Moving Inland: Stephen Mason and Jars of Clay

Guest post by Angela Doll Carlson

Over the last twenty years of his musical career with Jars of Clay, guitarist Stephen Mason has seen shifts in the landscape of Christian rock as well as those that have taken place with the rise of social media. Mason and his band-mates have been pioneers in the music scene, producing consistently poignant words wrapped in powerful and soul stirring melodies.

Stephen takes a few moments from his daily occupations of music making and barbering to reflect upon his career with Jars and to comment on their scrapes with the sharp edges of social media. [Read more...]

Scott Cairns and his Idiot Psalms

Guest Post

By Angela Doll Carlson

W.H. Auden has said, “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the work of Scott Cairns. Whether they are the words from his poem, “Loves”:

I have kissed
his feet. I have looked long
into the trouble of his face

Or those he’s translated and adapted from the writings of the early saints in Endless Life:

The soul that looks
finally to God, conceives
a new mouth-watering
desire for His eternal beauty

Cairns’s work is at once embodied and ethereal, finding its roots in the ancient soil of rich language and reaching its branches into the lives of the common man. His poems greet the reader with a familiarity that allows the poet to draw us ever nearer so that at any moment he might whisper one great truth into the ear.

[Read more...]

Sarah Masen: The Trying Mark, Part 2

Guest Post

By Angela Doll Carlson

In yesterday’s interview with Sarah Masen, we chatted about her latest album, The Trying Mark, a mature reflection on a life full of longing, wonder and awe. Today we delve a little more into this new project as we discover what makes Sarah such a unique artist, including her deep thoughts on community, nurturing, and chicken keeping.

Angela Doll Carlson: The new album seems to be full of a sense of longing, most specifically seen in the lyrics of “The Way for Now”:

For now I am a field in winter waiting

This cold it is a shield

No man, no plow, no seed will find its way beneath me

For now I will not yield.

Can you tell me more about that?

[Read more...]


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