Getting Away From the Noise

Vinyl Record CollectionOne afternoon amidst all the hustle and bustle I walked into the house and heard a distinct sound.  I took a moment to reminisce. It was the crackle of a turntable playing old rockabilly ballads. My landlord’s wife bought it from Target and now she can play her dad’s old records like Marty Robbins around the house.

It’s great. It reminds me of growing up with my family, sitting around the fire in a house with no electrical heat, and listening to records from the Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. Yeah, CDs were invented by then, but most people still listened to cassettes or vinyl. It wasn’t all bad. Just simpler. There were things I wished we could do that we can do now, but there wasn’t near as much noise.

The pic in the intro is my uncle’s record collection in Eugene, Oregon.  Here’s the Edison from the 1920s that he had in his bedroom:

Don’t get me wrong, despite all my rants against tech, I enjoy it. The things we can do, learn, and communicate are incredible. When Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 overture in the 19th century, I bet he never imagined that one day it could be played the next century with an orchestra and cannons, recorded eventually onto a shiny disc, then years later burned onto a laptop, and then copied to a little black gadget that could play that and hundreds of other songs anywhere either in one person’s tiny earbuds or blasted on a sound system which could be heard by thousands of people.

But there was a time when authors, songwriters and poets could write creatively with full use of the English language, with mostly their words giving you the image to the point where it’s hard to understand unless you’ve been educated or have read a lot.  What would they say to the thought that they could say whatever they wanted to the world just about anywhere, anytime, but would have to tell their message in 140 characters or less?

I love the social media for promoting my music.  Gatekeepers are fading, and it’s the day of the independent artist, thinker, or entrepreneur.  But sometimes I get overwhelmed like that tech guy in Portlandia. There’s times when it seems all vanity like Solomon said in his later years. A few weeks ago I fasted social media for the weekend and it was awesome. The peace I felt was like a breath of fresh air.  I was able to get back on track, but I think all us media junkies could use that from time to time.

I often have to get out of the city. The lights, traffic, noise, media, working. I love the people at church and worshiping God together, but even church can get busy. Lately I’ve been taking a few basic hikes with family and friends. Silver Falls, Multnomah Falls, nothing too hardcore. And, yeah they’re waterfalls, maybe a bit photographic cliche, but beautiful nonetheless. If it’s out of cell range, all the better, because it forces me to just chill out and enjoy it.

When I take a trip to the coast, I feel God. Sometimes I think, wow, why have I not kept as good of a worship life as I could? And I wonder why the sea would be gone in the new Earth. But we’ll have God Himself right there. So it’ll be great.

So awaken your heart. Express yourself in art, call your friend you haven’t talked to in a while, read your favorite old book once again.  If married, take your spouse out, if single go travel or do something you have the freedom to do.

Nowadays I understand the need for a Sabbath, a day of rest. Take a day off once in a while. Get up early, fast a meal, take a drive out of town, hang out at a prayer-room, church or chapel on a random weekday, dig out that guitar and sing your heart out with the three chords you know, turn the computer off and play a worship CD, or just go to the park.  Gather the family or friends and have communion together.

Find God once again.

Category: Spiritual Thoughts |

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