I’ve been thinking about it most of the day and I developed the opinion that there are left-brain Christians, right-brain Christians, and whole-brain Christians. This theory deserves a lot of time to develop, and it’s not the reason I’m writing this entry. I feel that the development of rigid religion came from the left-brain people, and the ultra charismatic are the right-brain Christians. I’ve decided Christians can’t hear God’s call completely without using both sides of their brains.
I’ve always had a connection to the arts, nature, music and other right-brain things. It’s not just simply about enjoyment. I truly believe the Holy Spirit uses these things to speak to me. Due to the many troubles that came our way in 2011, I used my right brain a lot to hear God. He used nature to speak to me, he used lots of fellowship, and he used music.
So, here is the chronological list of right-brain activities I did this year. God used so many wonderful opportunities for me to see him and feel him in new ways.
Took a great trip to Colorado with Joy. We stayed in a cabin with no electricity or running water for a few nights and loved the time away in the wilderness.
- Spent four days at South by Southwest, an incredible weeklong music festival in Austin. Here is the list of notable bands I saw:
2) Josh Ritter
3) Chapin Sisters
4) The Strokes
5) The Head and the Heart
6) Bright Eyes
7) Snoop Dawg (with Puff Daddy and Warren G)
8) Mayer Hawthorne
9) Caleb Hawley
There were a few others, but they were smaller bands that I couldn’t remember the names of. Needless to say, I saw a lot of great music over that week.
No traveling in April, but it was a very busy concert month for me. I needed the music therapy it provided, and the escape from reality for a few hours was nice too.
11) April 10- Gungor
12) April 14- Keb Mo
13) April 19- Fitz and the Tantrums
14) April 26- Old Crow Medicine Show
15) Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
16) Mumford and Sons
Maggie was born three days later and life went into a spiral. We spend the next 26 days next to her hospital bed, and then there was the funeral and recovery time at home, then trying to get re-acclimated to work.
We were so blessed to go to Costa Rica in July. A week of time together in a world that wasn’t plastered with sadness and grief was just what we needed.
Got back to the music scene in the hot, hot month of August. My good friends Travis and Joe got me back out to see the following shows.
17) August 8- The Decemberists
18) August 24- Robert Ellis and DAWES (One of my favorite bands!)
Joy and I flew to Wisconsin at the beginning of the month to visit her family and meet her new sister-in-law, and at the end of the month I got to fly to Las Vegas with a few close friends for a weekend away.
19) September 28- Gungor @ Stubbs
20) October 21- The Naked and Famous
As the year began to come to an end, and having recently found out that Joy was pregnant again, I knew I had to get out as much as possible! So, I took a solo backpacking trip to Arkansas over Thanksgiving, which was an amazing trip, and got out to see a few more awesome shows.
21) November 7- The Felice Brothers
- Gill Landry
22) November 11- Sondre Lerche
We took a weeklong trip to Montana over Christmas to meet up with my family in a beautiful cabin in the woods. It was spectacular! The weather was good, the scenery was great, and the family time was wonderful. The last two shows of the year were especially great!
23) December 7- CAKE
24) December 13- Trampled by Turtles
So there it is. My year in review. Six trips and 24 shows, and every one of them gave me a new experience to draw from. Music and travel let me step away from the everyday grind and hear or see life in a new way. The Holy Spirit is in beautiful things, and I experienced him a lot this year. Maybe not at the Snoop Dawg concert, but most of the other ones.
The 2012 concert season begins the week for me with shows on Thursday (The Civil Wars) and Saturday (The Alabama Shakes), and in the second week of February Joy and I will travel to Houston for a long weekend away that will include a Martin Sexton show. I’ve also got tickets lined up for the Polyphonic Spree on Feb. 15. It’s gonna be a good year!