I suppose there is a continuum with “stability” on one side and “adventure” on the other, and most people find themselves most comfortable somewhere along it. It’s a good thing that I have more need for adventure than stability in my life, as it seems like that is my lot.
My time in Australia came to a close in mid-June, and I saw pictures of my classmates graduating there a couple of weeks ago, so I suppose there’s a diploma coming in the mail for me. Now home in NC, we’ve been catching up with family and friends and enjoying little comforts of home, like real Mexican food and having two fixed wheels on a shopping cart (rather than all four swiveling as they inexplicably and uncontrollably do in Australia). We took Mason to see the Pacific for the first time and visit his grandparents, and that was great fun.
My new adventure is one that probably doesn’t sound too crazy to most people, but is quite new to me: having a job. It has been two decades since I had a boss, and that was a temp job while I got my music career going.
As daunting as that might be, though, I can’t imagine a better situation. My boss is wise and encouraging (and funny), my colleagues are smart and committed and a delight to work with. The work is engaging and feels like it matters, and I have a lot of flexibility as to when I’m in the office, etc.
I’ve been working for the NC Council of Churches, part-time, for a month now. My first task has been determining what the job entails, and though I feel like I’ve made some progress in that department, I have a long way to go. Still, when I recently wrote a blog for the Council web site, I was amazed to see what has happened already—I met with Congressman Etheridge to discuss Israeli/Palestinian issues, I marched with the NAACP to challenge school board decisions which threaten to re-segregate Wake County schools, I have met with several local activists and faith leaders to discuss a range of issues, I’ve written a couple of pieces on Social Justice and the future of protestantism for Patheos.com (here and here).
I also performed a concert for the first time in 2008. It felt good to be back on stage and plugged into a beautiful sound system, with a sold-out crowd of about 250 at the White Horse Black Mountain. I had to chip a bit of rust off of my fingers, but in spite of my fears, they found most of the chords I needed, and the words came when I beckoned them. I played three new songs (a heartbreaking one, a triumphant one and a just plain silly one), and people seemed to enjoy all three.
My plan is to go out one or two weekends a month to perform, speak and teach, but to mostly stick pretty close to home. Mason just turned 21 months old, and he’s a delight (he’s having a fascinating conversation with a koala puppet as I write this). I don’t want to miss these days and nights with him, nor with Deanna, who has endured a lot of time apart over the eight years we’ve been together.
Mason has a “big boy bed” now, and Deanna has a new job—she has picked up an English class at Meredith. We’re thrilled that it looks like we’ll be able to make things work without taking Mason to childcare much if at all.
So we’re gradually getting unpacked and finding our new rhythms. It’s good to be here, and we’re looking forward to watching the new adventure unfold. So much to be grateful for. Thanks for being interested, and for your continued support.
Jamie Harris says
Thank you so much for your e-mail. It was great to hear from you in such a personal way. I’m sure you know how much Montreaters, especially summer staffers, care about you. I love what you said about the days going so quickly, I think that is definitely a true phenomenon. Being in college and coming to visit summer staff, traveling to music festivals, and visiting with my friends and family at home in Louisville, all of these things make me feel like time can speed up and slow down. Working in my chemical engineering lab here at UVa can seem pretty slow sometimes.
I love the shaved head– long hair can be a hassle and can get hot. I actually had some long hair that I shaved in March to benefit children’s cancer research, so I understand the move from being a long haired one who feels the breeze above his ears and wears a cap when the temperature dips below 60.
I am so excited to eventually cross paths with you again– from hearing you play at youth conference, attending a college conference workshop on justice, selling your swag and such when you played at our church in Louisville, it’s been a great time, every time.
I am so interested in checking out all of the links and information you included in your e-mail. I love that you have found a way to use your commitment to peace in a way that, I don’t want to be too assuming, but actually pays? I feel like the work we do often goes without payment, which isn’t the reason to do it, but sometimes it helps. I am excited to contemplate purchasing your friends book– the fact that it comes with some music doesn’t hurt.
With Peace and Love,