Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dan Fogelberg Left Us

I always wondered what it would be like to go to one of Dan Fogelberg's concerts. We were going to go on his last tour, but it was cancelled because he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The Living Legacy will be creating a memorial fund in Dan's name with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. This is a good cause even if you weren't a fan of his.

Dan would like that.

Singers can have such an influence on our lives. Tonight I'm grieving a man I never met, a man who doesn't know I exist, and all because of the music he brought to my life.

I love the heart in his music. That's why it meant so much to me.

My thoughts and prayers will stay with the family for some time to come.

Grief is difficult. I wish there was an easier way to leave this planet, a way that left us able to connect with our loved ones.

Dan's family, though, has the comfort of knowing that his life made a difference to others. If I died today, I don't know if my family would have that same comfort. I'd like to think so, but I just don't know.

Would your loved ones be able to say that about you? Have you made a difference in the world? Have you made a difference to them?

I'm finding words difficult tonight. I think I'll just close with one of my favorite songs of Dan's called Nether Lands.

Nether Lands

High on this mountain
The clouds down below
I'm feeling so strong and alive
From this rocky perch
I'll continue to search
For the wind and the snow and the sky
Oh I want a lover and I want some friends
And I want to live in the sun
And I want to do all the things that I never have done

Sunny bright mornings and pale moonlit nights
Keep me from feeling alone
Now I'm learning to fly and this freedom is like
Nothing that I've ever known
Oh I've seen the bottom and I've been on top
But mostly I've lived in between
And where do you go when you get to the end of your dream
Off in the Nether Lands I heard the sound
Like the beating of heavenly wings
And deep in my brain I can hear a refrain
Of my soul as she rises and sings
Anthems to glory and anthems to love
And hymns filled with earthly delight
Like the songs that the darkness composes to worship the light

Once in a vision I came on some woods
And stood at a fork in the road
My choices were clear yet I froze with the fear
Of not knowing which way to go
Oh, one road was simple acceptance of life
The other road offered sweet peace
When I made my decision
My vision became my release

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jon Foreman Sings His Pain

The Cure For Pain is one of the singles on Jon Foreman's Fall EP. For a short time you can download it free here.I don't know how long this link will last, so I'd suggest you go there now.

Just be prepared. If you've experienced loss or pain (haven't we all?) you'll find this song fits the description of another song title, Killing Me Softly With His Song.

Jon Foreman shared his thoughts about this song, and they're worth reading. We've come to expect honesty from this band, and we see it again in the lead singer.

He gave me an idea for Christmas gifts. First, though, his words:

The Cure For Pain: I wrote this one in Texas on a day off. I was reflecting on the passing of time. I have been playing music in Switchfoot for about ten years. During that period, I have been fighting pain or running away from it in a myriad of ways. And yet the pain is a constant. I have had some amazing moments singing gravity away but the water keeps on falling.

I began to think the suffering I see around me, I think of the pain of a grandmother dying of cancer. Of a friend killed by a train. I think of the pain of death, of failure, of rejection, the pain of a father losing his only son. And I came to the conclusion that I cannot run from pain any longer.

Most of us experience pain, but we find that others don't want to hear about it when we're hurting.

A classic example is with death. I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating.

My Mom passed in early 2006. I still miss her terribly, as does my daughter. Yet people started telling my daughter to get over her a week after she went back to school.

It's not just kids who do that, though. The first person to tell me to stop grieving did so 3 weeks after she passed.

Three weeks. Three weeks of grieving for the a woman who was there from before my first breath, who raised me secure in her love, who extended that same love to her grandkids and largely influenced who I am as a parent.

Three weeks.

It's not just loss, though. Nobody wants to hear when somebody is hurting. Maybe it's because we're running from our own pain.

If you want to give a great gift this year, find somebody who needs your compassion. Then listen to them, really listen. Don't try to solve their problems, just be there for them. I can tell you from experience that just one person can make a difference.

Maybe it will even help you to ease any pain of your own.


My book is due at the publishers in a few days. I hope to write more between then and Christmas, but I still have shopping to do.

For those of you who have respected my grieving, you've given me a great gift. You are rare people. To all of you, Merry Christmas.