Album Release

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I found myself in a strange situation this evening. Here I am in Phoenix, and the Odessa College Women's Basketball team is in town for a tournament. Odd. I am a friend of the coach, so I found myself there tonight cheering not for the Phoenix team but rooting for Odessa. "Go Odessa! That's right, Lady Wranglers! Go!" I'm not a big screamer, so it was easy for me to notice what a bizarre situation it was.

Time is odd. Life is odd. A year ago tonight, I was making a vegan dinner, walking my puppy around the village, and spending time with my friend Alexis during her visit to Cabris, France.

Time is odd. Life is odd. And I have absolutely no regrets.

As the end of 2008 is fading away, I have a thankful and dumbfounded heart. Life is funny sometimes, how you can never explain or predict or really plan anything.

I am really glad that I moved to Odessa. I'm glad to be doing what I'm doing. Since I moved there in August, various people have asked me how I'm doing with the adjustment. "So how are you liking it here? Are you doing okay?" And they lean in a little bit with a concerned eye, waiting for my face to to do the talking. I realize that I tend to do a bit of complaining in these blogs, but the truth is that I'm really liking it. Besides the Mexican food, the sunsets, and the convenience of a small town, there are many things that I enjoy about Odessa.

Such as: I am surrounded by harps all day. I am surrounded by young people who want to play their best. I love my students so much that I just want to squeeze them sometimes. I am a geek.

I know you're not supposed to have favorites, and I don't, but I REALLY enjoy working with the junior high aged students in particular. By the time 2 PM rolls around and I start wanting a siesta, I walk into the junior high harp room and spend the next 2 hours with 14 hyper, happy harpists. I've laughed until I've cried in that room on several occasions, and I usually leave that place in a great mood thanks to them. And besides all of the laughing and getting to know each other, I see each one of them making progress as a musician. I can't be happier about this!!

Once during this past semester, I was preparing for class by tuning the harps. As I was plucking away at one of them, I was thinking about how I wanted each string to be ready to be played that day for the students, and how I was excited for them to come to class. And then it was like something whispered to me: "Just as you are preparing for your students to use this harp, I also go before you to prepare your way. I have fun things planned for you, Megan."

It reminded me of a couple things: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Deuteronomy 31:8, Jeremiah 29:11)

This semester, I have encountered many situations that made me grateful for my past. Random things and significant things. Things like working at a harp store years ago, which in turn taught me how to care for harps. Things like my rock climbing days in Arizona, as it prepared me for loading the harp trailer to move 17 harps for our winter recital (now THAT was an intense weekend). I was thankful for the time I spent with my teacher in Austin, as she challenged the way I thought about teaching music. I was happy about having lived out of a suitcase for months on end, as it made me more of a flexible and chillaxed person. It was like every fun and unfun event in my past had led up to me moving to Odessa and was now affecting each breath I took.

Funny- one of the things I missed most when I was in France (besides my family) was Mexican food. Even as I type this, I smirk as I picture the quantity of Mexican food establishments in Odessa.

Time is odd. Life is odd. But I'm starting to see that there's some kind of weird and positive plot going on here with a weird and positive, ever-present Plotter behind it. And this is only the prologue.

Odessa won the game tonight, by the way. They creamed Phoenix. Who would have known.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Blisters

So. Christmas. I try not be a scrooge when it comes to all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but sometimes I can't help it. Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby do not help the situation, nor do Walmart and Rudolf.

But God was wise when he introduced me to the harp. It may be the only way I can get into the season.

Years ago I admitted to some close friends (after a couple glasses of wine) that one of my biggest regrets in life was that I didn't know the words to the Christmas carols. It's still the case to this day, but I've been trying to remedy this remorse. Now, when I'm sitting behind the harp during the holidays playing for various events, I try to read the words to the music as I play. There's some good stuff in there! And worth taking a look at. To me, the holidays are empty without music, and the the music is meaningful because of the spirit behind them.

December 1st kind of jumped into the picture before I was ready, and 17 concerts and 15 days later, I had the infamous Christmas Blisters. But it happened. And it happened earlier than expected. I was playing at the Dolly Neal Chapel in Midland for a Christmas open house a couple weeks ago, and it happened. It was a reflective and quiet bunch of people, and as I was reading and playing along my merry way, the words sunk into my head, my fingers, my heart...

Joy to the World. Emmanuel. God is with us. Fall on your knees.