One of two short instrumentals I made for a promo video for my friend’s new iPhone app PaceDJ which helps you find the best workout songs for running, walking and cycling.
Listen to the other one here
6.9 7.2 earthquake hit near Mexicali, east of Tijuana, while I was setting up for our evening Easter church service here in San Diego. We meet in a 100 year-old church building full of chandeliers and stained glass. At first it sounded like someone was running across the tile roof from one end of the building to the other. Then the windows started rattling. Then the whole place started groaning and shuddering and I could feel the floor rolling under my feet. After it stopped I took this video of all the swaying lights.
Joining a Sacred Harp singing is now on my short list of highly recommended, along with New Zealand and guacamole. The physical power of this strange, haunting, apocalyptic music is not captured at all by this video (sorry Richard). Mellie and I stumbled across Sacred Harp a few years ago through this great documentary. We’ve been waiting for the west coast convention to arrive in San Diego ever since. Very nice folks took us in and even let us lead a song or two.
A film by Mellie, about a dopey guy she knows.
Places featured in this vid: San Diego, Big Sur, Mt Whitney, New York City, Mt Shasta, New Zealand, Montreal, Alabama, Mt San Jacinto, camping in a Chic-Fil-A parking lot (for 1 year of free food!), Honopu Ridge in Kauai, and my parent’s house.
Today we went to the unveiling of Jeremy Wright’s incredible mosaic. The project covers the outside of God’s Extended Hand Mission, wrapping around the entire front of the building at 16th and Island in downtown San Diego. I say it’s Jeremy’s mosaic, but it is actually an amazing community project, created by over 90 people over the past four years, including homeless, students, neighbors and friends. It is truly magnificent to behold, and it was super cool to see it finally completed. Jeremy was on hand chatting it up, taking pictures and telling stories from the last four years of this project. He’s already making plans to expand to the intersection’s other three corners.
I stumbled across the work-in-progress about a year ago and immediately knew Mellie would dig it. We came back together and it turned out that she knew Jeremy’s mom from her north county days! Small world. We were super stoked when Jeremy invited us to join in. We went back a few times to add our little bits to the project and even brought Nate and Sarah along. It’s fun to think that the pieces we contributed will probably last longer than we do.
God’s Extended Hand is the oldest rescue mission in San Diego, and has been providing meals and shelter to homeless folks since 1925. Over the years the building had fallen into serious disrepair. When Jeremy showed up the city was threatening to declare it a blight and give it the wrecking ball. You know you look bad when you’re declared an eyesore in that neighborhood. I love the fact that this beautiful community art project adorns the ugliest building around, and has brought new life and hope to a pretty hopeless place. What a picture of grace.
We took an expedition out to the Three Sisters Waterfalls, in the Cuyamaca mountains outside Julian. One last hurrah for Mellie’s sick little thyroid. In a few days the doctors will chase away the cancer with their knives. The peaks are dusted white with snow. The gorge opens at our feet, a zig-zag scar narrowing to a box canyon in the distance. We can see the falls glinting in the sunlight. Who knew this place was here, just fifty-five miles outside San Diego?
One hour and we’re down a steep trail, from the car to the stream at the bottom of the gorge. Another hour of rock-hopping up to the top-most of the three waterfalls. With the recent rains the water is gushing. The top sister plunges a forty-foot freefall from a clean overhang down into a round echoey bowl, drumming and rushing, swirling and then squeezing into a narrow chute exiting off at an angle down the creasy face of the second sister, gathering speed, hitting her stone lip and spraying out in a bright arch down into a long rippled pool. Slowed, the sloshy water leans up against a wide edge. Slipping over, it spreads itself out across the bumpy granite all white and intricate like lace, twenty feet wide and sliding down soft into the lowermost green pool.
From the top, beside the misty bowl with the sun on our PB&J fingers, we rest and watch the stream make multiplication among the red and brown boulders, tumbling away silver along the canyon floor.
Then we turn to answer the challenge. We gather flint-jawed and scrunchy-toed to the edge of the elder sister’s pool. Into icy water, snow-melt squeezing lung aching groin clutching numb-fingered against the swirling current, fighting—winning!—to see what is behind the thunderous curtain of water. Stinging skin, squealing like little girls, standing knee deep on a sandy bank for a moment, finding it, wide-eyed, taking it for our own. Then flinging ourselves into the icy numbness again, rib cracking pushed by the flow toward sunny rocks. And out, breathless, steel nippled, hooting and blowing. Spread out flat against warm stone, pasty white February bodies goose bumped and cursing the shreds of cloud obscuring the sun. Laughing together with her, I feel clean.
Before church the pastors and elders gather with us in a quiet room upstairs. Oil on her forehead and prayers over her. Reasoning with God. My hand against her back is warm and moist. God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trouble, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received. The sufferings of Christ that flow over into our lives. Later, downstairs, the water leans up against my eyes, and then slipping over, it spreads itself out across my face, intricate like lace.
Last week Mellie and I headed up to the Laguna Mountains with our friends Nate, Sarah and Matt to check out the Perseid Meteor Shower. Supplied with Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels and our comfy groundpads, Mellie and I snuggled up under our sleeping bags in the middle of a big field to watch the show. It turned out to not be much of a show since the shower had peaked the night before. But, having nerdish tendancies, I had brought a star-map. So we spent the next couple hours identifying constellations and catching glimpses of the occasional fireball streaking across the night sky. Download my star map!