my means of measurement are way off. Here is the first verse and chorus of a song called “Trophies” that I wrote recently with my friend Stephen Gause. Seems appropriate.
Trophies

I have nothing to prove
though I know this to be true
still I will try not to lose
this game where worth is found in what we do

fighting for my survival, to earn my place in line
a status and a title, as if that were the prize

Trophies in my hands
fall apart like castles in the sand
it’ll all be washed away
there I’ll stand with nothing left to say
cause your love has sustained me
your love has sustained me

3 comments:

Sarah Lewie said...

You don't know me, but I love your music. Thanks for this post today...it hit me right where the Lord knew it would.
Thanks.

* Sarah Lewis *

Anonymous said...

Alli, I think you did something pretty big this year. Oh, you know, just created a baby kirk/alli.

-Val

Dave Zeman said...

you know alot of connections happen at a coffee shop... when I have the time, I love to go alone to one I have never have been before.

this came out of one of those trip...

Coffee Shop II by Dave Schipper © 2008 Rose Riversongs

In a small café she smiled from over the counter
Life is good, and God invented the doughnut.
There was time; different place, life was simpler.
Thank goodness someone invented sprinkles and nuts.

Now she warms her hands on the black cup and waits
Until she smiles and says good morning again
The doughnut gone but I pick the crumbs on the plate
Savor the French Roast and wonder where she’s been.

It’s just stories over coffee again
A warm place where smiles begin
We get lost in the troubles of the day
But treat each other in just the right way.

This morning did she wake next to a lover or a pet?
Did she stress over a test or just fluff her hair non-stop?
Too bad I couldn’t connect this morning, but
Life is good, and God invented the coffee shop.

It’s just stories over coffee again
A warm place where smiles begin
We get lost in the troubles of the day
But treat each other in just the right way.

Now it’s time to go, I’ll release her this time.
Let her escape my psyche until I think it over.
Yes claim that a stranger inspired this strange rhyme,
But I’m sure she’s someone’s lucky lover.

It’s just stories over coffee again
A warm place where smiles begin
We get lost in the troubles of the day
But treat each other in just the right way.



Peace... may a sweet muse visit you today.