Today I went running with the intent to clear my mind enough so that I could possibly come back home and write(a song/music). I was not optimistic though because I have been wallowing in a writers block funk and haven't found a stick to pull myself out yet. I have come to realize that I have been stacking bags on my shoulders while asking myself to scale a mountain. The mountain being the process of writing and recording a new cd and the bags being stipulations. Here is a list of a few of these stipulations:
#1. Have a radio single #2. Make it a Christian Radio single #3. Make it up-beat #4. Make it 4/4 #5. Sing it in the pretty part of my vocal register/Make it a certain key #6. Write honestly #7. Be creative/fresh/do something new #8. Be theological #9. Write something congregational #10. (I could go on and on but will stop)
So, with this load on my back I grabbed my running shoes and headed out the door. I was going to run until they fell off. This is where Future of Forestry comes in. I had chosen all 3 of their latest "Travel" EPs and just put the songs on shuffle. Just a mile into my run and half way into the second song I almost had to stop. At first I had found myself smiling at the creativity and depth lyrically, musically and melodically of the songs. I was thrilled by the freedom that the band shows. Then I realized that it has been a long time since I have listened to music that really spoke to me. I love listening to Arcade Fire and Local Natives and Kanye and John Mark McMillan and Tim Hughes and Florence & the Machine etc. etc. but each of these bands speak to me one-sided. They either speak to me spiritually(ie. John Mark and Tim Hughes) or musically(the others). It is very rare that a band speaks from both sides or rather actually speaks my language. Future of Forestry does this. They look me in the eye and speak to me. There is no strange hard to decipher accent. No one is turning to someone else saying "How do you say... in her language?" Nope they speak Sarah. I had forgotten what it was like to hear my language and that is what almost stopped me in my tracks. They spoke musically and spiritually to me and I am thankful. I was reminded of the verses in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
I don't know Future of Forestry. I have met and spoken a bit with Eric Owyoung(the lead singer/songwriter) but would still say that I don't really know him. What I do know is that this is a band writing with freedom and writing quite well. Is this is because they are standing with unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord? I hope so and I hope that this would be my one and only stipulation that I keep with me as I climb the rest of this mountain.