Brenda and I went walked down town for our date last night. We noticed several buildings under construction. The sky seems filled with large cranes and the ground with building sites. We walked through Monroe Street past people sitting at cafe tables the resteraunts place out side when it's not winter. We had decided against eating out because of our skinny bank account and had eaten at home befor we left but still the good smells coming out of these resteraunts had its effect on us, stirring up appatite and longing. We ended up at the River City Book store with drinks and a table piled with books and magazines.The book store had a singer named Anisa (www.anisahome.com) on stage doing mostly covers. She was doing a great job of helping the store have an ambiance. One of the books I picked up was a newly released Jack Kerouac work and in the forward I learned that Kerouac came to New York City from Lowell Massachusettes to play foot ball at Columbia on a scholarship. He quite the team in his second year after a disagreement with his coach and joined the Merchant Marines. It is interesting to me that though he was brought to NY for foot ball, his true reason in being there had nothing to do with sports and everything to do with meeting William Burroughs and Allen Giinsberg and the new approach to writting that they would pioneer together. Kerouac's On The Road was to have a huge effect on me in 1982 as I began my first year out of college and set my sights on the rough and tumble life of an artist persuing a personal vision.
What does all this have to do with Grand Rapids? Some times I wonder why we are here now back in our home town, and what is wanting to erupt right here in our humble city? What new artistic development, literary movement, what new language of expressing God's incarnation is about to be stumbled into? My hope and my prayer is for this city to awaken to it's full potential, to rise up as a place of vigerous artistic output and creative individuality. I want Grand Rapids to have a deep music community full of talent and fresh vision. I long for more vitality and life to happen here.