This is a certain kind of blog post of which there will be relatively few. It is about connecting specific recent events in my own life and internet activity to the larger patterns of society and the world. I do similar things but not this subset of specific things. I may drop down to some tiny little number very soon but as of a few minutes before writing this line I have 823 Facebook friends. There are a truly thousands of people I know and sometimes think about who are not on that list. There are many among the two or three hundred people I would most like to have contact with through Facebook and other means who are not on my Facebook list. In general my relationships as carried out by way of Facebook’s services are not very complete an are relatively unsatisfying. In addition they make one aware that sustaining real relationships (especially if one has the disadvantage of being me) is really rather difficult and uncertain. I enjoy the fact that in some way academic, political, religious, space-oriented, paramilitary, missionary, media and other spheres of activities and groups of associates are joined fo me in representative samples in one convenient place.
But the point of bringing up the Facebook list is really how much I appreciate and enjoy it. I enjoy and appreciate the way i can get news from relatives, friends and acquaintances. I enjoy having direct and even sometimes only indirect contact with people from my sojourns in Mexico, Colombia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Tonga and the many foci of my activities in the United States. I enjoy having these contacts gathered together in one convenient medium.
I recently served as lector and pallbearer for an uncle only nine years my senior. It was sad to say goodbye to Will. It was meaningful and even pleasant to reconnect with hundreds of people ( a good number well-known to me) who came to pay their respects. Those days meant a great deal and I am still glad to have shared that time with them sending off one of those who had a real impact on my life. This was a time of reconnection that meant a good bit to me.
I could write about so many people and probably could name them whom I have reconnected with in one of the two venues. Guys I went to school with and now can keep track of a bit better and cousins who had almost slipped off my radar screen but are now back in view deserve to be mentioned if one goes by their importance in my life. A few of these people are “flat-out famous” as a friend of mine used to say. Perhaps I exclude their names partly to protect them from unwanted attention and partly to protect myself from their displeasure. Not any specific fear but just a habit of caution.
Beyond these two specific venues for reconnection I have also recently been involved in a couple of rather brief correspondences which had the effect of reconnecting me to my past as well. However, I feel reticent again to go into specific details about who these people were too.
That leaves me with one specific name to mention. I mention her because we are not friends I have therefore nothing to lose and she is so famous that my little blog is not likely to cause her any real harm or inconvenience no matter what which would not have come first from many other sources.
Amy Grant is just a tiny bit older than I am and I have been listening to her music about as long as she has had a record deal. I used to own My Father’s Eyes, Age to Age, Straight Ahead, Unguarded and several other albums in what was never a really large record collection. She is the most successful artist in the history of the genre called Contemporary Christian Music. She has won several Grammy Awards and a plethora of Dove Awards. She has been part of my life and I have played tracks of her albums at prayer services, lectures and retreats. But it has been a long time since I have played her stuff for anyone else. It has even been a long time since I owned any copy of her stuff.
I belonged to (and still do belong to) a college household with a Hebrew name and have often celebrated Christian direct borrowings from the Sabbath Meal and the Pseder Supper. She made her mark with many songs but one of the early big hits was a song with a Hebrew lead line. I combined doing ministry and religious communications with involvement in secular media work. While she was a successful phenomenon it is still true that I could often see her working though decisions and difficulties that were the same as mine in that same process. Some challenges were identical, some very close and others just resonant but it was a real bond.
I also went to her concerts a couple of times and I felt I could invite a variety of friends who would not form a group elsewhere. Although the actual groups were small and kind of unsuccessful the potential seemed to be their. With my own sisters and some other young girls I could use her as a role model for a real young woman struggling to survive and grow in faith and be herself. Amy Grant was part of a soundtrack that included Michael Doucet, Bruce Springsteen, Rush, the Carpenters, John Denver, Willie Nelson, George Straight, U2, Rafe Vaughn Williams, Ray Charles, Fats Domino and many other artists when I was young as well as lots of live worship music. However, Amy Grant’s music has more special stories than almost all of the others from the large pop culture world.
I have recently downloaded some of her music and interviews and it makes me remember watching her career progress. She has now been married to Vince Gill for years and I remember when that was topic of conversation as an upcoming event. She has kept working and I have seen some of her stuff on tv and now can see that she is still working. I still find the vibe associated with her fascinating.
I want to put in a few links about reconnecting from her own work.
1.Here is a mature piece of spiritual work than reconnects with her whole past I think: Better than a Hallelujah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3AmhFXckSc&feature=related
2. Stay for a While… is about reconnecting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om_6q_diHw0&feature=related
3. Thy Word Amy also reconnects with an old friend and the industry she made rock http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZi-Nqndeok&feature=related