the adventures of Josh Swift

sorrowed peasant to Joyful WARRIOR


Reblogged from tysonmotsenbocker
tysonmotsenbocker:

It’s incredible how easily I get sick in the car, like everything is flashing past at a thousand miles per hour and every bump in the road and twisting corner feel like chemicals in my stomach rising up through my neck and holding my brain with big red fingers. I’ve been in San Francisco for two days, riding in cars and busses around the city. It all moves so quickly and people are looking forward and forward and deep into a place I can’t see or imagine, right in front of the next footstep, just over the horizon. For thirty some days I’ve imagined the city, and all the places I knew - the Presidio, the Mission, Market Street and the Golden Gate. I stood on the old World War II barracks on the point, looking out towards the Pacific Ocean with the giant arches of the Golden Gate Bridge on my right and nothing seemed real, like I was living inside a projection of what the end would look like. It was as though I was still just sitting inside my own mind, envisioning the slight backwards arch and the cables bending in the sun listening to my feet slap on the concrete in pattern like big black tires - it was where I went when the road went straight. I closed my eyes. I was there already - and this time, maybe I was - only it was much bigger, or maybe, it was much smaller - in a wider radius. 

I walked down the steps that had been notched in the wall of the bunker and over to a bench that sits where the bridge lines up. I saw down the bridge in a straight line like a gun barrel with all the cars floating up and over. There was a man taking photographs, squatting for the angles.

“Hello sir.” I said. He smiles.
“I just needed to tell someone - I just walked here. From San Diego. I had to tell somebody because there’s nobody for me to tell.”

He smiles.

“I’ve been walking for four weeks and there were so many times I didn’t think I could do it, but I did do it, and now I’m here. I walked here. I just needed somebody to tell.”

“I am from Montreal!” He proclaims.
“I speak FRANCAIS!” And he turned and walked down the steps towards the new perspective and the setting sun beyond the arches. 

As I sat in the hospice home with my mother on her last days, she was awake at first. Eventually she slept more and more often until she was only sleeping. She laid back in her bed breathing slowly and when she left us - there were five of us in the room looking at our cell phones in the silence and the glow of a single lamp in the corner. She just stopped breathing.

“I think she’s gone.” My sister said.
“I think so.” My father said.
I didn’t say anything.

We’ve grown accustomed to the reception of endings, final words and poetry, the gasp and will of a dying soldier, the grand finale, the cheers of the audience - but maybe more often the end comes with silence, with the only English words a person from Eastern Canada knows how to speak, with a misunderstanding and an empty space. It isn’t what we expected, but poetry is creation and the moving from one space to another with just the words to say it correctly. There is no eulogy more eloquent than the one my sister gave when she said “I think she’s gone.” There were no words more poignant and elegiac to welcome me in from six hundred miles of road noise and wet nights than someone telling me that they didn’t understand what I was trying to say. 
 I picked up my backpack and walked until I found a bus, and then I got on the bus and that was the end of the time I walked from San Diego to San Francisco.

My friend Joseph met me just outside of Santa Cruz on Thanksgiving, one week ago. We had thanksgiving dinner in a bar in Santa Cruz together, talking about making records and old cameras. My first day out on the road I had discovered that my Minolta SRT 201 had a broken advance lever from the way I had packed it. Joseph brought me a new camera, the same 70’s SRT in all of it’s beautiful familiarity and the old man sitting beside me wanted to talk film with us. The waves were boiling in the first winter swell, big cold waves in blues and greens from the north. We stood at the lighthouse at Steamer Lane and I thought about all the years I’d been coming here to look at the same view in different shades and colors and all the different people I had been in different stages. The crowd was gathered to watch the surfers and the sun going down as I had seen it do every night for the weeks on the road, but somehow it seemed different, like it was further over and across and I was already walking away - but it was as though the sun was still watching me, looking past it’s audience on the cliffs with their cameras and saying “I know that one best” - and when I looked over my shoulder it felt wrong, not sitting. Not watching it go - because every night I had, through Los Angeles, and on and on and on - high above the water in Big Sur when the cars stopped coming, every night the same way. I felt it on my back and there was a sadness there. It was the first farewell.

There’s a house in Santa Cruz that, in many ways is the face of my times there, a constant and a comfort to me during many days on the road, under the redwoods on Mount Hermon. I told Joseph to wait outside and knocked on the door. Voices from inside shouted to come in, and I knew what I would find. Redwood walls, books, a grand piano tucked under some shelves like a children’s fort of blankets - a wood fire in the middle of the room and people. People sitting at a long wooden table under the eaves past the living room - covered in food and glasses with every color of drink. It’s the Burn’s house, the joining of two families and so many more. I invited Joseph inside where my old friend Josh met us smiling with drinks - and as I knew would happen, the end of the evening did not arrive until deep into the following morning. We sat in the living room with guitars - the old grand piano singing out alongside the slow picking of banjos, the muddy thump of Josh’s stand up bass, high glasses and new renditions. Someone delivered a kick drum and a snare into the room and played with wire brushes as everyone sang along with clinking glasses and conversation under the sounds of a full and beautiful time together, all lit by the feeding of the fire, flickering across the rafters.

“I’m sorry about your mom.” - it was Dave Burns when the party was over and everybody was shuffling out the door in their winter coats, he was looking directly at me, white-haired and laugh-lined. I didn’t have much to say, as I don’t when people tell me those words, but I could see the memories in his eyes standing like shadows in the dark - of the last days of his late wife, Josh’s mother - when she was sleeping more and more, taking slow breaths and then none at all. I looked around his house and then back at him. 

“It turns out ok.” I said.
“Yes.” He said. “It does.”

There were eighty more miles from Santa Cruz up the coastline, walking in the fog and the breaking of the waves in explosions on the rocks. Joseph and I found the Pigeon Point lighthouse one night and set flat on our backs looking up in the dark watching the beams spin in the fog. 

“Here you are, spinning in all the love you never found.” I told it, like it was watching across the ocean for something that never came, and there were more thoughts there, about how we are spinning in all the love we never found and the darkness was cold and complete. Joseph left that night, driving with friends back to Los Angeles. I woke up alone in the Eucalyptus again. It felt correct to me, that I would finish alone. 

Two days later I crested the final hill in South San Francisco and saw the whole of the place spread out below, the bridge in the distance, I knew I was almost finished. It was a grief I can’t explain, like somehow everything I wanted was right before me and it wasn’t going to be enough anymore. I sat and wrote this in my yellow book on it’s last pages:

“Today I will sit and try and write a conclusion to this walk. I’m sure I’ll write about Thanksgiving and the lighthouse spinning in all the love it never found. I’ll write about expectations and the end, but I already know that there is still so much left undone, like I only just began to see anything at all. I think that I have come to terms with the fact that she is gone and I’ve forgiven myself for not being around in her final days as much as I wish I would have - but further: I’ve seen myself at my best and worst, I’ve learned, truly, of the great kindness of the God beyond, been able to rest in the experience that he is foremost good, and kind, and the answers will remain veiled by design…

But when I think back over all those miles and footsteps on the side of the highway I only see colors and photographs, the rushing wind and the clatter of motor cars. I feel the sun on my face and the sweat building on my hands and all the greater truths I found along the way are in there somehow tumbling with the tires and shining like the later sun off a single wave below - and I can only describe them how they came to me, on the wings of these things and the feeling that everything turns out ok in the end.”

tysonmotsenbocker:

It’s incredible how easily I get sick in the car, like everything is flashing past at a thousand miles per hour and every bump in the road and twisting corner feel like chemicals in my stomach rising up through my neck and holding my brain with big red fingers. I’ve been in San Francisco for two days, riding in cars and busses around the city. It all moves so quickly and people are looking forward and forward and deep into a place I can’t see or imagine, right in front of the next footstep, just over the horizon. For thirty some days I’ve imagined the city, and all the places I knew - the Presidio, the Mission, Market Street and the Golden Gate. I stood on the old World War II barracks on the point, looking out towards the Pacific Ocean with the giant arches of the Golden Gate Bridge on my right and nothing seemed real, like I was living inside a projection of what the end would look like. It was as though I was still just sitting inside my own mind, envisioning the slight backwards arch and the cables bending in the sun listening to my feet slap on the concrete in pattern like big black tires - it was where I went when the road went straight. I closed my eyes. I was there already - and this time, maybe I was - only it was much bigger, or maybe, it was much smaller - in a wider radius. 

I walked down the steps that had been notched in the wall of the bunker and over to a bench that sits where the bridge lines up. I saw down the bridge in a straight line like a gun barrel with all the cars floating up and over. There was a man taking photographs, squatting for the angles.

“Hello sir.” I said. He smiles.

“I just needed to tell someone - I just walked here. From San Diego. I had to tell somebody because there’s nobody for me to tell.”

He smiles.

“I’ve been walking for four weeks and there were so many times I didn’t think I could do it, but I did do it, and now I’m here. I walked here. I just needed somebody to tell.”

“I am from Montreal!” He proclaims.

“I speak FRANCAIS!” And he turned and walked down the steps towards the new perspective and the setting sun beyond the arches. 

As I sat in the hospice home with my mother on her last days, she was awake at first. Eventually she slept more and more often until she was only sleeping. She laid back in her bed breathing slowly and when she left us - there were five of us in the room looking at our cell phones in the silence and the glow of a single lamp in the corner. She just stopped breathing.

“I think she’s gone.” My sister said.

“I think so.” My father said.

I didn’t say anything.

We’ve grown accustomed to the reception of endings, final words and poetry, the gasp and will of a dying soldier, the grand finale, the cheers of the audience - but maybe more often the end comes with silence, with the only English words a person from Eastern Canada knows how to speak, with a misunderstanding and an empty space. It isn’t what we expected, but poetry is creation and the moving from one space to another with just the words to say it correctly. There is no eulogy more eloquent than the one my sister gave when she said “I think she’s gone.” There were no words more poignant and elegiac to welcome me in from six hundred miles of road noise and wet nights than someone telling me that they didn’t understand what I was trying to say. 

I picked up my backpack and walked until I found a bus, and then I got on the bus and that was the end of the time I walked from San Diego to San Francisco.

My friend Joseph met me just outside of Santa Cruz on Thanksgiving, one week ago. We had thanksgiving dinner in a bar in Santa Cruz together, talking about making records and old cameras. My first day out on the road I had discovered that my Minolta SRT 201 had a broken advance lever from the way I had packed it. Joseph brought me a new camera, the same 70’s SRT in all of it’s beautiful familiarity and the old man sitting beside me wanted to talk film with us. The waves were boiling in the first winter swell, big cold waves in blues and greens from the north. We stood at the lighthouse at Steamer Lane and I thought about all the years I’d been coming here to look at the same view in different shades and colors and all the different people I had been in different stages. The crowd was gathered to watch the surfers and the sun going down as I had seen it do every night for the weeks on the road, but somehow it seemed different, like it was further over and across and I was already walking away - but it was as though the sun was still watching me, looking past it’s audience on the cliffs with their cameras and saying “I know that one best” - and when I looked over my shoulder it felt wrong, not sitting. Not watching it go - because every night I had, through Los Angeles, and on and on and on - high above the water in Big Sur when the cars stopped coming, every night the same way. I felt it on my back and there was a sadness there. It was the first farewell.

There’s a house in Santa Cruz that, in many ways is the face of my times there, a constant and a comfort to me during many days on the road, under the redwoods on Mount Hermon. I told Joseph to wait outside and knocked on the door. Voices from inside shouted to come in, and I knew what I would find. Redwood walls, books, a grand piano tucked under some shelves like a children’s fort of blankets - a wood fire in the middle of the room and people. People sitting at a long wooden table under the eaves past the living room - covered in food and glasses with every color of drink. It’s the Burn’s house, the joining of two families and so many more. I invited Joseph inside where my old friend Josh met us smiling with drinks - and as I knew would happen, the end of the evening did not arrive until deep into the following morning. We sat in the living room with guitars - the old grand piano singing out alongside the slow picking of banjos, the muddy thump of Josh’s stand up bass, high glasses and new renditions. Someone delivered a kick drum and a snare into the room and played with wire brushes as everyone sang along with clinking glasses and conversation under the sounds of a full and beautiful time together, all lit by the feeding of the fire, flickering across the rafters.

“I’m sorry about your mom.” - it was Dave Burns when the party was over and everybody was shuffling out the door in their winter coats, he was looking directly at me, white-haired and laugh-lined. I didn’t have much to say, as I don’t when people tell me those words, but I could see the memories in his eyes standing like shadows in the dark - of the last days of his late wife, Josh’s mother - when she was sleeping more and more, taking slow breaths and then none at all. I looked around his house and then back at him. 

“It turns out ok.” I said.

“Yes.” He said. “It does.”

There were eighty more miles from Santa Cruz up the coastline, walking in the fog and the breaking of the waves in explosions on the rocks. Joseph and I found the Pigeon Point lighthouse one night and set flat on our backs looking up in the dark watching the beams spin in the fog. 

“Here you are, spinning in all the love you never found.” I told it, like it was watching across the ocean for something that never came, and there were more thoughts there, about how we are spinning in all the love we never found and the darkness was cold and complete. Joseph left that night, driving with friends back to Los Angeles. I woke up alone in the Eucalyptus again. It felt correct to me, that I would finish alone. 

Two days later I crested the final hill in South San Francisco and saw the whole of the place spread out below, the bridge in the distance, I knew I was almost finished. It was a grief I can’t explain, like somehow everything I wanted was right before me and it wasn’t going to be enough anymore. I sat and wrote this in my yellow book on it’s last pages:

“Today I will sit and try and write a conclusion to this walk. I’m sure I’ll write about Thanksgiving and the lighthouse spinning in all the love it never found. I’ll write about expectations and the end, but I already know that there is still so much left undone, like I only just began to see anything at all. I think that I have come to terms with the fact that she is gone and I’ve forgiven myself for not being around in her final days as much as I wish I would have - but further: I’ve seen myself at my best and worst, I’ve learned, truly, of the great kindness of the God beyond, been able to rest in the experience that he is foremost good, and kind, and the answers will remain veiled by design…

But when I think back over all those miles and footsteps on the side of the highway I only see colors and photographs, the rushing wind and the clatter of motor cars. I feel the sun on my face and the sweat building on my hands and all the greater truths I found along the way are in there somehow tumbling with the tires and shining like the later sun off a single wave below - and I can only describe them how they came to me, on the wings of these things and the feeling that everything turns out ok in the end.”

Reblogged from tysonmotsenbocker
Reblogged from tysonmotsenbocker
Reblogged from tysonmotsenbocker
Reblogged from tysonmotsenbocker
tysonmotsenbocker:

For the past four years I haven’t stopped. When my mother called me from my parent’s house in Eastern Washington State with the news that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, my response was to write an album about it and tour it nonstop for two years. I saw her occasionally, not enough - she responded gracefully, encouraging my dream and my process of wading through the grief, which was at best independent and at it’s worst downright avoidance. Those next few years, during her sickness, I spent anywhere from six to eight months on the road, or camped-out at Young Life properties playing my songs for people, selling records and trying to make something of myself, “make” as I saw it. When she died, only twenty days ago, I was at home with my father and sister, realizing what I had missed out on. I’d missed most of the twilight of her life, beautiful moments of wisdom and gouging introspection, moments of laughter and pain. “Some days I feel like I am a fifty-seven year old woman, and sometimes I feel ninety-seven.” She told me. “Ninety-seven has such deeper knowledge.”
When I found out that her health was declining, I applied my usual denial and flew home, canceling two tours for the release of my second EP, called Rivers and Roads. It was an entire fall I cancelled, and most of the early winter, thinking that I could spend those days with her. Of course she knew that her time wasn’t so long. She died early. When I came back to California I had two open months and a subletted room in San Diego. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go, so I decided to go on a long walk.
I’ve decided to walk for a month, I’m going to try to walk from San Diego to San Francisco.
It’s seems sort of terrible to me that it took these particular events to force me to stop for a moment. I wonder how much of my time during her sickness was just time spent spinning my wheels, worrying about money and the future in order to silence the quiet noise just beyond. I want to face the quiet noise. I want to spend some good time, acknowledging my regrets and failures, remember who she was and who she will continue to be. I want to not see, but study the coastline I drove past fourty times at seventy miles per hour on my way to something that seemed much more important than it was. I want to begin to understand the quiet God she so admired, the one who peaks out when the voices are walking further down the alley. I want to be physically uncomfortable and mourn actively, because she told me that in a culture of comfort and ease we forgot that suffering brings beauty and fortitude of character.
So on November 4th, I’ll be on the road again, for different reasons. Not to forget but to remember. Not to see it all and live young but to see it slowly and live old, like 97 years old. I’ll take some pictures of the fog in the morning and walk barefoot on the beach for many hours and probably sleep in places I’m not supposed to sleep. If you’re driving the coast and you happen upon me, stop and say hi.
Tyson

tysonmotsenbocker:

For the past four years I haven’t stopped. When my mother called me from my parent’s house in Eastern Washington State with the news that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, my response was to write an album about it and tour it nonstop for two years. I saw her occasionally, not enough - she responded gracefully, encouraging my dream and my process of wading through the grief, which was at best independent and at it’s worst downright avoidance. Those next few years, during her sickness, I spent anywhere from six to eight months on the road, or camped-out at Young Life properties playing my songs for people, selling records and trying to make something of myself, “make” as I saw it. When she died, only twenty days ago, I was at home with my father and sister, realizing what I had missed out on. I’d missed most of the twilight of her life, beautiful moments of wisdom and gouging introspection, moments of laughter and pain. “Some days I feel like I am a fifty-seven year old woman, and sometimes I feel ninety-seven.” She told me. “Ninety-seven has such deeper knowledge.”

When I found out that her health was declining, I applied my usual denial and flew home, canceling two tours for the release of my second EP, called Rivers and Roads. It was an entire fall I cancelled, and most of the early winter, thinking that I could spend those days with her. Of course she knew that her time wasn’t so long. She died early. When I came back to California I had two open months and a subletted room in San Diego. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go, so I decided to go on a long walk.

I’ve decided to walk for a month, I’m going to try to walk from San Diego to San Francisco.

It’s seems sort of terrible to me that it took these particular events to force me to stop for a moment. I wonder how much of my time during her sickness was just time spent spinning my wheels, worrying about money and the future in order to silence the quiet noise just beyond. I want to face the quiet noise. I want to spend some good time, acknowledging my regrets and failures, remember who she was and who she will continue to be. I want to not see, but study the coastline I drove past fourty times at seventy miles per hour on my way to something that seemed much more important than it was. I want to begin to understand the quiet God she so admired, the one who peaks out when the voices are walking further down the alley. I want to be physically uncomfortable and mourn actively, because she told me that in a culture of comfort and ease we forgot that suffering brings beauty and fortitude of character.

So on November 4th, I’ll be on the road again, for different reasons. Not to forget but to remember. Not to see it all and live young but to see it slowly and live old, like 97 years old. I’ll take some pictures of the fog in the morning and walk barefoot on the beach for many hours and probably sleep in places I’m not supposed to sleep. If you’re driving the coast and you happen upon me, stop and say hi.

Tyson

goodness.

so I’m not the best at updating social media. I can’t remember the last time I posted a status on facebook, my last instagram was months ago. Life is often times way better without social media but can be good in some cases. (so if you’re reading this just give me a call or text me and I can respond easier) About  a month ago I was boarding a plane to Malawi and now I am resting in a coffee shop in Santa Cruz, CA. 

God is so good! I don’t have enough words to describe how gracious He is. I have been in Santa Cruz working for Young Life adventures for two weeks now and it seems way longer. The first week was filled with busyness of getting camp ready. Last week was filled with new relationships with leaders and kids. The team I am a part of is so great. We are able to take kids on different adventures and lead them into a deeper walk with Christ.

The Lord is continually revealing new things that I am learning through going to Malawi. Every part of my life has been affected and changed through my experience there. God has used Young Life Adventures to give me a community in which I can grow and learn continually. I am working hard and being stretched daily. This is only the start to a great summer. I am currently trying to raise support so that I can get paid this summer. If you would like to support me or know someone who would like to you can give here  http://bit.ly/joshswift 

If you would like to write me I’d love to write back

627 Nelson Rd. Scotts Valley, CA 95066

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes.  Psalm 113:7

People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I think that’s true but a picture always has story behind it. You see a picture but its nothing like being there in person and experiencing it. I can describe what it was like but I could never do it justice. Seeing the people, hearing them sing and laugh, smelling the dust and hugging the kids cannot be explained through words or any picture. If there is one word to describe Malawi its JOY. The kids have so little and yet are full of life. I am forever changed I hope that I can give you a small glimpse of what I experienced as I continually process what the Lord is teaching me.
A friend on the trip shared this with me. It provides beautiful picture of the kingdom of God.
James 2:5-7
 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
 

People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I think that’s true but a picture always has story behind it. You see a picture but its nothing like being there in person and experiencing it. I can describe what it was like but I could never do it justice. Seeing the people, hearing them sing and laugh, smelling the dust and hugging the kids cannot be explained through words or any picture. If there is one word to describe Malawi its JOY. The kids have so little and yet are full of life. I am forever changed I hope that I can give you a small glimpse of what I experienced as I continually process what the Lord is teaching me.

A friend on the trip shared this with me. It provides beautiful picture of the kingdom of God.

James 2:5-7

 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

 

Mud is the story of two boys and an adventure. Set out to find a bout stuck in a tree on an island but find a man living there. After hearing the man’s story they decide to help him get his love back and then escape the island. The boys have ideas how they will help Mud but quickly find themselves deeper in Mud’s own story. The movie is great so go see it yourself.

As I am about to leave on this journey I can’t sleep with all of the thoughts of the adventures to come. I have my own ideas an expectations of what will happen. But a lot like this story of Ellis and Nick I know that my expectations will be shattered. God will far exceed any ideas of what he is going to do. I am excited and ready to see what God has in store for upcoming adventures.

May you allow me to share with you the many great things that God will be doing. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!