As our tentative title suggested, I'd originally intended to write a collection of songs about simple living - especially what I've learned about how to model it in the context of the city. The earlier songs on the album - having been written before Occupy Wall Street - are perhaps more telling of this intent than the newer. But upon listening to the songs and seeing how they are interrelated, I realized that the album is about much more than the practical realities of living simply (though these are also important and I absolutely intend to proceed with my own praxis, learning and teaching and encouraging others in the how-to's of simple living).
I realized that the album also speaks to the existential and spiritual realities of simple living - the joy, devotion, peace, community, love, discipline, etc that come from a life lived simply. I considered the lyrics to key songs (formally speaking):
In the opening track, a song about #reclaim[ing]themorning -
I barge to where the world is charged
with the grandeur of God.
I sit amidst the trees and lift my face,
the Light and choir help me fill the space.
And the closing track, a song about Matt 6:25-30 -
God clothes all the lillies, though they will one day fall;
I, a humble sunflower, will stand to heed the call -
To set my gaze upon the Son as I ponder my fate,
so when beneath the pall I'll know ever unclouded grace.
And it was clear enough to me:
I'm a sunflower;
God is the sun;
and "simple living" is merely the expression I've given to my pursuits of God - pursuits which happen to have led me down a path of simple living, especially in comparison to my 21st-century-post-industrialized-Pax-Americana-New-York-City context.
I assumed that there must be a scientific word for the biological phenomenon of sunflowers following the sun throughout the day. So a quick wikipedia search turned up the title for my new (first) full length album:
Here's an out take from one of the early recording sessions. Enjoy!