I wish I could write like this
I’ve spent the day reading … the Sunday papers, a stray magazine or three, a new novel by Richard Ford, and then the last few hours an academic book I’ve been assigned to review for a journal. It’s week overdue and yet I’m already fleeing from it, after only a few chapters, the writing so opaque and coldblooded. These are the moments when making your way in the world with the written word feels like a protracted experience of what Dickinson called “the hour of lead.”
So I came here, to my office and the laptop hoping for a distraction somewhere. And thus did I find this glimmering jewel of an essay at songwriter Joel Lindsey’s blog about … well, everything: Christian music, songwriting, memory, longing, grief, friendship and beauty and the irrepressible writer’s id that births moments of surpassing grace in the strangest places, even among couches that smell of “body odor.” What I’ve decided to quote from the piece (the opening paragraph) is not so much representative of the rest of the essay in tone and focus, but it’s a wonderful example of cultural and artistic history seen and narrated through the prism of individual experience, the kind of thing I wish I could pull off so gracefully:
For those of us who grew up in the sometimes stodgy world of church music, in the late 70’s when Amy Grant came along it was permission to go a little crazy. I know her music and persona seem very tame now but her leopard jackets, wild hair and (gasp!) three-button shirts were quite controversial then. I was such a gospel music nut and I had no separation in my head between what was then called contemporary Christian music, inspirational and southern gospel music. Even southern gospel then was fresh and innovative and going through times of incredible growth and creativity, and all genres of Christian/gospel music were playing off of each other in very fun and challenging ways. Amy Grant came along wonderfully and scandalously challenging those in the genre and those of us wanting to be in the genre to make music that was more vulnerable and perhaps a bit more honest than what many of us were used to.
The entire thing is worth every moment it takes to read.Email this Post