Sunday, June 7, 2009

Is it just about the music?

i believed in god when i was younger, but then he changed. it used to be about the music.


Now this statement is funny, very funny. In fact, it was so funny that I had to get in touch with Brandon and ask him if I could quote him.

It alludes to the rock star that sold out. One who just doesn't put his heart and soul into his craft anymore.

But the funny thing is when I was a child church was all about the music.

When I was very young I often tagged along to a very straight laced very fundamentalist church with my best friend from elementary school. The church rules included a strict dress code and didn't allow dancing, but boy did this church have hymns that you could sing. I mean really belt it out, feel the spirit move through your body songs. Once a week or so l got to feel that glorious feeling.

I enjoyed the music of the church.

When I got older, I went less and less. One of the reasons was probably because I found music out in the world that affected me the very same way. Music that I could belt out and would move through me and make my spirit sing. All kinds of music. All kinds of people singing it. I could feel this feeling any time I wanted.

I enjoyed the music of the world even more.

Then I found other people who liked the same kind of music I liked. Who also felt passionately about music. I started to commune with those people.

I enjoyed a community of friends who loved music.

I went for a long long time without going to a church service.

And it's not because I don't believe in a higher power. I am very spiritual. I just don't necessarily have to commune with the universe inside a particular building at a particular time.

A recent move made me consider making new acquaintances by going to church.

I found a Unitarian Universalist Church that looked interesting.

I pulled into the parking lot and noticed that the car next to me had a bumper sticker. I read the bumper sticker, and agreed with it. I noticed that the car next to it, and next to it, and next to it each had bumper stickers as well. I walked the row reading bumper stickers and agreeing with them.

My car was the only car in four rows without a bumper sticker.

It's not that I don't feel passionately about things, it's just that I don't like the idea of someone rear ending me while trying to get a handle on my political agenda. I've also scraped a couple off of cars, and it's a pain.

All of these cars had owners who not only cared passionately about displaying their bumper stuck views to the world they didn't care if they got tennis elbow scraping them off or into an accident with a near sighted tailgater.

I remember thinking, my god, I've found my people.

I went inside and was greeted pleasantly. I sat in a pew and looked around. I was in a big airy room with a lot of light and many lush living plants.

The minister started speaking. He was interesting, thought provoking, funny, quoted Einstein and Buddha in the same paragraph and had a folksy way about him.

Then we were asked to join him in song.

I opened my hymnal to the required page and began to sing with the congregation.

Now I don't know a lot about this particular denomination. I do know that they aren't bible thumpers and that their teaching leans toward the liberal. So, no fire and brimstone, no holy trinity, no confession, no need for praying to the higher power through an intermediary. You could wear jeans to church and not lift an eyebrow. All things that I related to.

But their music sucked.

It was very careful music. Very unconfrontational music.

I read through a few more songs during the offering and although each song obviously had been written by someone with intelligence, they had no oomph. They were hard to sing and lacked passion.

I went a few more times to this church. I did meet a few nice people, some of whom became friends.

But ultimately I decided that if I was going to drive forty minutes on a Sunday morning to do something good for my soul, it would have to be something that made my spirit sing.

Like a great park, a beautiful museum, a live concert, a brunch with friends, an amazing movie, laying on the ground with a good book and looking around me and seeing god in the details.

Or I could just stay home and blast Aretha.

For me church is all about the music.


Karen from Mentor said...

It occurred to me after I posted this to tell you that I do sometimes read this minister's sermons online, while in my jammies, listening to Aretha, eating chocolate chip cookies(hi, Jason.)

The only way a Sunday morning could get even better than that would be to add an emotionally sound, over six foot, non smoking, non cologne wearing over 35 cuddly male to luxuriate with for hours in the privacy of my own lair..I mean home. (how's THAT for advertising, Brad?)

Meloi said...

hahahahaahha. your comment-above-slash-PS is so freaking funny.

oh well, i'm not a religious person too. I'm never fond of churches. But I can say I'm spiritual for a young adult. And true, music helps a lot in motivating people in whatever they do-- love, chruch, work, hobby.

music, in my opinion, has the most drastic influence on any person next to religion. :-)

i'm glad you stumbled upon my blog. and i'm gladder i've stumbled yours. :]

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks for coming around the world to see me.
Music has such power to move you and mold your mood.
I'm glad you liked it.
Come back anytime.
Karen :)

lindacassidylewis said...

I'm also a spiritual person and former church goer. I no longer hold the beliefs, but my heart still thrills to hear gospel music sung with feeling. Music is religion, I think.

Karen from Mentor said...

GOSPEL!!! Oh man. Mahalia Jackson.(goosebumps)

Karen :)

judy said...

Ministered to by the Queen of Soul. Sounds sacred to me! You go, girl!

Anonymous said...


Stopping bye here to say hello! Still don't know where I'll be at up there!


Karen from Mentor said...

Nice to see you in here mister. Glad you got the door open.
Let me know when/where later in the week.
Karen :)

/brandon\ said...

i sent you an email! if you don't receive it, let me know brandon at

mdvelazquez said...

It was always about the music for me too.

Your P.S. comment made me laugh.

Karen from Mentor said...

I'm off to read it. Thanks so much for allowing me access to your words.Glad you know who hooked us up.
Karen :)

Maria, I Love it when you get that goosebumpy/shivery feeling from music. Or men.
Either way. But you don't have to pick up the dirty socks that music leaves laying around.
Karen :)

Angie said...


I've enjoyed reading your blog!

And yes, sometimes I do look up people with the same interests as me. ;) So you're a writer, that's amazing. How is that going? hat are your books about? I noticed that you write love stories.

Anyway, I should be off, but thanks for posting on my blog!

Angie in Australia


Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Angie,
My first Australian! Now I've been read in the Philippines and down under!
Shoot me an email and we'll talk about my
Yesterday I put 8,493 GREAT words into my WIP.
I had steam/smoke/flames coming out of my head.
It was an amazing day.
Thanks for stopping in, hope to see you again.
Karen :)

Karen from Mentor said...

And Maria?
I liked that so much that I just went off and put it in my random thoughts.
You were my muse today! Give yourself a gold star.

Meloi said...

Karen, if you don't mind I put a link of your site in my blog. :-)

Karen from Mentor said...

WOO HOO!! Mind? MIND??? Thrilled I am (she said in her best imitation of Yoda)
Thanks Meloi.
Karen :)

Kris said...

I agree - music can be very powerful and motivational. The church I go to has fairly traditional music which is well-played, but doesn't exactly inspire. On a few occasions when we've been unable to make it to our own church, we have gone to the next one down the road, and the music there is completely different. Their late mass is a children's mass, and the music is performed by the teenagers and young adults in the parish. My kids love it! And it tends to be music that really catches you.

I'll keep going to my regular church. I'm big on community and I really seem to fit there. But in the meantime I'll look forward to our occasional trip to the neighboring church when I can get my music fix!

eclectic said...

Yeah, music is great... blah, blah. But have you ever been to a Lutheran potluck? Those folks know casseroles, is all I'm saying. If ever I had to go back to church (God forbid!), I'd pick one based on the food.

Karen from Mentor said...

I love children's music. Especially the pre schoolers.. 'Tony Chestnut knows I love you' anyone?

you made me lol....yeah and spaghetti dinners.
good advice. And boy can seventy year old women BAKE.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Well said. If I said that around here, they'd chop my head off. Shhhh...

I can't tell by your posts what genre you write. If it's romance, you should check out my blog. I have a contest going on for romance writers. Go to:

Lynnette Labelle

Lettera22 said...

Hi Karen!

Wonderful blog! I've added it to my daily reads.

8400+ words in one day? Wow! I slogged through 1.5 chapters last night. And now that I'm properly caffeinated, I'm going back to work.

Keep pounding on that keyboard!

Karen from Mentor said...

Jen, nice to see you hon! Thanks for stopping in. Now that you're looking in I know a contest I just might have to start. No caffeine was involved, but I am fearful that there may be a meteor hurtling toward my house and the words are rushing out before the impact...

I'll be over to check it out.(looks at your bio) MOM OF TWINS??!!
holy cow.(read my post daughter of my womb, daughter of my heart)

Thanks guys for coming by.
Karen :)