Relig-ish: Empty out your boxes.

Last night, I took Paul to hear The Low Anthem, a band recommended to us by our musical philosopher, Joel Krueger. The concert was an eclectic mix of instruments: guitars to banjoes (strummed and bowed), a foot-pump organ, a crotales, and even a saw. At times, the band sang around an old radio-theatre microphone in four-part harmony, Jocie Adam’s voice and demeanor taking us back to the front porch of a farm house of the  1930’s.  The most unexpected though, were the mobile phones the audience held up at the end of “This God Damn House”, the feedback creating an ethereal, otherworldly bayou.

At the merchandise table, between the typical concert T-shirts and CDs, Paul found this–a cigar music box with a hand-cut paper tape that plays an arrangement of their song “Charlie Darwin”. I’ve been endlessly inspired by this charming and ingenious music, and wanted to share it with you today.

Empty Out Your Boxes
By Rachelle Mee-Chapman

You there,
with flotsam scattered around you.

You there,
with the strip of metal you pulled
from underneath your finger nail,
stretching ever longer until at last it broke free.

You there,
with the empty box
that once held your paradigm,
smelling of pressed leaves
and old earth
and everything good about your grandfather.

You there,
with a collection
of nothing but incongruencies.

Take now your polished stones,
your expired bus tokens,
your tickets stubs and your skeleton keys.

Build anew.

You can create
from the fragments of your faith
a thing of beauty

Rough and wobbly.
Decidedly cobbled.

But when you turn the handle
of that which you craft yourself,



Relig-ish is a new series at Magpie Girl dedicated to exploring a new kind of faith. Come along with us as we help each other find a spirituality that fits. Click here to read all the Relig-ish posts, and join the mailing list for additional musings on this (re)construction project. Thanks for being here today. Much Warmth, Rachelle

Spiritual but not religious? Recovering Evangelical? Jill of all faiths? You might be relig-ish. Browse the posts to learn more, or click here to watch a video about our relig-ish community.

Joel May 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

Wow, how cool is that?!? I’m glad you guys enjoyed the show!

monsterpants May 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

Wait, I’m confused– who is the poem by? I assumed it was by the band you feature here, but all searches for “Empty Out Your Boxes” with “The Low Anthem” turn up nothin’…

If it’s by you, then give yourself credit lady! It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in quite a while!
xo, G

Rachelle May 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks Gwen. The poem is mine. I fixed the credits. :-)

monsterpants May 19, 2011 at 3:22 am

Awesome, it’s really, really, really good. Thanks for writing and sharing it! x

Kel May 22, 2011 at 11:54 pm

what a quirky merch find
love this piece of prose

Rachelle May 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks Magpies! I always get nervous after I post one of my little prose-poems. So your supportive words mean a lot.

Much Warmth,


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