The last refrain 

No where in a music score does it tell a listener how to react properly. When you read music as you play it’ll cue your brain to manipulate the instrument that you are playing into crescendos or fortissimo or some other type of expression, but it doesn’t give the listener any cues as to how the music will affect their heart.  It’s up to you the musician to put  passion and voice into the music to make it memorable for the listener. 

He was the former band director of our little school in Iowa, and he passed away in a bike accident a few short days ago. Last night as I sat in the hot gym I sat with  his friends and family as we listened to speeches, scriptures and songs given in honor of a man who devoted his life to the art of making sure the listener listened to the music being played. 

His friend spoke of times they adventured. His oldest daughter spoke of his love for doing small things everyday to master anything.  Love poured out of the lifelong friend who sang “Bourning Cry.” Then there was a band, 40 steller musicians that offered their time and talent to honor the legacy of a man who had touched them in some way. 

I listened to the music played by this all star band made up of former students, colleagues, and lifelong friends and my heart captured a glimpse of deeper things that happen when one gives their time to play in a band. The diligence of practice that must occur. The friendships that form between people who play the same instument. The sheer grit it takes sometimes to get through learning a new song or instrument. And for this band specifically, it was the beauty of many parts making something amazing together to honor a man who knew God consistently, loved his family emmensly, and gave over 30 years of his life to the art of making music in the local school. 

Mr Dahn, you’ll be missed by this community you called home. You’ll be missed by generations of band students you so patiently guided and lead over your years as band director, but most importantly your life will be missed by a whole host of people that you encouraged excellence from simply because your passion for great music was contagious. 


the purse of June.

Her purse was just laying there. The purple exterior clashing with her pink wide leg pants in a way that caught the casual passerby by surprise. The purse hadn’t been used she thought in a long time as she grabbed it out of her closet that morning in June. She was planning on using it the whole month. To really get some use out of it to roughen up the exterior and stain the insides from use. After all, He had given it to her with one charge that day long before she even breathed her first breath and she barely used it for the every day sort of gigs. No, the purse was generally used for special occasions such as funerals, weddings, special interviews, gigs that He had given her.

This month was different. This purse was going to be picked up every day, searched, emptied out, and used to it’s fullest ability in hopes that the purse will catch the eye of those who need the contents. Social media will not be called upon to spread the word about the use of the purse, but instead she thought long and hard that she would just let the purse talk and then let the words filter through the web as they needed. Self promotion is dead to her while she carries this purse, and as she sits here typing on her bed in the wee morning hours on they first day of June she is excited for the stories that will be told. The hours learning new ways to say stuff quickly and effectively using words and thoughts. This is what the purse means to her.

He sits back and just watches with eager anticipation of what will become of her. He knows the whole story already just by being the one who created the purse to give to her. This comforts her. She just has to step forward and use the purse which is the exciting part for Him. He loves to see her worship Him in this way. To honor Him with her use of the purse full of the gifts that he gave her way back when He created her.

Day one of using this purse is about over. 30 minutes to write. Just write about nothing and about everything at the same time with very little editing. Sounds like a lofty goal.