1. A Story In Song (Part 1—Tom Waits)
  2. A Story In Song (Part 2—Kings of Leon)
  3. A Story In Song (Part 3—Ben Harper)
  4. A Story In Song (Part 4—Amos Lee)
  5. A Story In Song (Part 5—Blind Pilot)
  6. A Story In Song (Part 6—Right Away, Great Captain!)
  7. A Story In Song (Part 7—Amos Lee)
  8. A Story In Song (Part 8—Ray LaMontagne)
  9. A Story In Song (Part 9—Janis Joplin)
  10. A Story In Song (Part 10—Peter Bradley Adams)
  11. A Story In Song (The End)


I have a story in my book Pieces Like Pottery—”The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery”—in which I experimented with a number of different literary devices. More and more readers have begun to notice one of the devices more regularly. 

In addition to breaking the story up into ten sections, each of which follows one of the themes from the fifth sorrowful mystery, each section in the story also has a song that is paired with it. Yes, you read that right. I paired a song with each section. Like a fine wine paired with a good meal, the song’s lyrics are intended not only to add another layer of meaning to the words, but can also be listened along with that section of the story.

While more and more readers have been picking up on this, it’s certainly not an easy task for the casual reader, especially not one reading the print version of the book. I’ve promised to do this for quite awhile, so here you go. In ten parts, here is “The Gravesite: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery” paired with each song. Enjoy!

(For those of you that might be interested in how this section ties into the fifth sorrowful mystery, the fifth sorrowful mystery is The Crucifixion and the “spiritual fruit” is the Pardoning of Injuries. Part 5 reflects Jesus’ prayer,”Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.”)


If you missed Part 1 through Part 6, go back start from the beginning! Enjoy!



The Gravesite 

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery

Part 7


The next month was more of the same for Lisa. She contacted foreign authorities, she posted on missing children websites, and she talked to anyone who would listen. She found herself spending hour after hour on the internet, chatting with support groups and researching missing children options. She particularly was drawn to Hope More, a support network for families with missing or exploited children. The group was made up of individuals, like Lisa, who had been forced to live the nightmare that no parent wants to face. Lisa found parents who had experienced a similar pain and who were coping with the trauma. “You’re not alone. We’re here to help you!” That was Hope More’s motto. Lisa found purpose searching on these sites, but she found no comfort. They told her she was not alone, but it certainly felt like she was.

Mike had originally thought this would end, but it only seemed to get worse. Lisa would wade through each day in a daze. She wouldn’t sleep at night. On nights when Mike couldn’t sleep, he would wander downstairs to spend some time on the front porch. He would always find Lisa in the same place, parked in front of the computer.

“I’m searching for answers,” she would tell him hollowly.

But Mike knew the haunting reality: there weren’t answers. Their son had tragically died far before his time. There was pain, anger, sadness, despair, hatred, regrets, and on and on, but there were no answers. He believed Lisa knew this too, yet there she sat for hours every night. Like a drug addict needing a fix, Lisa would search internet page after internet page chatting with parents whose children were missing. She believed relief would come from her time spent online, but she was only left with the agony of her son being gone.

Sometimes, when Mike would wander downstairs in the middle of the night, he would try to comfort her. He would find Lisa staring into the haze of the pixelated display. The harsh white light would illuminate her face amidst the darkness of the room around her. Mike tried talking to her; he tried sitting there with her; he tried making her food; he tried rubbing her shoulders; he even one time brought a pillow and blanket downstairs and slept on the ground next to her. Signs of solidarity, he’d hoped. None of it seemed to break through the cloud of sadness that enveloped Lisa.

During one of his attempts to reach out, Mike was unable to sleep and was headed for the front porch. As he wandered to the kitchen to first make a cup of tea, he noticed Lisa sitting in her usual late night perch. He made two cups of tea and set the second next to the keyboard in front of her. Mike reached to rub her shoulders, which were tense and strained from weeks of hovering over the computer. His touch startled Lisa, as if awakening her from thoughts of a distant world. Her body shied away from Mike’s approach. Without looking at him, Lisa got up from her chair and slowly shuffled away.

Mike fell into the chair defeated. Before him were two internet windows. One was riddled with searches of missing children support groups and tips on convincing authorities to do more to search for a missing children. Mike sighed despairingly when he saw the webpages.

When will it end? Mike thought to himself.

The other page was Chris’ blog site. A new post haunted the screen.


“And the world is so much meaner when your heart is hard.”

July 7th

I’ve recently been pondering how much I fight myself. I want to love and share love. There’s so much fighting and hate in this world and I don’t want to be a part of it, but this is difficult in practice. I find myself constantly fighting against loving. A man on the bus slighted me yesterday, and I stewed over the incident. The lady at the gas station was rude, and I couldn’t just let it go. Why do I have such a hard time letting go? If I could offer up my time and thoughts to more important matters, if I could focus my energy on the things I care about, if I could commend my spirit to love, wouldn’t I be much more peaceful? Wouldn’t the elusive and mysterious happiness be much closer? It’s interesting to ponder at least.


Mike found himself not thinking much about Chris’ latest post at all. He couldn’t shake the constant sinking feeling that he was losing his wife. He decided he needed to take action. As he sipped his cooling tea, he decided Lisa’s fixations on conspiracy theories and the possibility that Chris may still be alive had to end. They were keeping her from moving on with her own life. They were driving the two of them apart.

The next morning, he began searching for a logical explanation for why the blogs were being posted. He started searching on the internet for some explanation. He also began to more directly and more often suggest to Lisa that she should begin to accept that Chris was dead. When his own searches proved fruitless and Lisa’s obsession continued, Mike called a few of Chris’ friends to see if they had any information. They all expressed their condolences and sadness, but none of them had any information on Chris’ blog and why there were new posts.

After a number of weeks of his own efforts, he decided to commission one of the IT guys at his office to help, fully expecting they would track the IP address that the posts came from to one of Chris’ friends. A week later, after a little digging, Mike’s coworker came to him with some information.

“Live long after dot com,” the IT specialist said as he laid a post-it on Mike’s desk.

Mike picked it up and held it in his hand as his office mate continued. “Apparently, it’s a website that will continue to post blogs for you after you’ve died. Actually, they’ll do more than just post blogs. They’ll send letters, packages, money, secrets, a whole variety of options, each for a different fee. I guess it’s a way to remain relevant after your death or to patch up past regrets from beyond the grave. A little eerie if you ask me.

“The blogging option seems simple enough by the description on their website. Upload as many prewritten blogs as you’d like, and they’ll post them according to the schedule you laid out after they’ve received word of your death. They have algorithms constantly scrolling news sites and the internet for death notices on their clients. Chris’ posts are coming from their IP address.”

As a range of emotions flooded Mike’s thoughts, his coworker continued. “I called them up, but they wouldn’t give any information. ‘Confidential,’ they kept telling me. They’re located in India, but apparently have clients from all over the world.”

He paused. “I’m sorry, Mike.”


Check out Part 8 of “The Gravesite.”


Bottom of the Barrel (Lyrics)

Amos Lee

I keep on livin’,
to keep from cryin’.
I keep on dreamin’,
to keep from dyin’.
I keep on trying,
I aint gonna stop.

Get right down to the bottom of the barrel and float back on top.

We all know someone,
whos always hurtin’,
The sun is shinin’,
they draw the curtain.
One thing for certain,
the pain aint gonna stop.

You get right down to the bottom of the barrel and float back on top.

Cuz i know the grass,
is always greener in someone else’s yard.
And the world is so much meaner,
when your heart is hard.

I go out walkin’,
in any season.
It could be rainin’,
it could be freezin’.
I don’t need no reason,
it’s just so pleasin’.
And i can’t stop.

You get right down to the bottom of the barrel and float back on top.

You get right down to the bottom of the barrel and float back on top.



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