Pride

I began to get frustrated when I saw other people's pride (be it in the form of vanity, obsessive self-promotion, "selfies," or whatever) and I never realized that I was getting frustrated because it reminded me of myself and my own obsessive self-promotion. My chasing after beautiful words not because they're beautiful but because they made me look good. My "intellectual" selfies.

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A brief in-between posts addendum

I have been thinking in aphorisms lately. It is slightly annoying and I am still not great at them yet, but they are very fun for provoking thought. I would love to hear your contributions. Continued from last post:

26. The Horrible of Mondays is unknown to the Sun illuminating them.

27. The comfort of Paradox comes with the realization that some things have solutions.

28. Give a man a pen and he will most likely lose it. Teach a man to pen and he will dream as big as the sky.

29. The most dangerous thing for human "productivity" is the sparkle in their eye when they talk of things they love.

30. The Philosophy of busywork: it is the means, not the end, which is valuable.

31. American Education: learning is best measured by receipts.

32. What if we handed out paint brushes as often and as freely as we do prescription drugs?

33. A life of regret: airtight backup plans padding forsaken dreams.

34. What has been seen cannot be unseen, only denied.

35. The more I learn, the more I realize that most of what I have learned is invalid.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

A Brief Aside, and What I Am Means

Some business before getting into the meat of it. If you are uninterested in this sort of thing, you may skip to below the line: I must thank you all for the unexpected and overwhelmingly positive reception of last week's little article. I have received many encouraging feedbacks and emails and have seen it shared often enough to make it the most-viewed post on this page. You guys are awesome. I am planning on doing more things in that vein, including what is shaping up to be an Introvert's Manifesto and Ebook, though I must admit that some of my motivation for that is that I've always wanted to write a Manifesto for something and publish an Ebook on my website. But in all seriousness, most of the reactions that I got to see only reinforced the idea that there are a lot out there who feel the way that I do though perhaps do not have the platform to say the things that need be said. So stay tuned.

I have still not decided what I want this blog to be. I read a lot of them that are very advice-y and full of lists and such, and those seem to have the most traffic. Because lists sell, this is fact. They are the "pop" of the blog world - easily digestible, somewhat predictable, often crafted to communicate one little gem of truth which sits, shining (perhaps literally with glowy text or clever puns) atop the screen, rather than relishing the subtle comfort of a web of it. I also read a good bunch that are quite heady and cerebral and rooted in idea, which is comforting because this is how I tend to think. But these I have rarely seen be "successful" in the commercial sense - they are often a bit wordy, even for my taste (imagine that), and inaccessible. Surely there must be a blend somewhere of the two which is neither pedantic sentence-flexing nor traffic-pandering formula. Still, I wish to talk about God when I want and spill thoughts on Philosophy or have nerd moments about music or even do reviews of books and film and albums. But none of these are exciting and revolutionary like the Introvert's Manifesto or charges to turn off our internet on Sundays or to alter the ways we behave with one another. And still on top of all of this, I at no time wish to dip into something trite for the mere sake of acquiring many page views. I maintain the wish for this to be a place of thought incubation as I referenced in this post a bit ago, and with that I accept that both bloggy, list-filled posts and the heady stuff are necessary at times. I've been doing this long enough to accept that it is no longer me sitting in a corner talking to the empty cloud of internet about the random stuff of the day; but today when I address "the audience," it is no longer rhetoric to make myself chuckle, rather a literal breaking of the 4th wall, because I now have one of those out there.

What the paragraph above should say is "this blog is a curious thing and once I figure out a way to make conversation more than simply leaving comments, I will do it, because then we can get this think-tank going and perhaps I can step out of the way." Because I feel as though perhaps I am wasting your time already.

 

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Because I had a rather lengthy aside at the beginning, I will make today's post just a little shorter than they have been in the past. I need to do this anyway.

I have been unutterably blessed for more reasons than I can count, but for these purposes we will focus on the following: that I have been born here, in a country of unparalleled freedom, to a loving and supportive family, in a time when I can access the thoughts of anyone who cares enough to write them down and when I can give voice to my own whenever I see fit. It is something that I take for granted entirely too often.

I cannot help but think that God chose this specific time to place me in, because I have been given access to the most marvelous minds the world has to offer. I can, at any point that I want, sit and read Stephen Hawking or Ravi Zacherias or TS Eliot; I can watch TED lectures about deep cave exploration or string theory or education research or marvel at "mathemagicians" and improv musicians and subtitled talks from mute people about disabilities; I can sit at a computer and continue a 55+thousand word, several-month-long email conversation with my dear friend in North Carolina or talk with anybody in the world at the touch of a few numbers on a cell phone; I can listen to songs recorded with a guitar on a laptop's microphone that is more evocative than one I'd hear in an arena with tens of thousands of people or I can listen to my favorite band through headphones and a device I hold in my hand. Friends, there is true magic in this world, and we can experience it every day of our lives.

However, and I think that this is true in most cases, we do not know how, nor are we equipped, to handle it. Just recently in our history as human beings, what you learned was limited by what you could experience firsthand, or what you could reason with whatever faculties you possess. Gone are the boundaries of knowledge and achievement that one solitary person or community was limited to. We have been presented the apple promising the Wisdom of God Himself and we have bitten hard into its bitter-sweet savor. We have been promised the possibility of omniscience and still cannot tear our minds away from it.

It is a difficult thing to stop, this search for knowledge, and a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. Our minds have not been built to grasp infinity and timelessness and unending streams of knowledge and limitless possibility, yet we have been put in a place where new things will never stop coming to our frame of vision. Our Universe, as far as we know, is infinite, and yet we continue to try to understand it in its entirety.

Some people despair in this. They see elaborate epistemic proofs which seem to eliminate the very possibility of knowledge. They look at competing, perfectly justified beliefs as muddying the concept of what is real. They see the power of Empirical discoveries negating the validity of Rational ones, and vice versa. The more our ill-equipped minds see, the more we dismantle our necessity for God.

Says the Preacher:

All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with hearing,    nor the ear filled with hearing. (Ecc. 1:8)

But see, He planned for this. After all, it was He who set eternity in the heart of man. It was He who created us creatures capable of reason and, consequently, of doubt. It is why He sent us something of Himself in a form we could wrap our human brains around, to rescue us from the what Wordsworth calls "the burthen of the mystery... the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world." There is a reason He calls Himself Truth, because it is Truth that we crave, and it is Truth we cannot reach using human versions of God's things - logic, reason, and the like. Moses was told to tell the people "I AM sent me." Arguably the most powerful words that could be spoken by human lips. His name is not "Prove Me" or "I May Be," it is emphatic. Final. Independent of my human shortcomings and unchanging in time, space, and situation. Universal. I. Am.

I am by no means devaluing the wonder of knowledge and discovery, in fact, I whole-heartedly encourage it. Live in a way that you are constantly confronted with the marvel of this place of unending beauty. Roald Dahl writes, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” We are surrounded by it wonder, so long as we do not forget to look for it.

But just as oxygen is necessary for life to exist though an excess of it is lethal, so it is in this battle for understanding. It is perfectly normal to think of things that might be, for that is how we were created - to wonder at the heavens and try with all of our might to grasp things we cannot fathom - to think of things that might be so long as we do not lose sight of what Is.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

Music

I have never pulled any punches when talking about what I think of music (see here and here and here and here if you're confused). It transcends culture and genre and ideology and language. It is the speech of angels. It moves us in the way that God does. Because of my thoughts on the topic, I have incredible frustration with our industry built around it. It is run by a love of money instead of a desire for expression. It is enjoyed by a culture obsessed with pedantics instead of one united by love. We argue about genre and judge based on sound. We discuss what is "good" and "bad" music as if everybody hears it the same way. It's a business now, and as such, it carries similar connotations. Artists who depend on it for their living have to create based on what their bosses say and based on what will sell.

The good news is that I am not the only one nervous about this - far from it, as a matter of fact. Organizations like Kickstarter are attempting to put the creative juices back in the hands of artists. Now, instead of looking at many thousands of dollars of production fees as proof of the necessity of signing to a label, they can make their fans their biggest fundraisers, accepting donations no matter how small with perks and benefits as they donate larger amounts of money. Not only are the listeners then buying the music, they are literally funding it as it's being made. Just like that, the control is away from corporal suits.

We are slowly getting back to the place where music is made for the joy of it. My thoughts? In a perfect world, music would be free. It's that simple. We wouldn't make music to get paid for it or to amass followers or to make a statement about how awesome we are for making music, but how awesome the music is for allowing us to make it. This, of course, doesn't cover the cost it takes to buy gear or pay for gas or to rent studio time or any of that, so of course it is just an ideological perfection... but I think that Kickstarter is on to something. What if we used the love of music to fund itself?

I love making music, and if I could justify quitting everything and just doing that for the rest of my life, I would do it happily. I'm not saying that I should or that I deserve it or that anybody would like it or that I'm half as good at making it as I pretend to be, all I know is that it is the easiest way I know to communicate with my Creator. That being said, I have been writing a massive amount of new material in a myriad of styles for a number of purposes here lately.

You can see sort of a running list of musical rough drafts here. Everything there is put out for the purpose of putting out music. It is all fair game being critiqued, ripped apart, criticized, enjoyed, hated, brushed over, ignored, whatever it is you feel like doing with it.

Also, a sort of new development, I have music available for download for absolutely free here. Of course, I'll accept donations, but all of that money will go straight back into music things for the sole purpose of putting out more and more music for free. It's a rather nice little cycle :) Feel absolutely no obligation to pay even a cent however, because my music is not about money. I just hope that through listening you can feel even a portion of my love for it.

 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

The Great Deactivate

*Apologies to those subscribers who got an early version of this that accidentally got sent out this afternoon. That's the last time I try editing something on my phone. The surgeon general, with his useful occupation of slapping labels on things generally addictive, cancerous, and harmful to your health, should have warned us about this.

It starts out humbly, innocently.

You indulge initially because of the insistence of your friends. They promise it will make you look cooler. They assure you that you'll meet more people because of it. They guarantee it's fun. You oblige, log on, and immediately sense the overwhelming universe you have just stepped into. It's over your head at first; you suppress the initial resistance to its probing, intrusive questions about the intimate details of your life. You experience the rush of your first internet connection and from that moment are hooked.

Because of its overwhelming nature, for the first few weeks you are fine limiting yourself to getting on only after dinner or before you go to sleep. You haven't yet established a network or strong emotional ties. The color scheme hasn't yet engrained itself in your subconscious. You haven't yet learned to turn off the "chat" feature because people don't really use it yet. You are fine breathing deep the complex web of connectivity and letting it settle in your lungs because it doesn't yet pose a threat to you.

Pretty soon you are at work or at school and a moment approaches you subtly on your lunch break where an email pops into your inbox telling you that so and so has offered to expand your social network by one. Not yet by instinct but by choice, you click the link and are awed by the simplicity of accepting his request. There is a sleek redirect to the home page where your neighbor is inviting all who care to view it a series of pictures of their new living room layout. Or their dog jumping through a sprinkler. You chuckle at the innocence and go about your day.

Soon, however, the occasional lunch break check-in turned into the habitual lunch break check-in. You find yourself keeping a tab open on the home page to wait for the chiming notification of somebody appreciating your wit while you write a paper about something you don't care about. You get text messages sent to your phone every time somebody pokes you. You download the free Android app. Sure, you wouldn't twitch if you were ever disconnected from the constant stream of information about people's personal lives... but you are never disconnected. You can quit whenever you want.

Facebook becomes your standard for communication. There's no need to talk to somebody that you meet because you can just friend request them and then read all about the things they want you to read. You can prepare your face to meet the faces you will meet.

We confuse who we are with who we project that we are, making it quite difficult to cope with the flaws we so blatantly try to hide... which is even more disturbing than the idea that we are addicted to a website or can literally sit and look at the same page with anxious expectation of the smallest little change. Or that we know open gossip better than ourselves.

Sure, I believe that, like just about everything else in this world, there is a time and a place for things like Facebook. I have gotten in touch with some long-lost friends (and I use "gotten in touch with" very loosely), saved myself some effort in relaying mass messages, even promoted this blog. However, is it worth those good things to lose myself for hours clicking through page after page of people I don't like to read things I don't enjoy about topics I don't care for?

I weighed my options, considered the fact that, in all honesty, Facebook just doesn't matter, and clicked the "deactivate" button (It's amazing the guilt trip they get you to go through upon clicking that button, by the way).

Perhaps the lovely, inspiring Reagan Nolen said it better than I could: "I am tired of having Facebook tell me who a person is and what they are all about. It’s time to actually get to know the world."

 

If you heartily disagree, decide to cut the cord yourself, or think I'm just a crazy, delusional kid blabbing on the internet, feel free to discuss. I would love to hear from people, no matter what you have to say :)

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

Post a Week

I've always been kind of a sporadic writer, only allowing myself to do it when I felt like I had the time or topic. Well, WordPress is doing this really cool thing for all of its members where it gives them the option of joining one of two campaigns. The first campaign, which, by the nature of this blog would be nigh impossible, is Post a Day. That would mean that I am pestering all of you every single day, forcing myself amid a slammed schedule to write something worth your time and sacrificing quality for quantity. I'm not about that.

However, the second option is a little more doable, and one that I am going to try to commit to. So for a year, I will be joining a community of people who are striving for the same thing: to post at least once a week. This means that you have a responsibility as well.

Communication.

63 different people read yesterday's post from the time I went to bed to the time I woke up this morning, so the odds of one of you having questions or arguments or disagreements is great. For any old reason, any old time, whenever you want, just email me (hjbarber@gmail.com) and we'll figure it out. Topics, ideas, poems, essays, it is all welcome. If there is anything that I want it is to inspire thought in YOU.

Share with friends things that you think are good. Send nasty emails for things you think aren't. Click the little "thumbs up" button below this if you like something and the little "tweet" button to share if you feel so inclined.

This is a group effort; I cannot carry it by myself. I think we can make this happen!

Let's incite a revolution of thought. Let's change the world.

xx

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>What You Say In Your Sleep

>Class today got cancelled, so I have a few hours of "free" time. I am not entirely sure how to grasp that notion quite yet, so I am doing this instead:

A few updates first:

THANK YOU to everybody who has taken me up on this letter-writing project/extravaganza/nonsense, because you are all awesome. I have sent about 15 of them and the remaining 30 or so are coming just as fast as I can, what with it being exam week and all. Have patience, because everybody who gave me an address is getting a letter :)

In other, completely unrelated news (this is in reference to this post here, near the bottom), I will post down a little farther an video of portion of the aforementioned musical endeavors just for your viewing and critiquing and laughing pleasure. Yesterday I posted an only slightly more processed version on my Tumblr in mp3 format just to listen to. I have made slight slight changes in the lyrics since then but otherwise it's just an even more stripped down version.

It is about snub attitudes and soaring egos and any kind of prima donna polluting the air we breathe, and it is written from the first person because I believe we all fit in this category, with special emphasis on me. It's this "Godless grandeur" that the song sets out to combat, for it only leads to the "crumbling descent of Rome."

Yes, early versions were written specifically about English majors.

There are many more ideas in the works, this is just the first that has been kinda fleshed out. Over Christmas you can probably expect a more full demo but for now this will have to do :)

If I am just a stuffy, hard-headed, egotistical hypocrite, I assure you that is not my intention, but please tell me if I am. As with anything on this blog, if I am in the wrong I know how to hear it, in fact I expect to be called out.

The video:

What You Say In Your Sleep.
Criss cross past each other on the lawn
Pretending we're junkies, pretending we write good songs

Shoving our armchair philosophies
On wishing-well, 8-ball hypotheses
Erecting monuments to our vanity
Our treatises elaborate and unforseen

Pay no mind to our Godless grandeur
The web we're building is done

We'll topple your agency
in the dead of night
We'll use against you
What you say in your sleep

Legislators holed up in a motel on the side of the road
Scared of falling down how far we've climbed
No wordsmith rhymes can save us now

The burden of splendor amassed before us,
Again repeating the crumbling descent of
Rome and our buildings, our sculptures, our land

We'll fall inside and crawl back out

And pay no mind to our passing grandeur
The web we're building is done

We'll topple your agency in the dead of night
We'll use against you what you say
In your sleep, we'll topple your agency,
In the dead of night.
We'll use against you what you say in your sleep

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>An Appeal To Everybody

>My dear, dear readers,

How are you? I hope these words find you in a place of joy and peace and relative hopefulness (even though I realize that it is exam time and those words usually don't appear in such juxtaposition in an hour such as this).

I will not make this very long at all, but I just wanted to extend an invitation I gave to my Facebook and Twitter friends to you guys. As I get more traffic, I get more excited and, being me, I want to know each one of you... and I would like you to get to know me as well. So, whether I know you personally or not, I would like to write you a letter. I quite enjoy letter-writing (although I don't practice it nearly enough) and would like to share that joy with anybody who will let me.

So here's the dealio. We don't live in an age of addresses except to punch into a GPS or Google Maps, so I don't know very many people's off the top of my head. What is going on is this: you e-mail me, message me (if you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook) or text me (if we're apparently really good friends haha) your address. Include your name if I don't know it and, if we are not personal, face to face friends, one sentence (minimum) about yourself so that I can know a little bit about the person to whom I am writing. Do you want it written entirely in Haiku? In a Spenserian Sonnet? Backwards? Left-Handed? In Pig Latin? With red ink? Blue ink? Glitter ink? About philosophy? About which Spice Girl is the best? The possibilities are endless, and if you would like a particular subject or stipulation to your letter, let me know. Otherwise it will very closely resemble the stream-of-consciousness ramblings of the borderline insane.

Basically, I am tired of this voiceless, impersonal void of the internet. I know that I have readers stationed over many states and, in some cases, countries, so your silence will not suffice. Don't be shy just because this is about y-o-u... Let me write to you!

Much love and I hope to hear from you very soon,
Hamilton

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Man vs. Self

>

3.....2.......1.......

Commence breathing.

And at the same time, hold it in suspension - relish that suspension and the impending breath that lingers in your lungs - because what is to come will take it away all over again. It's one of those "this is you now, and this is you for the rest of your life" things I think, and I can classify it neither as good nor bad. 

I classify it like listening to Bon Iver break out into a 5 part harmony round during a break in the clouds in the middle of a downpour in downtown Chicago. The weather is bitterly cold, with the breeze rolling off of Lake Michigan whipping at your dripping wet skin, causing you to curl up a little bit to preserve what blood is left in  your veins and keep it near your heart. Your knees are knocking together with the surge of people around you ebbing and flowing, mixed with the bone-freezing and biting chill engulfing your skin. 

And yet you can't feel anything except for the rising and swelling of your chest when your head is encircled with the sweeping and soaring harmony escaping from the stage 60 feet in front of you. You don't notice how cold you are, you notice that the rain stopped right when they approached their microphones and that a small beam of sunlight seeped through the clouds to illuminate the band members as they exposed fifteen thousand people to the deepest questions of their soul which can be posed only through melody. 

All of that is meant to expose the paradox that I feel like I'm experiencing. I have more questions than I have answers and I have no tool to explore them other than my mind; I cannot work them out like math on paper or like philosophy in conversation, but only through countless nights lying awake in bed and contemplating the ceiling. This is a battle to fight with myself, for no man may intervene and alleviate the struggle. No man COULD intervene and alleviate the struggle. 

The music has become more melancholy as of late. There is a story in the works. There is a conflict of interests at hand. There is a frustration that will not be untangled. And yet, I know there is also an escape... the most beautiful escape of all, for not only will He take these burdens onto Himself, He already has. 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Existential Quandaries

>

I really apologize to my core audience right now, because this page has been terribly empty for the past couple of weeks. It seems that every time I sit down to try to write something, there is some unforeseen obstacle waiting for me to get the hint of productivity before hijacking my thought process. Most of the time it comes in the form of realization that I need to write some paper I completely forgot about in the jumble of nonsense that is flooding my life, and other times it comes in the form of a wave of paralysis that creeps from my toes to my eyes and covers my brain with this blanket of inescapable and crippling exhaustion. I tell myself that when all of this school stuff is finally finished and I can do things like sleep or sit down again, everything will get back to normal and I'll become reacquainted with the Muse once again.

Until then, I suppose I'll just share this one thing that perhaps somebody out there is battling as well. Matt and I were talking the other day on the way to band practice about this matter of Existential Quandaries and struggling with the notion of all of the "rest of our lives" crap. It was one of those moments of epiphany, whether for good or bad, and got me thinking about just how superficial and petty most of the problems we are faced with are. I look at the people around me in college, being JUNIORS and SENIORS who still talk about how they can't wait to "party, bro" and the people desperate for any sort of income acquiring a job that is perfectly fine but perhaps full of customers that are, as they put it, "unbearable," and they quit without having any sort of backup plan, and I wonder just what they're trying to prove. Trust me, I'm the last person to defend the Capitalist system or to say that we've got it right over here, but I do recognize that in order to survive, there are a number of hoops that you just absolutely have to jump through, and if you don't like it, nobody is keeping you here. 

So, I went up to my room and for a brief moment heard the whisper of that elusive Muse and sort of returned to my poetry roots for a minute. You can read if you want :)

Existential Quandaries

There is this breeze, they tell me.

They say it moves the trees

And even if I find it,

I'm not the God it heeds.

Mine's not the soul it feeds.

They tell me this is calming:

The swaying, leafy blades,

And nature has no quandaries

Yet garners acolades.

It brushes arms with fate

And doesn't look away.

They say it comes as whispers

And illuminates the night

As little lamps in children's

Cribs - rocking, creaking, slight,

Instilling what is right.

They say it bases reason

On what the Breather sighed.

That plans are executed

With ease beyond our minds

And we but seek to question

His perfect, flawless time. 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Music Update

>

For those that are keeping up, the album is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself. It's slow and extremely tedious work, for the sheer complexity of some of these ideas that I'm exploring, but I am overall pretty pleased with the results. I have five tracks that are completely finished (that is, until I see something in one that I don't like and scrap it to start over), and the story is completely fleshed out. The general musical direction has been planned and there are these little things floating around in my head that, when I finally put them down, will be pretty sweet I think. I'm just ready to have it finished so that I can release some of it to get outside opinions, other than the 2 or 3 that have heard some of it along the way. 

Track listing:

Opening

Vent

Swine

Branded

Rope

Regret

Refuge

Wrath

Return

Love

Confrontation

Reprise

Present

The album is tackling some pretty heavy stuff and has evolved into this sort of critique of the modern religious (read: church) culture on several different levels. The content of the story is somewhat of a call to action or revision of some beliefs held by many engrossed in that culture, and I think the way it is received will be as interesting a study as the project itself. I am making sure to keep it all Scripturally grounded in principal and in thought, but at the same time expanding the audience past the usual receivers of the genre. There are some very bizarre musical things happening, which will either be a turn-off or on, depending on how open you are to weirdness, but I am afraid that it will exclude itself from the CCM patrons. 

Along those lines, this I can promise to let you know how much you will or won't like this endeavor: it will be impossible to like both this and, say, Casting Crowns.

I didn't mean to divulge into a self-indulgent sort of ramble, but I have hit sort of a wall in my thinking at the moment. I keep getting stuck on one or two things and frankly I hate writing the same thing over and over again. So if you made it this far, congrats. You're a champ. Ugh, this really sounds like a blog now... 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Big Brother May or May Not Be Watching

>

I have realized I have nothing significant to say right now.

I was checking out the analytics that Google so generously performs on this site, and have noticed a trend that has peaked my interest: one that I would like to reach some sort of conclusion on. See, I can see where each and every reader is reading this blog from, and I have begun to wonder exactly how it is some of you have stumbled across it. I am particularly talking to: Lynchburg, VA (with 22 hits in the past two days), Haslett/Lansing, MI (15), Los Angeles, CA (8) and Miama, FL (5). It may mean nothing and it may be purely random, but I'd like to at least know that it's a turn of chance. Strike up a conversation guys! I'd love to know where you're from and if I make you angry or happy or despondent or jubilant or bored or anything. I'm open to some back and forth here :)

Ok that's all. Perhaps I'm just feeling a little big for my britches, and if that's the case, tell me. I think I see a trend developing here haha. A little trend called talking. It's revolutionary

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>A Promise of Things To Come

>School has started, which means my brain is working again, which means that blogs will be coming more often, which means that you should subscribe.

Or follow me on Twitter, because most of the time I'll alert you via that fantastic mass communication medium when I have something worthy of your viewing and reading pleasure.

That is all I have to say before I scurry off to the next step in my painfully hectic Tuesday.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>How Does One Classify This?

>It blows my mind how drained I get during the school year. I have lost that spark of creativity, although I can feel it peeking out from around the corner, waiting for the smoke to clear from the decimation of my brain by papers, exams, drama, and stagnancy. I don't believe that it has completely gone away, but rather that it simply can't stand all the nonsense it has to put up with throughout all of the formulaic essays and encroaching deadlines that are (unfortunately) synonymous with life. I can feel my knowledge growing and my wisdom expanding and my general thirst for enlightenment becoming more and more unquenchable each day but I have noticed a simultaneous decline in outlets for it. I funnel all of the erudite energy into four papers due within a week of each other and I find it completely sapped. I understand why Thoreau had to disappear into a cabin that he "built with is own hands" to create his musings at Walden, why Kant found excuse to shut himself in his room for weeks at a time as an excuse for his physical deformities, why Poe resorted to maddening fits of drug-induced hysteria to draft some semblance of a cohesive story or poem or whatever he was writing.

On the upside, I had a series of conversations over the past week over vats of coffee and abundant shivering in the recently onset cold of Chattanooga that gave me hope for the reinstatement of the drive I had not three months ago for this album in production. I also am in talks with the roommate for creating in the first week or so of Christmas break the perfect work environment for writing the most epic masterpiece of our century, filled with sticky notes and devoid of personal hygiene, regular sleep patterns, and inhibitions of creativity. Perhaps I'll journal through that experience and share it, but for the most part I feel kinda bad about leaving you guys in the dark as of late, but I shall validate it in my mind with the assurance that you are all as busy as I am.

And I am open to suggestions about new formats for this thing, instead of a clump of words. Should I express these things in iambic pentameter to allow for ease of reading and comprehension? Haiku? Sonnet? Should I record audio versions and speak them over a background of soothing harpsichord melodies? Should I take up photography?

Should I become the leader of the Free World?

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>New Things

>Living with perhaps the two most creative individuals I know, engrossing myself in thought-provoking film, learning the art of tasteful music, and the onset of fall have all influenced this work that I have coming. It's funny how being around the inspired inspires you as well, and I have been inspired indeed. I'm going to take this fall break when I'm not catching up on sleep I don't get during the week and see if I can't crank out something kinda different for me. Of course, Salem is still a work in progress, with 6 of the 13 tracks now finished... but this new thing is going to take me on a break from that momentarily. I need the sidetrack so that I can make the absolute most of my sudden spark.

Much like working out, if you only work out one muscle group day after day after grueling day, that group will be strong up to a certain point, and then the work will begin to deteriorate it. You need to strengthen different groups to give each one time to recover, which is better for the body as a whole. Well this is kind of what I'm doing. I've been so focused on solely music for so long that I've been hitting more blocks than I usually do... and this is, I think, the solution. I'll be taking a break from writing music to focus on writing words, and cranking out this story that's swimming in my head after saturating my brain with Plato and Dante and Dostoevsky and Shakespeare and Virgil and men who have been, themselves, inspired, as well as inspiring to countless others for centuries.

So look for something new and different and probably different than you've ever read before. I can't tell you right now if it's going to be long or short or good or bad or any of that, but I will let you know when it is done and you can decide it for yourself.

Thanks for keeping up with this little blog thing, for those of you that do... it really means a lot to me :) I have been using this Google Analytics thing and it is really mind-blowing to me to see the different regions that my readers are from, really from here to Florida to that one hit I got from Alaska. Ha all that makes me think is that the random little life update entries like this are too boring to deserve an audience, but it will mean something to a few of you.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.