D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

Filtering by Tag: Winter

Colder Than Mars

My husband wrote this song last winter (which was a hard and good one for us). I love how he weaves in so much (references to The Abyss, an obscure McSweeney's book called Giraffes? Giraffes! and all of our favorite snacks). I also love how it showcases his deeply earnest yet totally goofy personality. As my friend Nate Allen describes it: this is the kind of music a therapist records in his basement. Because it totally is. Anyways, it seems like creativity has been a key component of mental health for us, balancing the weight of the world we find ourselves in and getting lost in words and beats. To all of you who, like myself, the winters can be hard on, this song is for you.




[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2571148603 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=3321551353]  



Colder Than Mars

by The Maiden Name


we go to malls when it snows and we don’t buy a thing and hold keys to cars we don’t own on our rings and when we lie down, I can feel the oxytocin flow like the Mississippi runs in the spring if we'd stuck to applied sciences, we might have ended up with better appliances but anthills pop up through the carpet, yeah our apartment’s kind of an armpit, yeah no pork at our parties, chicken is safest, and in minneapolis sambusas are the greatest orange fanta, sans-ice goat, basta, injeera, ricemy wife swears the vikings are a hockey team because of the ice I correct her, "that's a basketball team, you know" but I try to say it nice

we shop at the co-op, pick up some supplements at the food-shelf we buy what we can from the farmers, and then get what we can where we can wherever else. pita or pancake? why is everyone snacking on my sidewalk? spiced with ginger and mandrake! I’m not gonna pick it up and put in my pocket we drink what it see, drain it down, even up to the dregs let it sit deep within us, like fruit juices in giraffe’s legs

what if to submerge is like the Abyss? I mean the film from 1989 that I watched in 7th grade, with horror, as that rat’s eyes met mine he shrieked and tried not to drown, but he couldn’t resist, such a struggle in the brine his lungs filled with water and he survived with clenched fists [I mean paws, clenched paws]

its colder than mars here, and we import snow by the pounds and doors are locked and closed, from the first snow til the thaw of the ground we’re all gonna die of loneliness, cozy with just ourselves, only ourselves and a bottle of vodka taken down off the shelf across the hall, paper thin walls, our salvation is bound up together it’s not what we saw, but we heard the falls, as we waited day and night through the weather and if the sun ever comes out to greet us, we’ll beat it with a brick and threaten, "if you ever try to defect again, it’s over, we’ll finish the job, and this time we mean it."


from Colder Than Mars Demos, released 15 March 2015
Be sure to go check out his bandcamp page. He is the best boy.



The Consoled, the Insiders

I've been reading my old blog, for some inspiration and also to jolt my memory a bit. I am losing myself a bit here, in this space, in this season of life. There are mountains, mountains of snow and ice every where I go, the wind whipping my cheeks raw and red. I am turning 30 in a few short weeks. I have good intentions to read beautiful books and watch heartbreaking documentaries, but instead I laugh my way through Brooklyn 99 and find myself sobbing to 13 Going On 30. I am smack dab in the formative years, the rings of growth spreading outwards, painful, necessary, exhausting. I am bouncing between worlds, between people who argue on the internets and people who don't have access to computers, between the haves and the have-nots, between all of us trying to love God as best as we can, most of us on the verge of burn-out.  

Christus Consolator 1851. From https://collections.artsmia.org/?page=detail&id=104894


I saw this picture in the middle of the art museum. I had run away from my life for a moment, was wandering the cavernous galleries with a journal in hand. This picture of Jesus, tucked into a corner, caught my eye. I read about the painting, and I was crying before I realized, the guard looking at me with alarm and compassion.

Based on one of my favorite passages of Scripture in luke 4, Ary Scheffer, a dutch painter, was inspired by the declarations of Jesus: Luke 4:18: "I have come to heal those who are brokenhearted and to announce to the prisoners their deliverance; to liberate those who are crushed by their chains."

He painted Christ, in the center, and around him he filled in the broken-hearted.  A woman kneeling with her dead baby clutched in her hands. A refugee with a walking stick. A man lost at sea, a man who killed himself with his own dagger. A poet imprisoned as a madman, three generations of women, all abused. The oppressed throughout the ages--a Polish independence fighter, a Greek warrior, a Roman slave, an African slave. A dying man, with Jesus taking off his shackles. Mary Magdalene, the famously forgiven, kneeling at his feet. Everyone is pleading, stretching, shackled, in agony--and everyone leaning into the Christ.

And he consoles them.

It's what he came to do. like he always has done, throughout the centuries. He comforts the imprisoned, the sick, the sad, the dying, the lonely. The burnt-out, the lost at sea, those floating out ever farther from the land they staked their lives on, adrift and unmoored by the suffering and pain of the world.

And we who are lost are brought back by one person alone, and that person is the Christ. The one who suffered like us, with us, for us. Who promises to break all the chains, to bring his new kingdom here in this earth. Who hangs out with the outsiders, the ones the world forget. Who sees us for who we are, as the bringers of his kingdom.

We, the ones who most need the consolation: we are the insiders here. I scribble this down in my journal, and I walk back to my life. Every day a chance for my own shackles to be taken off, the ones I put there of my own accord. Every day a chance to tell someone else: there is a place where you are the insider, too.




Thanks to those who have already submitted ideas/essays about "Upside-Down Art"--keep them coming! I look forward to the conversations we will be having in regards to art and how it widens up our world. E-mail me your ideas/submissions at dlmmcsweeneys @ gmail . com. 











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