I'm not going to Rome. Or the Holy Land. ROAD trip, people; I live in Minnesota. So...where else could I be talking about?
Ah, yes, friends, I'm heading to NashVegas, what the rest of the world calls Nashville!: Music City USA.
In short, I decided to drop this high-falutin' life of being a theologian and college professor for the untold glory of being a country music star. I mean, I've played every single "Glory and Praise" song on my guitar. I own a mandolin and a mountain dulcimer. I sing on key. I figure I'm way ahead.
My secret yen to crack the country music business started my first year teaching, when I had college students writing essays for my Christian Belief Today class. A full 1/4 of them cited as a source Garth Brooks' (then popular) song "Unanswered Prayers". Let me share the depth of the melodious lyrics with you:
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
She [former girlfriend, natch] wasn't quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
Inn her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn't much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he's doin' after all. [what a relief to have that cleared up]
To be fair, I've heard worse theology. But I've also heard far better--hmm, where? Gee, maybe in my course lectures on Athanasius and Augustine and Gregory of Nyssa and de Lubac and Rahner? So to be trumped by Garth Brooks (picture above...and honestly, does he look like someone you want to meet in a dark alley?) was the first of many opportunities to cherish humility.
Anyway, I KNOW I can write more theologically inspired country music than that, even as I pretty much hate the genre.
I used to live in Nashland when I was in school, and the weird thing is, I actually knew the husband of Garth Brooks' manager. Yep. So A FRIEND OF A FRIEND OF MINE actually knows Garth! (Nashville is like that.) So I will be back visiting friends, and maybe friends of friends, and Garth...if you're out there reading Catholic blogs (of course you are), I hear you're a nice guy, and I'd be happy to give you a couple of Augustine of Hippo-inspired country rocker tunes for a low, low price (in your world, anyway). I'd be open to doing a duet if Trisha doesn't mind, but it isn't necessary. See, I cracked that humility nut in my first year of teaching, thanks to you.
I'll try to update, but computer access will be tricky. Back in a week.
(P.s. anyone out there in Nashville? I'll be there Wed-Fri: on the road the rest of the time....)