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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Gabriel Patterson
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


Sunday Morning

Every Sunday we stop by Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast before church and order the usual. Then, we drop our daughter off at Kiddie Camp and proceed to church. We always sit on the left hand side, about halfway up. As the musicians begin to play, everyone starts to clap their hands. The clear-windowed cubicle the drummer sits in—does he feel disconnected from the band? Did they have soundproof boxes for drummers back in the day? Why does it seem like all guitarists are pigeon-toed? Can a song be considered devotional if it doesn't contain the words God, Him, He or Lord?

grasping the mood
implied
by the smoke machine

I love the sleek way my wife grabs the offering bucket and slides the check in with one motion, as if she's sliding money to an estranged uncle. The ease of Sunday morning handshakes are refreshing. The vise grips of professionalism and power loosen, lessen when we enter these walls. Of course it’s premeditated, calculated. You can even count on the pastor wearing khakis again. But the orchestration feeds our anticipation of a new message for a new week. We hope to be realigned spiritually after the sermon. Churchgoers are still flocking in. The pastor walks to the podium.

trickling water vane
sparrows
compete for a drink

Today, I continue studying the band, but the questions I had before seem less important. Then it happened, while nodding my head to the drummer's beat, he began twirling his drumsticks mid-chorus. I look around, ask my wife if she caught it, to which she replies "no." Imagine that, twirling drumsticks in the house of God. Such benediction, celebration, in the groove, spontaneous . . .

laundry day
the epiphany
of a warm dollar

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