Reflections on Shuffle-Play

Still be Around – Uncle Tupelo

This was the song playing in my mind when I woke up this morning. It is important to pay attention to the songs running through your mind – particularly if they come to you in your dreams. I’m not sure why this one visited me, but I’ve always loved it ever since it was released on Uncle Tupelo’s second album, “Still Feel Gone” in 1991.

The tune is happy and melancholy at the same time. It’s like when you are living in the happiest times and you hardly want to sleep because you know that one of these days it will be different – the bad news will come, or the lights won’t shine so bright, or it will be cloudy and rainy a few too many days. So, you soak in all the goodness while you can, every moment, even as you live into whatever comes next.

Maybe that is how autumn feels. Right now some of the trees here are brilliant red, yellow, and orange and some are still green. While there are some leaves on the ground, the weather is still warm enough that the windows in my office are open. It’s the best of everything – but so soon the winter will be here and one too many icy and snowy and cold day after another. It’s okay. Around here we know that winter has to happen before spring can come around again. We know how to make it through the cold…but it doesn’t make these gorgeous fall days any less bittersweet.

Still be Around – Uncle Tupelo

I don’t see you through the windshield
I don’t see you in faces looking back at me
Alcohol doesn’t have much that matters to say
Can’t imagine where you and time to kill will stay

When the Bible is a bottle and the hardwood floor is home
When morning comes twice a day or not at all
If I break in two, will you put me back together?
When this puzzle’s figured out, will you still be around?
To say, you’ve just been there walking the line upside down

Walked and breathed many a cancerous mile
Where the bat of an eye is too slow to beat the coffin
And they won’t tell it on the TV, they can’t say it on the radio
They pay to move it off the shelf and into our minds
Till you can’t tell the truth when it’s right in front of your eyes

When the Bible is a bottle, the hardwood floor is home
When morning comes twice a day or not at all
If I break in two, will you put me back together?
When this puzzle’s figured out, will you still be around?
To say, just been there walking the line upside down

Writer(s): Jay Farrar, Mike Heidorn, Jeffrey Scot Tweedy

Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at ruthehetland@gmail.com; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at ruthehetland@gmail.com.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: