I’m getting my Sesame Street on this month – My February has been brought to you by the numbers 6 and 7. Challenges 6 and 7 have been completed and journey number 6 took place.
I have completed the project/challenge of writing and recording an album in February. I’m going to let it sit for a while and come back to it in April and see from it what I still like, what is not great and what I might want to rework/re-record. I’m pleased that I did it and pleased that the focus of FAWM gave me the motivation. It’s in part a snapshot in time, and in part an expression of things that I have been pondering and reflecting on, and seeking to live out for a while.
I’m really pleased with my music to poetry in the form of Wendell Berry’s ‘Peace of the wild things‘ although I think the quality of the recording could be better, I like it’s rawness and honesty and longing. It came to me as an idea quite quickly and was recorded quickly and I’m happy with its soul and feel.
Lyrically and vocally I like my acapella track ‘Battle for Soul‘ and having hinted in an earlier blog about my desire to record the words of Eugene Peterson’s take on Matthew 11:28-30 I’m really pleased with the version I recorded.
I get my Ed Sheeran on in Moving Home and I really like the guitar in Embrace the fullness of life, but the lyrics are way to quiet! I was inspired by Sufjan Steven’s No shade in the shadow of the cross, but am absolutely nowhere near it!
I’m pleased and poised to return more critically to the work in a month, and hope perhaps to be able to feel confident to book another open mic slot and play 4 songs from the work that will hopefully stand up and feel that I will want to play them! Let’s see.
Through February all 4 of us in our family have been playing/competing in/encouraging each other in the minimalism challenge, along with a fair few colleagues at work. I’ve done a photo diary day by day on Facebook and been so hugely encouraged by the shared experience as a family and the encouragement and cheering on of friends and family through Facebook.
I’m especially humbled and amazed by the way that our children have embraced the challenge and kept going! Beth has done 26 days and George 24. Totally amazing. I envisaged that they would loose interest really quickly, which they did, but I thought they would then just give up rather than carry on.
The experience has evoked previous times in life reflecting on Mark Powley’s book Consumer Detox and also Brian Draper’s Less is More. It’s raised good questions about what we value, how over time it can be a little bit easier to ‘let go’ but also how ‘stuff’ is also something to be thankful for and to cherish, without becoming too attached to them. I have been surprised how many books and CD’s I managed to relinquish, and can’t quite believe that I have reliinquised 406 items!
This photo and post from Facebook sum up the journey well
It started with a single book and has progressed through the month. The Minimalists game has been played by all 4 of us in the family and each day we have got rid/recycled/given away an extra item. Each of us have relinquished over 300 items. Our house does feel emptier, but not radically so. We are more aware of stuff, but still love it and depend on it lots. Are maybe marginally more organised and appreciative of what we have. Its a great game and experience. Do check out the minimalists website and consider playing/taking the challenge!
I would encourage you to take the challenge or at least check out the website
Meanwhile Challenge 5 – Reading all of the Harry Potter books, has picked up pace. I am now deeply hooked and absolutely loving the books. I’ve almost finished book 3 ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’. Of course this feels much more like an experience than a challenge, expect that the challenge element comes in on several levels….. I’ve tried and utterly failed (much to the lament of family and good friends) to read the books, and now I’ve broken in and through. I’m racing against the clock of reading them before 11 June. I’m not a completer/finisher and for me, reading 7 of something feels a big deal!