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the  cost  of  freedom

 Apr-may/2013

METATRON  
BE ORIGINAL.

Who ever grew
in comfort?

John Fancher
pens with Pure Joy

The Daring ones move,
out of comfort zones
convinced He will
not leave us alone,
for momentum is
alive and to be had by all
Mystery unfurled when
courage makes it call.
-Metatron mag

Post Dreams
The curator and the project
that spans two coasts
Psalms of David
Sibling Perspective
Crazy Miracles
Free Growth

$
4.50

W

PaLW_MOZI^Q\I\M\W_IZL[KWUNWZ\VWUI\\MZ\PM[Q\]I\QWV'<PMÅZ[\
thing we do in a new environment is search for those things that are the
most comfortable or familiar to us. Watch a person enter a room full of
strangers and they will begin to scan the crowd searching for someone
who looks familiar. Maybe someone is there that they have met before. Even in the
case of everyone being completely alien, we will strike up a conversation and desire
to bend the arc of the content towards something in which we are well versed.

Even if one were to take others completely out of the picture and offer a
[WTQ\IZaUIVQVI[XIZ[MXZQ[WVKMTT_Q\PVWIUMVQ\QM[WNIVaSQVL?M_W]TLÅVL
\PI\JMNWZMTWVOW]Z[]JRMK\_W]TLÅVL\PMLZQM[\[]VVQM[\[WN\M[\XIZ\WN\PI\KMTT
even if it was based on an illusory perception.
What is the point? We are all predisposed to like comfortable, familiar surroundings,
which is a large obstacle to the unity that is meant to bind us. Don’t get me wrong I
like it too and with everyone else have a breaking point at which I could no longer let
things change, while allowing spontaneity to reign. Our propensity towards comfort
lends some truly inspiring stories of resilience in the cases of survival. You know the
stories where the person/family survives in the wilderness without food of water
way longer than they should have. Maybe simply because comfort wasn’t an option.
But when we are constantly surrounded by familiarity we take on an air of
entitlement that sucks the momentum away from the unity of us all. How important
is unity? Well this is what Jesus is in heaven praying right now:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their
word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also
may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20,21)
In order for mankind to endure and grow into a greater and greater unity, we have
to cease to be offended when our comfort is threatened. Only when we endeavor to
TQ^MTQNMW]\WVITQUJ_QTT_MÅVLW]Z[MT^M[ÅZUTaQV[QLMWN<PM*ZIVKP
Nathan “Bam Bam” Stanton
Creative Director| Metatron magazine
metatron@metatronmag.com

2 Metatron Apr/May 2013

APr/Mar/13    Vol.  2,  #3

16

Dreams of a city: Jenny Lam collects the
dreams of strangers

10

Pure Joy and the process of creating a
classic by John Fancher

8

Dee-1 writes his own psalm unashamed
and righteous

19

A poem by bam

5

Siblings discuss their rearing and shaping
of ideals

13

Crazy miracles that involve transporting
long distances

Metatron Apr/May 2013 3

Im(age)

Miracleshout

The risk quotient in
life is connected to
the joy found in it.
-Metatron mag

13

12
Visual Art

Departments

Miracles

-IKPUWV\P_MXZWÅTMIZ\Q[\[
musicians and writers that rise into
these medium categories. We hope
you come away with inspiration and
encouragement.

Golden Notes

8
Music

4 Metatron Apr/May 2013

Ripe Fire

16
Poetry/Prose

An  Editorial  in  Three  Parts:  
Why  Did  Being  Raised  in  a  Missionary  
Family  Make  Us  Liberal?

I

ris, my 4-year-old daughter: “Mom, can we go out of town? Because there are so many
places. There is China. But we can’t go out of town, because there are so many places.
That’s because Jesus made so many.”
This question causes me pain. The only thing I ever want to really write about is pain
and loss and separation and what it feels like not to live in the place you love. When I write
my Great American Novel, that is what it will be about. But that is beside the point. The
question in front of me today is, “Why are you so liberal?”
The short answer is that I am not sure. I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense. My parents
moved to Thailand when I was three-months-old to be missionaries for an organization
called Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel. They intended to preach the good news to
<PIQXMWXTM?MTQ^ML\PMZMNWZÅN\MMVaMIZ[IVL\PMVUW^MLJIKS\PM[]UUMZJMNWZM1JMgan my sophomore year of high school.
I then went through a traumatic period of anorexia, OCD behavior, type-A anal-retentiveness, and general friendlessness and uncoolness. We went to church every Sunday and
?MLVM[LIa1PILVWKTW[MNZQMVL[NWZI\TMI[\\PMÅZ[\aMIZ)VL1_I[I^MZa[\ZWVO:MX]JTQKIV7]ZÅZ[\aMIZJIKS_I[\PMaMIZ+TQV\WV_I[MTMK\MLNWZPQ[[MKWVL\MZUIVL1
remember how passionately I watched those election results. I know you can’t really watch
something passionately, but I cared a heck of a lot. I wanted him to lose. I wanted Bob Dole,

Metatron Apr/May 2013 5

WZUIaJMM^MV:W[[8MZW\\W_QV
I would now put myself in the camp of “very liberal.” I don’t know if this is a shift
that occurred due to growing up overseas, but I do know that I feel very strongly
about some key issues. Immigrants should be able to come here the way they always
have. This land, for which we soullessly slaughtered native peoples, is not ours. It
was never ours, and since we have demanded the right to govern it, that is now our
serious responsibility. That means it is our duty to treat everyone with the love and
peace that we are told Squanto offered to the pilgrims, for example. Furthermore, I
believe we have a right as the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the world, not to
be the “world’s police” but to own and seek to rectify what our enormous wealth and
consumption—our perpetuation of the American Dream and its underbelly—costs
other people around the planet.
In many ways, I do not think my liberal stances are a response to my upbringing
as much as they are a continuation of it. I grew up believing we were in Thailand to
help poor children and teach people about the love of Jesus, which we were. Those
are the things I still believe in. I still believe we need to love the unloved and take
KIZMWN\PMXWWZ)VLNWZUM\PI\UMIV[JMQVOIÆIUQVOTQJMZIT̉-ZQKI0MVZa

***
Stepping Back

I

was raised to think that the world was not complex, and that all the answers
were in one place. In the entire tapestry of human experience and knowledge, I
was told that all I needed to do was focus on a single image, to never take my eye
off it, because it was the only one that mattered.

Charged with the mission of spreading the Christian gospel throughout the world, my
parents moved to Bangkok, Thailand in 1980, where I was born. When I was eleven
or twelve, I would lay at night in bed and compare my life, a White missionary kid, to
the lives of the people around me, eight-million Thai people in a vibrating metropolis.
I would become deeply disturbed. I had been taught that most of these people were
different from me: I was going to heaven because I prayed a simple prayer, but the
99.9% of non-Christian Thais did not, and they were going to hell because of it, a place
of eternal suffering and sorrow. I imagined these millions in pain, the man who sold
us noodles, the woman sweeping the street, the nameless faces peering from the windows of crowded buses. I was disconsolate. I would wake my mother up late at night
and tell her I couldn’t sleep. “How could God let all those people go to hell?” I would
ask. “We don’t know God’s will,” she would reassure me. I would wander back to sleep,
confused.
continued on pg. 14

6 Metatron Apr/May 2013

metatron
Guest Editor
5MOIV8IZSMZ
Creative Director
Nathan “Bam Bam” Stanton

Lead Designer
Jen Street

Account Manager
Liz Stanton
Contributors:
<PMZM[I,MLUWVBIQZM2WZLIV3MV:MQN
:IKPIMT<IVOMZ<ZM^WZ8IZSMZ
Cecie Wilson,
2IUQM;WTWZQW8PW\WOZIXPa<MZZa0WOO
2W[P:][[MTT.ZIVKM[KW;QLMTQ
3IZI;\M_IZ\8PW\WOZIXPa
Dream Chicago, Anthony
Allen, Exodus Music, Dana Gioia, Beni
Johnson, Johnny and the Beloveds, The
entire GCC family, the entire Bethel family,
the entire Stanton/Muse family, the entire
Lex family

Subscribe
Today!

metatronmag.com

Special Thanks
The Trinity, all of our subscribers, the
spouses and children of team members,
most of all to the Creator who makes it all
happen.

Metatron Apr/May 2013 7

golden  
notes  
music
Review
Psalms of David
Dee-1

;MTN̉X]JTQ[PML75):-V\

5.5 M-halos out of 7

T

WLIaJW\PUIQV[\ZMIUIVL]VLMZOZW]VLZIXXMZ[ÅVLQ\VMKM[[IZa\WSMMXI
KWV[\IV\ÆW_WNVM_UQ`\IXM[IVL^QLMW[I^IQTIJTMI[I_Ia\WZMUIQV^Q[QJTM
in a sea of hundreds of acts with new music released everyday, for free, online.
Dee-1 has been successful in this over-saturated climate of “grinding.” More
often than not, Dee follows up giving away music with strings of quality video-treatments for his best songs, month after month. To his credit, while pumping out
KWV\MV\PM[MMU[\WZMTQ[P\PM\I[SWN¹NMMLQVO\PMNIV[º8[ITU[WN,I^QL_I[ZMTMI[ML
to coincide with the start of his tour with rapper Lecrae. To stay in fan’s mp3 players
and reach new listeners too, Dee has repackaged the best material from his last two
projects, ‘I Hope They Hear Me! Volume 2’ and ‘The Focus Tape.’ New versions of older
songs like “David & Goliath,” and the popular, “Jay, 50 and Weezy,” are also included.
1\¼[ITMIVMZWNNMZQVO\PIVPQ[XZM^QW][ZMTMI[M[IVLJMVMÅ\[NZWU\PMZMTI\Q^MJZM^Q\a
*MZMITJMZQOP\MW][JMZMTM^IV\Q[\PMKPWZ][WN\PMÅZ[\[WVO¹¼[=Xº;W]VL[TQSMI
plan.
Be relevant. Dee-1’s music is designed to not stand out like a jet-ski in a hospital bed. He
wants his tunes to jam alongside the cuts on major rap radio (or MTV Jams, at least).
Although the New Orleans native is no longer a public middle school teacher, you can
take the man out of the school, but you can’t take the school out of the man. Like the
most well meaning educators, Dee keeps his pedagogy culturally-relevant; he’s
QV\MV\QWVITTa\ZaQVO\WZMIKP\PM[IUMaW]\PPM\I]OP\_Q\PPQ[U][QK)VLTQSM3:;̉
ONE, Dee-1 brings an agenda of uplift that still bangs in the streets of today.
Be real. When Jay-Z plays with numbers in his rimes, the goal is to impress those
among us who are bad at math. With “Writer’s Block,” Dee runs the numbers,
breaking down how a thousand theoretical folks might truly feel about his music. The
clever skills on display show a swag that starts with a smart Christian man and can
connect with anyone.
8 Metatron Apr/May 2013

Dee’s strength is presenting engaging songs with morals. His humility and sense of humor
disarm the skeptics he wants to reach with his music. Still, he acknowledges “how long it’s
been since [so many of us have recognized] love.” Dee doesn’t underestimate the
challenges that stand between everyday people and the ability to love themselves, their
neighbors, and a higher power.
Be righteous. Dee is candid about his faith. He stresses that simply being a nice guy and
embracing Christianity are not the same, he proclaims Jesus as his savior. And it seems to
be working for him, he seems like a man with a good head on his shoulders. His honesty,
humility, and insights are rare things in the world of rap. The way he carries himself is a
ringing endorsement of his chosen faith. The songs on this tape deal with struggle, apathy,
hypocrisy, determination, and faith. The optimism of his music is what makes his music
/W[XMT_PQTMPQ[XWX]TQ[\\WVMUISM[PQU^]TVMZIJTMIVLTW^IJTM8[ITU[MVL[_Q\P¹?QV
<WLIaº1\¼[R]QKaÅTTML_Q\PIRWaW][TaKWV^QVKQVO_Ia\WZMKWV[QLMZaW]ZTQNM,MM¼[^WQKMQ[
pure in his urging us to live better--starting right now! Starting today!
?PQTM,MM̉¼[[WVO[IZMWN\MVNZM[PPQ[U][QKITXITM\\MLWM[VW\ÅVLPQUQVITIVMITTPQ[
W_V<PMJMI\WN\PMÅZ[\VM_[WVOWV\PM\IXMPI[ITM[[̉KI\KPaNIK[QUQTMWN/]KKQ5IVM¼[
“Lemonade.” Dee doesn’t have a ‘sound’ per se. As a contemporary and thoughtful
antidote to the vapid content of the rap lyrics of today, Dee really shines. When compared
to a universe of Message Music, the relative impact is diminished. Five years from now, will
Dee-1’s righteous vibes ring relevant? The righteousness will, without a doubt. Hopefully,
his momentum will carry him, in the not so distant future, to a musical place where, song
for song, his words and beats mesh even better (keep in mind, this mixtape is promoting
his best-of from the last two years). This may seem like a too-high expectation, but I believe
Dee wants to reach the sinning, lost, masses. Offering us with the searing visions of brave
and brilliant production to match his voice may be the key to breaking through. Surely,
Dee-1 wants as many Youtube views as Kevin Gates, another talented Louisiana rapper on
the rise. As long as he continues to “be real, be righteous, be relevant,” he’s well on his way.
-Zaire Jordan

some days
later.........

)+PZWVQKTMWNOZINÅ\\QZMUW^ITKQZKI+PQKIOW

Metatron Apr/May 2013 9

Mr. John Fancher aka Johnny
of Johnny and the Beloveds
captures

I

get depressed. I get more than
the blues.
I get a low-lying
dark cloud that sits on my
brain and refuses to budge.
I’m getting better at lifting it and
shifting it...but it
still comes around at times.
You may be surprised to learn that a rollicking, line-danceQV[XQZQVO_WZ[PQX[WVOITTIJW]\INÅZUQVORWaIVLPWXM
and victory was written under one of those clouds.
A couple of years ago, I was slumped in a chair on a Sunday
morning, listening to a sermon by our pastor, Ian Carroll.
At some point in the message, Ian said, “Being joyful is a choice”.
At least I think that’s what he said. My clouded brain decided to
twist it and dumb it down into “All you have to do is just decide to be
happy” or something like that.

All I really remember is that I was offended.

“It’s not that simple”, I moaned to myself. “You don’t know what it’s like to
be depressed. You can’t simply choose...”
But then I heard a little voice in my head whisper, “Watch out for
offenses”. (Those who attend GCC will know that our church
received a word about “offenses” and how they will rise up
and try to impede the growth of our church if we’re not careful.)
Hmmm, maybe this is one of those...
So I asked myself, “Well, if that’s what’s going down here,
then what is the opposite of taking offense? And for me, the

10 Metatron Apr/May 2013

answer was clear...
For a songwriter, the opposite of taking offense to something
Q[_ZQ\QVOI[WVOINÅZUQVOQ\
-^MZZMIL\PM8[ITU[IVLOM\\PMNMMTQVO,I^QLQ[KWUXW[QVO
through gritted teeth? “Why so downcast, Oh my soul...?”
Almost as if he’s willing himself to be joyful?
?ZQ\QVO¹8]ZM2WaºNMT\TQSM\PI\1\¼[IRWaN]T[WVO_ZQ\\MV_PQTM
in a decidedly un-joyful frame of mind.
The process was pretty simple: I looked up the one verse that
I thought was the “hardest” passage on this topic. James 1:2.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you
face trials of many kinds...”

73\PMZM¼[aW]ZI[[QOVUMV\2WPV)NÅZU\PI\
So, consider it pure joy...not just when you’re feeling a little blue.
Not just when you’re enduring minor hassles and setbacks.
But when you face trials of many kinds? In one translation it
[Ia[¹)6ASQVLº)VaSQVL)TTSQVL[8MZQWL
Consider these trials...
And, I was off. The whole song took maybe 30 minutes
to write.
I’m a formulaic songwriter. I believe in formulas. I do
not believe they detract one iota from the creative process.
In fact, I believe, when use properly, they release creativity
rather than imprison it.
7VM_Ia1¼UNWZU]TIQKQ[\PI\1IT_Ia[\ZaÅVL[WUM\PQVO
“concrete” to sing about, rather than just an idea. It’s the old
“show don’t tell” adage.
I need something I can seem, smell, feel, hear or taste.
So the image of the stone came almost immediately. The big
central, earthy, concrete metaphor I needed. What’s more
joyful than that stone rolled away from the grave?
Cuz the stone’s gonna roll..
I had my concrete image and my chorus.
Another way I’m formulaic is that I write what I call 
¹ÅTT̉QV̉\PM̉JTIVSº[WVO[1\PQVSQ\¼[UaRWJ\W[\IZ\\PM[WVO
get it to a certain point and then turn over the “template”.

Metatron Apr/May 2013 11

Whether I’m turning it over to my band, to the church, or
to whomever, I believe I’m responsible for my part of the song
...not the whole song.
;W1JMTQM^M¹8]ZM2WaºQ[I[WVO\PI\KIVJMILLML
to...
additional verses, additional choruses even.
In that way, I feel it’s one of my most “communal
songs”.
I feel it belongs to the Church more than to me now.
It’s hers to take and do with as she pleases.
Maybe that’s why she’s felt so comfortable with it.
It would certainly explain the line dancing.
+PMKSW]\\PM:I_]VK]\^MZ[QWVWN\PM[WVOPMZM"
www.soundcloud.com/nathan-stanton/pure-joy-uncut

12 Metatron Apr/May 2013

The crazy adventures of a modern-day revivalist
Chad Dedmon has seen more supernatural occurences in his 30-something lifestyle,
than most men see in their lifetimes. He is a radical believer in the presence and power
of God. This expectation has groewn in him a faith cultivated by risk that always expects the best and unexpected. What else should we from the Creator of the universe?
Story #1:
I want to share with you a story, it’s one of my favorite stories, but it’s not my own. There
was a man that the Lord told he was going to take to the nations and to go to the airport.
So, he gets in line (he has no money) and is waiting for someone to hand him cash or hand
him a ticket. And then he gets to the counter and he thinks, “maybe I’ll just give them my
name and I’ll be in the system already”. So he tells them his name and they tell him he’s
not going anywhere, his name is not in the system. Then the Lord says, “go to the bathroom”. So he goes in the bathroom, sits in the stall and is
just saying “God, this is ridiculous”. He’s sitting in the stall
IVLÅVITTaPMOM\[W]\WN\PM[\ITT_ITS[W]\WN\PMJI\PZWWU
and he’s in a different airport in a different country. He had
JMMV\ZIV[XWZ\ML <PI\¼[\PMJM[\NZMY]MV\ÆQMZUQTM[M^MZ 
There’s no jet lag in the spirit!
Story #2:
Julia, my little sister and I went to a prayer gathering,
The Call, in 2003 in San Francisco. From San Francisco to
:MLLQVOQ\¼[IJW]\PW]Z[IVLUQV]\M[WZPW]Z[IVL
there’s 3 highways you have to take. So, we are leaving San
Francisco and it is about 11:00 at night and I am the one
driving. I was thinking to myself how long of a drive it was
going to be and that I wasn’t going to get home till really late
at night. We are on the 80 (freeway), just leaving the city
limit of San Francisco and the people in the car are starting
\WNITTI[TMMX;]LLMVTa1IUWV\PMNZMM_IaI\\PMKQ\aTQUQ\[WN:ML*T]NN?PI\VWZUITly takes four hours took me 45 minutes!
Story #3:
Another time, Julia and I were young adult pastors at another church and we took a
J]VKPWNaW]VOIL]T\[\W2M[][+]T\]ZM]XQV:MLLQVO+)1_I[LZQ^QVOWVMWN\PW[MJQO
church vans, but Julia and her brother took off early to Sacramento. I called her and told
her we were getting ready to leave and asked where they were. She was probably about a
half an hour or 45 minutes ahead of us. So we got on the road, I was going 65mph and she
was going about 80mph, ok maybe 75, but we were going a lot slower than her. We were
in the car telling stories and talking and suddenly we’re in Sacramento. I called Julia and
asked where she was and she told me they were about 45 minutes away from Sacramento.
So, we ended up beating her even though we left a half an hour after her and were driving
[TW_MZ1\MVLML]XJMQVOIPITNIVPW]ZKIZZQLMNZWU:MLLQVO\W;IKZIUMV\W*IU 
Transcribed from Supernatural Stories by Liz Stanton
Metatron Apr/May 2013 13

Editorial continued from pg. 6
We moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee two years later, where people seemed to have a
much clearer picture of God’s will. There were the bad guys and the good guys, which is
_PI\_M_MZM¸:MX]JTQKIVIVL-^IVOMTQKIT1\_I[MY]ITTaKTMIZ\PI\XMWXTM_PWJMlieved different things were bad — Bill Clinton with his pants down, the aborters, and the
OIa[<PQ[XQK\]ZMWN\PM_WZTL_I[JMTQM^IJTM\WUM<PMKP]ZKPÅTTML]XM^MZa
Sunday with hundreds of like-minded people, so why question what went with it:
Biblical inerrancy, low taxes, and Monday Night Football.
I went to Dartmouth College because it was the best school that I got into. They also had
a linguistics program, which sounded interesting, and it had a reputation as a
conservative school, which relieved my worried parents. I attended a big Christian
NMTTW_[PQXOZW]X_PMV1^Q[Q\ML\PMKIUX][_Q\PUaNI\PMZIVLQ\[MMUMLTQSMIOWWLÅ\
But when I arrived the next fall, the New Hampshire canopy ablaze, the world at
Dartmouth did not fall neatly into black and white. I began to look at neighboring
images on that tapestry where I had only seen one bit before; these pieces seemed to help
me understand the part I had been looking at, to see that it was actually part of a bigger
picture. I learned about a gospel of social justice through the work of Thomas Merton
IVL:QKPIZL:WPZ"\PM[MI]\PWZ[\WWS+PZQ[\QIVQ\aIVL+PZQ[\QIV[KZQX\]ZM[I[[MZQW][Ta
as anyone I was raised reading, but they didn’t seem nearly as worried about heaven and
hell. What did eternal mean? When did heaven happen? Those clear
answers I had clung to in my boyhood now seemed to be mere metaphors for something
much deeper. I learned about the 19th century roots of Christian fundamentalism as
a reaction to Darwinism. I dated an Episcopalian. And, most importantly, I was able to
discuss these issues at length with my closest friends, all raised Evangelicals, who were
going through a similar process as me.
By the time I left college, I was completely unmoored. I had moved my gaze from the
patch of tapestry I was assigned to as a boy and was now scouring every edge, checking
the other side. My childhood concerns about the afterlife moved me towards atheism.
But humanism seemed a contradiction, nihilism blatantly false, and the American beliefs
QV_MIT\PIVL[]KKM[[\PI\_MV\_Q\P\PM[MKZMLW[WN[MTÅ[PVM[[ZIVOPWTTW_
I began exploring Buddhism, looking for answers, but the deep parallels I found with
Christianity caught me by surprise. Both religious emphasized self-denial, compassion,
and the life of the mind. Before long, I began to realize that the values I had learned
during my childhood hadn’t really changed. I believed that we should love and forgive all
of our neighbors, not seeing ourselves as better than them, as Jesus taught. I
believed that salvation could come through the poor and hungry as it could come
through prayer, as Jesus taught. I believed that I should question the status quo, but not
ZM[WZ\\W^QWTMVKMI[2M[][\I]OP\<PM[M+PZQ[\QIV^IT]M[IT[WTIVLMLUMÅZUTaWV\PM
left, a liberal in the true sense of the word, hoping to see the world transformed.
Stepping back, I have been trying to see the tapestry as a whole, even the parts that
_MZM[W\ZW]JTQVO\WUMI[IJWa<PMTWVOMZ1TWWS\PMUWZM\PMaITTÅ\\WOM\PMZ
̉8M\MZ3I[]OỈ2MVS[

***
14 Metatron Apr/May 2013

I

am a back-to-the-land hippie environmentalist feminist gay-rights-supporter anti-prohibition pro-choice climate-change-activist Mainer farmer and writer, who voted for
Nader, chanted “solidarity” as an Occupier, and boycotts Exxon-Mobil and Walmart.

My parents are dyed-in-the-wool post-tribulation evangelical fundamentalist libertarian
teetotaler climate-change-doubting conservatives, who voted for Bush, gave money to Zach
Wamp’s gubernatorial campaign, and own stock in Halliburton.
All of us are Christians. All of us believe Jesus
died for our sins. How’d we end up on opposite
sides of the cultural divide?
My boyfriend described my parents as “Christian existentialists.”
All of us are that, too, however it carries meaning. We believe faith is something acted in the world. Wll believers are held to a higher
[\IVLIZL4QNMQ[NWZÅVLQVOIKITTQVONWTTW_QVOIOZIVLLM[QOV
Life isn’t for foolish hedonism. Life isn’t just life. Life isn’t for having as much fun as we
can. That’s what we agree on, and what we see all around in American culture. Jesus said,
“Be on your guard against all kind of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance
of his possessions... The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to
himself, ‘What shall I do?’”
But we know what he did. Exactly what Americans are doing today. “I’ll say to myself, ‘You
have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry,
for tomorrow we die.’”
Tomorrow we don’t die. We live forever eternally.
When I was an adolescent Baptist, in boarding school, I internalized this belief in the high
narrow path of God’s will to a degree that I agonized over what color socks to wear each
morning. What color would Jesus wear? If chose wrong, was I sinning? If I chose wrong
would I fall off the high narrow will of God into the wide canyon of sin and despair?
Eventually I put aside my Aladdin motion picture soundtrack cassette, secular music at
that level too much of a stain on my conscience. I read extra pound on my frame as proof
WNOT]\\WVaOZMML[MTÅ[PVM[[¸\PM_IaQV_PQKP1KWV\ZQJ]\MLLQZMK\Ta\W\PM
malnourishment of babies I saw around me in Bangkok and Manila.
Even at the time I recognized this as reductio ad absurdum. Of course it didn’t matter what
color socks I wore. But it mattered philosophically. I wanted to be a Follower of the Way, no
matter the cost.
I still do. That piece has remained. What’s changed is my belief about where that path
leads. I believe Jesus is a communist. Jesus would live in the woods. Jesus would farm
and build things from wood and write parables. Jesus would vote for Obama.
For my father, his faith means running a Bible school in Indonesia with roving teams of
M^IVOMTQ[\[.WZUMQ\UMIV[_ZQ\QVOÅK\QWVIVLXWTQ\QKITKWUUMV\IZa?MIOZMMIJW]\
following the path of Christ. All we disagree about is where that path leads. -Melissa Jenks

Metatron Apr/May 2013 15

Jenny  Lam  dreams  big:              
One  postcard  at  a  time
From Fall 2008
through Spring 2009, within
my last year living in New
York City, I obsessively created
hundreds of pre-stamped, selfaddressed postcards, omitting
my name. Written on each
postcard was the prompt, “Tell
me one thing you dream of
doing before you die. Use this
card as your canvas,” as well
as a code on the bottom corner.
A sample of the postcards from New York City, 2009.
I then left these postcards in
public spaces all over Manhattan, using the codes to record where I placed each one.
When the postcards returned to me, I was able to tell where each had been found, and,
gradually, I pieced together a map of the city from all these people’s dreams.
It was an exploration in breaking down barriers between:
the private and the public (by its nature, letter-writing is an intimate act—although
it’s interesting to note that, with postcards, anyone who intercepts your card can read
what you wrote—and here were these people sharing their deepest fears and greatest
hopes with me, a nameless, faceless stranger, perhaps emboldened by the safety net
of anonymity, or motivated by that very human desire to connect, to be recognized, to
know that someone, anyone knows about you);
artist and audience (I may have been the originator of the project, but was I the artist or were these people the artists, or both?); and
geographical boundaries (did the dreams of Upper East Siders differ that greatly
NZWU\PW[MQV)TXPIJM\+Q\a'WV?ITT;\ZMM\'_W]TL\PMÅVM]X[\IVLQVOKQ\QbMV[\PMZM
even pay attention to a handmade postcard taped up onto a streetlight?).
It was a labor of love.
You can view all the postcards I received here.
Now, I am revamping the project in the great city of Chicago.
This time around, the project will be even grander in scale and scope. Much, much
16 Metatron Apr/May 2013

A rough sketch of the proposed exhibition, 2012.

grander. Besides the increase in geographical size (Chicago’s 234 sq. mi. as opposed
to Manhattan’s 23*)…
*I stuck with one borough as it was my senior year at Columbia University and I
was juggling schoolwork; internships at Christie’s and at Eyebeam Art + Technology
+MV\MZ#ZM[XWV[QJQTQ\QM[I[8ZM[QLMV\WN\PM]VQ^MZ[Q\a¼[]VLMZOZIL]I\MIZ\OITTMZa#
responsibilities as Head Curator of an underground art, music, and multimedia
festival in Bushwick; and general confusion as a young adult. This is not to say that
I’m not just as swamped and confused now (probably more so, especially on the
confusion end), but I am a little older and hopefully a little wiser.
…I will be creating and leaving thousands of postcards in every neighborhood of
Chicago. At the end of this period, I will sort through all the postcards I have received, match their codes with their locations, and map them. In Fall 2013, the
project will culminate in:
1.) A book. // I will publish a book of all the postcards I receive.
2.) An exhibition centered around a large-scale installation. // Visitors will be able
to walk through a three-dimensional map of Chicago and the city’s dreams. Arranged
according to where they were found, the postcards will be displayed shooting up from
the ground, and, if possible in the exhibition space, select postcards (see no. 3) will
be hanging from the ceiling. All cards will be displayed at levels in which they can
be read and touched, with both sides of each card visible. Each neighborhood will be
TIJMTMLIVLQ\_QTTJMUILMKTMIZ_PMZMQV\PMKQ\aI^Q[Q\WZQ[ÅO]ZI\Q^MTa_ITSQVO
through.
A rough sketch of the proposed exhibition, 2012.
(For the New York version, I exhibited the postcards at Columbia University’s
4M:Wa6MQUIV/ITTMZaIZZIVOQVO\PMUI[IUIXWN5IVPI\\IVIVLLQ[XTIaQVO\PMU
two-dimensionally on the gallery wall. Although I was grateful to share them, this
Metatron Apr/May 2013 17

method of display was not my ideal. This time, the dreams will be seen and experienced
the way they deserve to be seen and experienced.) 
;Q\M̉[XMKQÅKQV[\ITTI\QWV[\PZW]OPW]\\PMMV\QZMKQ\a1_QTT[MTMK\LZMIU[NZWU
each neighborhood and “return” them to their original locations by installing art there.
This art will include a large reproduction of the postcard, with the written dream
displayed verbatim, as well as a visual component. At the exhibition, these select
postcards will be the ones hanging from the ceiling (again, if possible). Also at the
exhibition, there will be maps showing the locations of these installations so guests can
go and see them in person, thus bringing people to various neighborhoods they might
not
otherwise visit. In turn, the site[XMKQÅKQV[\ITTI\QWV[_QTTQVKT]LM
exhibition
information, bringing people
from all over the city to one
location.
<PM[Q\M̉[XMKQÅKQV[\ITTI\QWV[
infuse the city with art. The
exhibition infuses the art world
with the reality and energy and
life of the city.
In a way, this is my love letter to
the city of Chicago.
We all know how segregated
Chicago is. I hope to unite the
city, connect the city, give a
microphone to different voices
in the city.
I hope to inspire people.
This is my dream.

The New York City postcards displayed at Columbia
=VQ^MZ[Q\a¼[4M:Wa6MQUIV/ITTMZa!

Based in Chicago, Jenny Lam is a 25-year-old artist, artist
agent, independent curator, producer, writer, troublemaker,
and all-around nerd. She blogs about the artists she represents, the exhibitions she curates, her art adventures around
the globe, news in the art world, and other art-related topics,
at local, national, and international levels. Check her out at
http://artistsonthelam.blogspot.com..

18 Metatron Apr/May 2013

breaking ridges all over prisms
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winking at a wave come to save us all from
serene waters
in their fancy attire correct the tumultuous
ÆI\MVW]OP\W_ITSWV1JM\\PI\¼[_PI\PM\PW]OP\
but only the weak survive
upon this surface regardless of the chase
and pursuit
ZQXXTQVOZQXMVM[[WNM`XMK\I\QWV\PI\\PQVO[
_WV¼\IT_Ia[JM\PQ[_Ia
and as she sings our ears will not tear
the way our eyes do
great gaunt giant whispers the
ending from the beginning sending
male counterparts to do their bidding
depth of vision\historic garnered the grace
of omnipotence, just meant
to be chewed like matriculation
and spat upon the skillet hidden just
under the tortured soil
wizard yet commentary
bested upon
chest inlaid with spoils

Metatron Apr/May 2013 19

!