Manic Music Monday: Get Your Summer Swank On

Yes, it’s officially the sweatiest time of year. Hooray.

I made a short playlist of some tunes I’ll be rocking out to these next few weeks, which include some old tunes (Nina Simone, The Beach Boys, Queen) and some newbies (Chet Faker, The Growlers, Mac Demarco). You can check it out here:

Or just rock out to this song because it’ll definitely put you in a “school’s out, let’s go swim at the pool and eat ice cream while our bodies can still digest dairy” type of feeling.


Manic Music Monday: Daniel Johnston Will Find You in the End

One of my favorite movies is a foreign film from Argentina called Medianeras. It’s about two city dwellers living in adjacent buildings who go unnoticed by one another, but ultimately are “looking” for one another when it comes to finding “the one”. There’s a whole play on Where’s Waldo and some metaphoric crap involving mannequins. But my favorite scene is one in which the song “True Love Will Find You In The End” by Daniel Johnston plays on the radio while the two characters are listening at the same time.

I know the cult following of Daniel Johnston’s music, but can’t really jump on that bandwagon. I do appreciate the surprising simplicity of his songs and lyrics, but can’t really get into it. However, the warble of his voice reflects the uncertainty of the lyrics:

“This is a promise with a catch
Only if you’re looking can it find you
‘Cause true love is searching too
But how can it recognize you
Unless you step out into the light?”

Whenever I’m feeling a little heart-sore or hopeless, this song cheers me up quite a bit. And if you’re also feeling a bit that way, I hope true love finds you in the end too.


“Old Love” At A Young Age

A few weeks ago, a close friend invited me to watch him deliver the commencement speech at our old alma mater. Now, I’m not one for sentimentality or getting weepy over sepia-toned nostalgia, but after hearing the President’s Address at the graduation, even I couldn’t help but stifle a sniffle. No, it’s no David Foster Wallace or Baz Luhrman urging you to wear SPF.  It in no way comes across as a life lesson, and yet has just as big of an impact.

I ask you now to take one final quiz.  You need no paper or pen; you will not be graded. If you don’t know an answer, move on to the next question:

          1. Name the three wealthiest people in the world

          2. Name the last three Heisman Trophy winners

          3. Name the three most recent recipients of the Academy Award for best actress

          4. Name the last three authors who received the Nobel Prize for Literature

The next set of questions:

          1. Name three teachers who engaged and/or inspired you

          2. Name three friends who have helped you along the way

          3. Name three people you enjoy spending time with

          4. Name a few people who make you feel appreciated and special

If the second set of questions was easier to answer, it’s because the people who matter in our lives are not the ones with the most money or celebrity status or the best credentials.  They are the ones who care.  Sages of every age and culture recognize that worldly success has shallow roots while interpersonal bonds permeate through and through and perdure to the end.  Our society has developed vast institutions around things that are easy to count, not around things that matter most.

In 2005, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor unexpectedly announced that she was stepping down from the nation’s highest court to spend time with her husband, John, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s prior to his death in 2009.  At the nursing home, John fell in love with another woman, and Justice O’Connor visited the couple often.  She admitted to being thrilled at sitting with them while they held hands together on the porch swing – because, she said, it was a relief for her to see her husband of 55 years so content, after having lost so much to dementia. 

Psychologist Mary Piper in reflecting on Justice O’Connor’s poignant and selfless love for her husband, observed that “young love is all about wanting to be happy; old love is about wanting someone else to be happy.” 

I wish you all lives enriched by deep and satisfying relationships – lives filled with people who care for you. Most of all, I wish you “old love” at a young age. -Father Stephen Privett