The Music of Life

Posted in Life/Stories on June 10, 2010 by lspray

While we were in India I wrote in my journal every day, but reading over it now, the words aren’t exactly as I remember. Everyday when I would write I had my iPod on, headphones in, writing to theme music. I felt like the words were coming off my pen in the same way that the last scene of a movie unfolds, full of drama, meaning, song.

I thought that the music gave my words meaning. But maybe it was my words that gave the music meaning.

Because reading over it now, the words don’t have that romantic, nostalgic feel. That doesn’t mean that the memories are any less meaningful, perhaps more so. It’s just that the music that accompanied the writing wasn’t life, life was the music. The Music of life.

I have this friend named Brittany. Brittany and me worked together at Bubba Gump’s. We also lived pretty close to each other, so naturally, we rode the same bus to and from work each day. And each night we would ride home on that bus, and at the place where we would part ways, there was a Mel’s Diner. And we would go to that Mel’s three, maybe four times a week. Now, I can’t tell you much about what me and Brittany talked about at Mel’s each night. I remember flirting with the waitresses and confronting Brittany about how gross it was that she put mayo on her fries, but other than that, theres not much to report. Those nights at Mel’s were pretty ordinary. But that does not mean that they were not meaningful. In fact, quite the opposite is true. All those nights at Mel’s are some of my fondest memories from last year, and despite the “average-ness” of our interactions, Brittany is one of the people I miss most.

You see, I’m starting to become convinced that the “average-ness” is what the heart of life is made of. I think I somewhat expected life to play out like a movie. That the high points would all be accompanied with theme music and the low points all accompanied with rain. I subconsciously thought that life was made during moments where music was playing in the background. But what I’m finding out is that life is made in those moments where there is no music, in those moments of “average-ness”. Life is made in those moments of bus rides, burgers, boredom and routine. Life is celebrated in moments where theme music is playing. Weddings, graduations, prom’s. We celebrate life to theme music. But the music of life is written when the couple is fighting, when the senior is studying and the girl is shopping for the prom dress.

I have a couple of friends who make their livings as musicians. I am extremely jealous of them. Pop singer Cyndi Lauper said, “An artist’s job is to take a snapshot that explains what its like to be alive at that time.” A musician has the incredible privilege of taking a snapshot of life, and putting it into song. From there they play and perform the song, allowing themselves and their audience to relive that moment that they have captured. I think its important to realize that the moment came before the song. Beautiful love is not based off of beautiful love songs, beautiful love is based off of hard work and commitment, beautiful love songs celebrate that hard work and commitment. I think we go through a lot of life looking for the beautiful love songs in our own life, without taking into account the work that it took to make that song possible.

I kept expecting life to play out life a movie, when in fact life is more about writing the script.

I think thats where a lot of people get into trouble. We’re so accustomed to watching things go smoothly in movies. If you’ve ever seen (or been) a guy trying to pick up on a girl, you know it never goes as smoothly as it does in the movies. Either there is an awkward silence, or he fumbles his phone as he pulls it out, or she hears his name wrong, or there is confusion as to where they’re going to meet. It never goes perfectly! And the thing is we all know that, but we don’t always take that into account with everything else in life. We expect to get the good job, but we don’t take into account the years of school, the weight of debt, and the countless wasted resumes. We expect to find the perfect guy or girl, but we forget that first he must fumble the phone, and she must hear his name wrong. There is an awkward silence before the perfect kiss.

We so often forget about the awkward silence because its much more enjoyable to focus on the kiss. We think that life is lived in the theme music, in the parties, in the last scenes. But life is much more often lived in the dull moments. Life is lived on the bus. Life is lived studying in the coffee shop. Life is lived in the grocery store. Life is lived at poker night. We talk about the moment where Johnny won the big hand on poker night, without realizing that he spent a lot more time folding before he won.

I’m tired of waiting for those big moments. I’m tired of living in hopes of hearing the theme music. I want to live more when the only sound is breathing. I need to realize that life is lived to the sound of breathing, and celebrated to the sound of music.

I’m going to quit focusing on dancing to the song, and start focusing on writing the lyrics.

I’m going to start writing the music of Life.

3,400

Posted in Life/Stories on May 26, 2010 by lspray

Our last India Outreach Newsletter was written by yours truly, and this is what I wrote:

It’s a strange thing living out of 3,400 square inch backpack alongside nine other people for two months. And it can be rough. 3,400 square inches is the only privacy you have, and sometimes you even have to share that space with those other nine people. But if there is anything I’ve learned this past week of wrapping up ministry and doing debrief (and relaxing!) Its that I’m incredibly grateful for those nine people. This week we said our goodbyes to our friends in Faridabad, and then set off for a couple of days of debrief and relaxation. I saw our team go the extra mile in finishing our last day strong working at an orphanage, and I saw them come together as they realized that this is the end. It’s made me realize how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to share life with them, and that I would gladly do it all again, even if it means sharing my 3,400 square inches.

Greener.

Posted in Life/Stories on May 17, 2010 by lspray

As I write this it is 9:23 PM monday night, at 5 AM tomorrow morning, I will be on a plane headed for America.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, and, well, I’ve been on the other side for 5 months now.

Here are some things that I’ve missed the last 5 months, and some things I’m grateful to come home to:

-Free refills. Seriously, enjoy them, we’re apparently the only country that does them.

-I’m grateful to not have to convert prices in my head anymore. My math skills have never been more tested.

-Cool air. Something that is missing in India.

-I’m grateful to not be the sore thumb for once. It will be good to walk through a crowd and not turn heads.

-In-n-Out. Seriously, that is what a hamburger is all about.

-Convenience. Nowhere else is the world is there more stuff in one place than America.

-Not bargaining. I’m going to be grateful to walk into a store, and the price on the box is the price of the item. As of now, it is a foreign concept.

-A phone. I know I will not feel this way once my phone gets turned on, but it will be nice to be in contact again.

-Pancakes. Nothing more needs to be said.

-On the subject of food, it will be nice to be back in a place where McDonalds and KFC are the cheap places in town rather than the expensive places. You can only celebrate so much over a McChicken sandwich.

-Paper towels. I cannot emphasize how much a person misses those suckers when they don’t have them.

-Eating something…without sharing it with at least nine other people.

-Showers that are, A) not out of a bucket, and B) have water pressure, and C) have more than one choice of temperature.

-White shirts! So simple…but so nice.

-Rules of the road. In India the only rule is….ah who am I kidding, There are no rules!

-Being able to eat something without asking myself, “will this hurt later?”

-A place where dogs are petted rather than avoided.

-Red freaking meat. Holy cow, I cannot wait to eat some cow!

-Family. Yes. I miss them.

India has treated us like family. And of all the things that have been amazing, its continually shocked me how good people were to us. Complete strangers gave us rides and refused payment. People invited us into their homes at their own risk, and having 10 loud, eclectic “westerners” is no picnic. Not only did they invite us in, but they treated us like family. And as grateful as I am to go home, and as much as I poked fun at India during this blog post, I will always look back and remember how green the grass was in India, especially when it came to family.

India Outreach Newsletter No. 4

Posted in Life/Stories on May 14, 2010 by lspray

My India outreach team is comprised of some amazing people. All of whom have different stories and different perspective on this journey. Luckily, some of these people are also really gifted with putting a newsletter together! So here is your chance to get a quick update, some pictures, and some highlights from the heart and through the words of the people who I’m lucky enough to share this experience with:

Click here

and enjoy.

Writing + Update

Posted in Life/Stories on May 9, 2010 by lspray

The art of tandem child throwing

As crazy as it is to say, this is our last real week of outreach.

Next week we have debriefing and a little bit of fun before heading back to NYC on the 18th.

For all of you who have supported me, thank you so much. You have not been forgotten. In fact, You’ve been remembered every single day. Because every single day I have written in my journal, telling the story of that day, knowing that soon enough I’ll get to share the stories with my friends and family halfway around the world.

I have been writing alot personally, and soon and very soon I will be writing alot publicly.

I’ve learned alot on this DTS. And in bits and pieces, in private letters, conversations, or on here, I will be sharing. That I promise.

A couple of quick notes:

-Next week I should have a chance to write a decent summary of our time here in India.

-I am still (unfortunately) without an internship at this point. The right thing just hasn’t come along yet, so its looking like I might be coming back to the states after outreach for a little while. Prayer would definitely be appreciated.

-I am still short on funding for India, so if you would like a personal story or two, please feel free to check out my support letter. Again, prayer would definitely be appreciated.

-Yesterday was our day off, and a couple of us went to visit the Taj Mahal! It was AMAZING to say the least. More on that later.

More on everything later.

Thank you for staying tuned as always.

-Luke

India Outreach Newsletter No. 3

Posted in Life/Stories on April 30, 2010 by lspray

My India outreach team is comprised of some amazing people. All of whom have different stories and different perspective on this journey. Luckily, some of these people are also really gifted with putting a newsletter together! So here is your chance to get a quick update, some pictures, and some highlights from the heart and through the words of the people who I’m lucky enough to share this experience with:

click here

and enjoy.

India Outreach Newsletter No. 2

Posted in Life/Stories on April 30, 2010 by lspray

My India outreach team is comprised of some amazing people. All of whom have different stories and different perspective on this journey. Luckily, some of these people are also really gifted with putting a newsletter together! So here is your chance to get a quick update, some pictures, and some highlights from the heart and through the words of the people who I’m lucky enough to share this experience with:

click here

and enjoy.

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