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Only Switchfoot Knows How I Feel

It's less than two weeks before Switchfoot, my favorite band of all time, releases their new album, Vice Verses. 
From what I've heard, read, and gleaned, I'm pretty sure I'll be playing it non-stop the moment I own it.  And yeah, I'll probably blog about it too.

Over the years, I've made no secret of the fact that their lyrics speak to me and hit me where I am.  I have a whole playlist of songs I call "Only Switchfoot Knows How I Feel" because of their ability to speak into my struggles.  So while I'm waiting to hear & review "Vice Verses," I thought I'd do something a bit different and let their lyrics speak for themselves.  Here are some of my favorite lines from SOME of my favorite Switchfoot songs (by no means a comprehensive list!).  Songs & albums listed below for those interested, with links to Youtube...(btw, check out the "Awakening" video...it features TONY HALE.  Yeah, the guy from "Arrested Development" & "Chuck."  Seriously). 

Take a moment, though, and see if you don't find yourself in a few of these lyrics, as well.

I am the sea on a moonless night
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
I am the raindrop falling down
Always longing for the deeper ground
I am the broken, breaking seas
Even my blood finds ways to bleed
Even in my dreams
I am restless
I am restless
I am restless
I’m looking for you
I am the dried up doubting eyes
Looking for the well that won’t run dry
Running for the other side
The world that I’ve always been denied
Running hard for the infinite
With the tears of saints and hypocrites
I am restless
I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you
I wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone
And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land
And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy
Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough
When you feel like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans
That you have for me over again
And I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I know now
You’re my only hope
I give you my apathy
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it back
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty-four hours ago
And I’m not who I thought I was
Twenty-four hours ago
But see I’m not copping out
When you’re raising the dead in me
Maybe I’ve been the problem
Maybe I’m the one to blame
I’ve been thinking maybe I’ve been partly cloudy
Maybe I’m the chance of rain
And maybe I’m overcast
And maybe all my luck’s washed down the drain
I’ve been thinking about everyone
Everyone, you look so lonely
I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to know that my heart’s still beating,
It’s beating,I’m bleeding
I want to wake up kicking and screaming
I want to live like I know what I’m leaving
I want a heart that I know is beating,
It’s beating… it’s beating…
I’m bleeding
We lock our souls in cages
We hide inside our shells
It’s hard to free the ones you love
When you can’t forgive yourself
I’ve made a mess of me
I want to reverse this tragedy
I’ve made a mess of me
I want to spend the rest of my life alive
Back in the tragedy
I’ve made a mess of me
My bitter means, my bitter ends
I see the irony
It gets the best of me
Dying to be made new again
Waiting for daylight to break up this room
Waiting for daylight to break
I’ve been alone, in the dark I’ve been dreaming
I’ve been waking up without you,
I’ve been waking up without you
For too long
So this is the way that I say I need You
This is the way that I say I love You
This is the way that I say I’m Yours
This is the way, this is the way, that I’m
Learning to breathe
I’m learning to crawl
I’m finding that You and You alone can break my fall
I’m living again, awake and alive
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies
Insecure and incomplete, here I am, here I am,
Won’t you get me?
My fears have worn me out
My fears have worn me out, worn me
You push until you’re shoving
You bend until you break
Do you stand on the broken fields where your fathers lay?
It’ll be a day like this one, when the world caves in
Is there’s nothing here worth saving?
Is no one here at all?
Is there any net left that could break our fall?
It’ll be a day like this one
When the sky falls down
And the hungry and poor and deserted are found
Are you discontented? Have you been pushing hard?
Have you been throwing down this broken house of cards?
It’ll be a day like this one when the world caves in
Is there nothing left now?
Nothing left to sing
Are there any left who haven’t kissed the enemy?
Is this the New Year or just another desperation?
Does justice never find you?
Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?
And nothing is okay
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in, until the world caves in
I come alive when I hear you singing
But lately I haven't been hearing a thing
I get the feeling that I'm in between
A machine and a man who only looks like me
I try and hide it and not let it show
But deep down inside me I just don't know
Am I a man if I feel like a hoax?
The stranger in the mirror's been wearing my clothes
No, I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive, not just survive
what are you aiming for out here alone?
I said I’m aiming for home
nowhere feels safe to me,
nowhere feels home
even in crowds I’m alone
holding on, holding on
every now and then I see you dreaming
every now and then I see you cry
every now and then I see you reaching,
reaching for the other side
what are you waiting for?
You’ve been living life like it’s a sequel
And you’re already bored with the plot
As if the cast and the score are more money than before
But the script and the backdrops are stock
Ah so come on, come on, come on
Let’s abandon this darkness
Oh come on, come on, come on
Let’s follow this through
Ah so come on, come on, come on
Everything’s waiting
We’ll be lit up like fire and gold
When everything’s new
Yeah when everything’s new
You’ve been hiding in the bedroom,
Hoping this isn’t how the story has to go
It’s not the way it goes, it’s your book now,
You’re a lonely soul,
In a land of broken hearts
And far from home,
Is a perfect place to start
So this final verse,
Is a contradiction
And the more we learn,
The less we know
This world is a dead man down
Every breath is a fading crown we wear,
Like some debilitated king
Don’t let go tonight
Earth spins and the moon goes round
The green comes from the frozen ground
And everything will be made new again,
Like freedom in spring.
In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in, fit in,
Until I found out
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here
I’m gonna set sight and set sail for the kingdom come
We are a beautiful letdown,
Painfully uncool,
The church of the dropouts, the losers
The sinners, the failures, and the fools
Oh what a beautiful letdown
Are we salt in the wound
Let us sing one true tune
Oh, your love is a symphony
all around me, running through me
Oh, your love is a melody
underneath me, running to me
your love is a song
But everything inside you knows
there’s more than what you’ve heard
There’s so much more than empty conversations
filled with empty words
Where is God in the night sky?
Where is God in the city light?
Where is God in the earthquake?
Where is God in the genocide?
Where are you in my broken heart?
Everything seems to fall apart
Everything feels rusted over
Tell me that you’re there
I know that there’s a meaning to it all
A little resurrection every time I fall
You got your babies, I got my hearses
Every blessing comes with a set of curses
I got my vices, I got my vice verses
These are my vice verses
These are my vice verses
These are my vice verses.

“Restless” (Vice Verses), “Let ThatBe Enough” & “Only Hope” (New Way to be Human), “Twenty-Four” (The Beautiful Letdown), “Stars” (Nothing is Sound), “Awakening” (Oh! Gravity), “Messof Me" (Hello Hurricane), “Daylight to Break” (Eastern Hymns for Western Shores), “Learning to Breathe” (Learning to Breathe), “Redemption” (The Beautiful Letdown), “The Blues” (Nothing is Sound), Thrive” (Vice Verses), Red Eyes” (Hello Hurricane), “C’mon, C’mon” (Oh! Ep), “Golden” (Nothing is Sound), “TheBeautiful Letdown” (The Beautiful Letdown), “Your Love is a Song” (Hello Hurricane), “On Fire” (The Beautiful Letdown), “Vice Verses” (Vice Verses).


Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning

Anyone interested in reading the first 1200 words of the novel I've been working on for the last seven years or so???   This is what I'm submitting to the next level of weBook's page-to-fame contest, where people vote on whether what you have written makes you want it elevated, so you can read more...maybe even see it get published. I'd love to know what you think, so I can gauge whether or not I'm getting (& keeping!) a reader's attention.

You might have even read an early draft (or two or three...) but I'm always revising, so this might be a little different.  Here goes:

I knew right away that Davin Kowalski was different.  For one thing, he was kind of impossible to miss: a tall, scruffy guy in a long black trench coat, often seen sprinting to his next class.  He wasn’t known for saying much; but then, he wasn’t really known at all.  If anyone could have guessed what was going on in that brain of his underneath his unruly mop of hair, I think we all would have looked at him differently.
            As it was, he took great pains to isolate himself and keep his thoughts a mystery.  In class—when he made it on time—he sat in the corner, hunched over his desk, always reading or writing something.  He was a loner and kept to himself.  He was so good at it that most people passed by him without a second glance—unless it was to whisper about him.  Most people thought he was sort of scary and went out of their way to avoid him, and he certainly was intimidating.  Always dressed in dark clothes and wearing combat boots, he seemed a generally disheveled mess towering over the rest of us. 
            At first I was no different, no more privy to his thoughts than anyone else.  I was a bit on the shy side myself so we’d never actually had a conversation, even though we’d been in a study group once or twice.  We had World Civilizations together, one of those liberal arts prerequisites they assign half the freshman class to attend, and our study group was easily a third of that.  Even for a small school like Dubsy, that was too many to get to know anyone well right away. 
            I don’t know exactly what it was about the way he’d come stumbling in late and looking half-asleep that caught my interest.  There were cuter—and probably saner—guys in my class that would have been a whole lot easier to get to know.  And it wasn’t like I made a habit of trying to salvage hopeless causes.  I’d given that up ages ago.  But there was just something in his expression that reminded me of my own loneliness and homesickness.  Whatever it was, my heart went out to him.  Of course, I should have known right then that I was in for a world of trouble.

            We were walking out of class one day, and I was by myself.  Tiffany, a girl who lived down the hall from me, usually walked to class and lunch with me but had skipped that day.  I didn’t really care.  I’d eaten plenty of lunches by myself in high school. 
            It was just an ordinary, crisp fall day and students were milling around, walking over to Phelps Dining Hall.  I was not particularly in a hurry; I knew that by the time I got there, the line would already be out the door.  Just steps away from reaching the parking lot, I began digging through my bag for my ID card.  I rifled through its murky depths and irritably pulled out the folders and notebooks I’d so neatly tucked away just moments earlier.  I heard footsteps behind me, but I wasn’t really paying attention.  Then I was jostled: an elbow bumped my own and sent my books flying all over the sidewalk.  “Hey!”  I yelled after the culprit, but he was still moving—running—past. 
            “Sorry,” he called over his shoulder, his black trench coat flapping behind him like a cape.
            Then I saw what he was running to.
            Across the street, on the lawn next to the cafeteria, a group of students were playing Frisbee.  I watched as a long throw sent one of the guys running backwards into the street after it, oblivious to the car that was backing out toward him.  From where I stood, I could see what was about to happen, but it was obvious neither party was aware of the other—a large van was blocking the view. 
            That was when Davin caught the Frisbee, threw it back to the group, and pushed the guy out of the way just in time.  He himself didn’t quite make it out of harm’s way; the car had a bike rack that snagged his forearm and tore his sleeve.
            “Hey, keep your game out of the parking lot, morons!” I heard the driver yell as she drove away. 
            The Frisbee guy, too, was yelling at him.  “What was that for?” 
            By that time, I’d crossed the street as well.  “Are you blind?  That car would have hit you,” I snapped.  “He did you a favor.”
            The Frisbee guy frowned and backed away.  “Whatever.  Just...keep your hands off me, man.”
            “You’re welcome,” Davin called after him mildly.  He shook his head.
            “Jerk,” I muttered; he seemed to suddenly notice me.  “Not you.  Him,” I clarified.
            “You…saw all that, did you?”
            “Yeah.”  I faced him, looking stern.  “Are you crazy? You could have been killed!  Or at the very least, seriously injured.”
            He glanced over at me.  “Well, luckily, no one was. You’re all right, aren’t you?”
            “Yes.  But if I hadn’t stopped to pick up my books...”  I looked at him, curiously.  Surely he hadn’t knocked them out of my arms on purpose.
            He was looking at my folders.  “Star Wars and Spider-Man, huh?  Your boyfriend got you carrying his stuff, now?”
            “What?  These are mine,” I exclaimed indignantly.
            “Oh.  That’s cool.”
            “No, it’s geeky,” I contradicted.  “But I don’t care.  Anyway, I don’t have a boyfriend.”  I shoved them back in my bag, feeling flustered and self-conscious; for an awkward moment we just stood there.  “Your arm is bleeding,” I frowned, suddenly noticing.
            He glanced down.  “Oh.”  He shrugged.  “It’s just a scratch.”
            “That’s what they all say.  You know, even little scratches need to be taken care of, or they’ll get infected,” I said.
            “What, are you pre-med or something?”  He sounded annoyed.  “Is that like, Minor Wounds 101?”
            “No.  Mom Lectures 101.”  I reached back into my bag and pulled out my travel first aid kit.
            “You carry around a first aid kit?”
            “Believe it or not, it comes in handy.”  I ripped open an alcohol pad, pushed up his sleeve, and began cleaning his scrape, even though he clearly didn’t want me to.  He didn’t exactly stop me, either.  “You never know when you might need a band-aid here, some Tylenol there.  I like to be prepared.”
            “You don’t really strike me as the hypochondriac type.”
            I looked up at him, about to apply a band-aid.  “I’m not.  It’s everyone else I worry about.”
            “So...you’re a Boy Scout and a nurse.”
            I laughed.  “Nope.  Neither.  Just a concerned citizen.”  I crumpled the band-aid wrapper.  “All done.”
            He inspected my handiwork and flexed his arm.  “Good as new.  Thank you, Doctor...”  He looked at me curiously.  “I know I should know your name.”
            “Anna.  Fisher.”
            “Right.  You’re in Howard’s class, right?”
            “Yeah.  World Civ.”
            “I’m Davin.  Kowalski.” 
            Of course I was aware of that, but I wasn’t about to let him know it.  Even if he was conscious of how his looming presence made an impression on his classmates, it might come off creepy and stalker-ish.  And he clearly already thought I was weird.  Best to just keep things polite and friendly.  “Well, Davin Kowalski, are you headed to lunch?”

So, what do you think?  Would YOU want to read more? (If so, you can now click the "Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning" tab at the top of my blog to read the whole first chapter.  Feedback is ALWAYS appreciated!!)