Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On with the Love Revolution...

Now on with the Revolution from below, from within, from inside, revolution of love, the New Society, the Alternative from God, one human heart after another, pay it forward 'cause He paid it backwards and for all time, we will not try to redeem what is fundamentally corrupted from selfishness, power, and greed, we will simply show the world how It Is Supposed to Be through Christ and His message, not a sub-culture without contact with humanity, but rather a new society within society, with and among our neighbors, walls coming down with the sledgehammers and jackhammers of the Good News...OK now you got me started!  Break for lunch everybody, then we meet again...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today I got the news about a friend, Pekka, that, last week, his life came to an end...We were not close friends really, and long periods would go by when I didn't see Pekka around, but we have talked and hung out a little in the church café over the last 4 years, and we had prayed together a number of times, which is saying something...I sat with him the very first time I attended an all-Swedish language service back when I couldn't say much...He was from Finland, he was a very good folk guitarist:  once he played accompaniment to our friend Maria who was belting out soul-blues in Roumanian: wow!...He and I sat quite a few times and discussed music, he was a regular at our unevenly-frequented Jazz Corner evenings.  As recently as a month ago we were talking about the untimely death of a shared favorite jazz artist Esbjörn Svensson...Pekka sat out in the New Life Café a lot during meetings, and so I would find him there and stop and say Hi...The last exchange we had was around Christmastime this year, when we were talking about a family trip we'd made to Helsinki in July, and he asked about my son Patrick and daughter Claire, how they were doing and all...I appreciated that interest he showed...In fact, I will remember, among other things, the fact that I usually felt better after talking to Pekka:  somehow our short conversations, his eager, interested questions, even the subject (music, travel, Finland, America, guitars) would lift me up.  Thanks, brother!

Because he was a brother.  In Christ.  He was also alone.  I know he was, for many who knew him a lot longer, someone who had deep needs and struggles after a hard go of it in this life...A few had closer, regular contact with him, giving over and over again of their time and company in earlier times.

You know those people who are not really close friends, and you don't know real well, but you see them over a long period of time, have sporadic conversations, and they, on some level at least, become a part of your life anyway, they add something good, they enrich your life, and you are sad to see them go, and you will miss them.

And I am sad because he was alone out there somewhere.

I will miss Pekka. It ended here too soon.  But, brother, I will see you again some day, where you are now at peace, you are home among countless friends, no one is lonely, you are with the Lord, and someone is enjoying a new song you are playing....

Peace to the memory of you, our brother Pekka.

(photos: Pekka playing at 59 Minuterfest, 2006, and Östersjön seen from the Viking Lines boat to Finland, 2008 )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The time of year...

This is that time of year when you enter any café in Stockholm and notice that the place is absolutely jammed, no more seats at certain hours...Of course, everyone, including me, likes coming in out of the cold, for that cappuccino- or latte-fueled fika stop and a bit of conversation...Then you notice that half the people in the seats, on the wall-benches, have no heads:  it is so many down jackets sitting next to their owners, jackets so thick and heavy and non-compressible that they don't just hang on a chair-back, and, hung on the few coat-hooks in the entry, are like small people free-climbing the wall, blocking the corridor...So, actually, only half the people in Kaffekoppen or Fix or Vurma are real (some exceptions)....So that if one insists on occupying that bench-seat by the window under the North Face pile, it pushes a small wave of high-tech fabric upward and outwards, making the whole place that much cozier...I have actually lost a whole kardemummabulle under the Winter-Rea on the next table, and accidentally put on some else's black coat, while simultaneously sweeping clean the other table with my-or someone's-sleeve...The risks of my favorite cafés in January:  it's worth it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I just have to say right here, so I think I will, then, that if you want to have the korv (sausage or hot dog, depending) of your life so far, Livets Korv if you will, check out, if you're in Stockholm, Oves Hjulkorv AB cart right next to the steps of the Konserthus on Hötorget, by the lofty exalting sculpture of naked people...They (Ove and Co., not the naked statues) have a menu of exotic wursts and sausage and the usual boiled and grilled, but I tried the home-made Pepparkorv...Baby!  You may never be the same again!  You can even request it grilled dark or light...So many options!...For when you eat on the run, or walk...Love that svensk fast-food...Keep your Oscar Meyer and Ballpark, gimme Solna Korv, Wurren, and Ove, and that Swiss guy on Hamngatan...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Så gå då...!

Okej!  Time to get up off the Trettondagensoffa and get gå-ing back to work, down to the City and onto Kungsholmen for some big-time cleaning, painting, throwing away, and enjoying John's stroopvaffels...Gotta get mine and Derek's office space into that neo-post-industrial-Berlin-Tacheles look we want...Viva metal ventilation tubing!

Gotta meet with Synergy friends on our developing arts network to impact society with hope and beauty...Fika with Sam to officially start the Revolution around here...Walk with my Tomaskyrkan friends from one island to their new home on Kungsholmen:  we will sing and praise and pray all across Västerbron, a service with an unbeatable view...Prayer Week...Strategizing with the HOJS-gang on new expressions of the church all over this land...Counsel, advise, mentor, teach, tell jokes, fika, yep!  Holidays are over, let's go...Come on, I know this great place near Hornstull...!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year, friends!
Bonne Année...
Gott Nytt År...

Here's to more lights across the dark landscape
Flashlights pointing up to the sky
From every place where love and faith can be located
Spreading constellations
Hope justice holiness love beauty respect dignity
Brighter nebulae connected by pearl-bands of light
On earth among us the human metropolis
One more heart at a time
Given to filled by love of Christ
In 2009

(guitar designed and built by laura webster)