The World As I Can See It


Ellis is one year-old now and is in a mighty good state.

He must be growing something fierce because he sleeps a lot these days. 14-15 hours a day. Oh, what I would have given for him to sleep that kind of sleep those first few months of his life. Oh, what I would give to be able to sleep that much every day. How times change. He weighs nearly 20 pounds – a regular bantam featherweight boxer – and crawls around like the ground were his and his dominion alone. I suppose that is the way God intended it.
Ellis adores the hand-me-down Fisher Price multi-colored rings (reminds me of a ring toss game) and has a peculiar habit of crawling here and there throughout the house with one in each hand, creating the effect of horse hooves, occasionally pausing to knock them together or to drop them to the ground, all the while watching as they twirl, sway and roll to a standstill. What can I say, the dude likes gravity. Amusement gratis, food, beverage, and burying his drooly face in our long-haired obese cat’s fur; Ellis finds joy in it all and, as a result, all of joy seems to find him. Everything is repeated ad nauseum. I am sure this repetitive nature only gets more drastic and dramatic as the months pass and my dear boy grows older. Another great thing about Ellis is the depth of laughter he has infused into this house, our cozy cottage on sleepy Russell Street. What he finds humorous, we of course are effected to confront with laughter as well. His high, free laugh is no weak medicine. The contagion of laughter has done me well, especially since it has been in short supply these days. We kneel and praise all small, forgotten miracles.

Over a cup of coffee yesterday with Matthew Perryman Jones, he and I began sharing with one another our outlooks on life, career perplexities and successes, fatherhood, worries and joys. A wise man, this Mr. Jones. He spoke many great things to me, but one thought in particular gripped me, or rather had the effect of unlocking corroded, self-inflicted shackles. As we commented on our world, both macro and micro, and on the American culture we are so helplessly immersed in with all its greed, self-service, community-less-ness and overt and subtle materialism he alluded to songwriting and the pursuit of making it big, pursuing the horizon. The only problem, as he put it, is that we can pursue the horizon forever and a day, but we will never reach it. It is infinite. It is sightless. And it is ruin. We do what we do in life, we write songs for that which is in front of us, who and what is a part of our lives, who and what we can see, care for, nurture and for whom we can give our absolute best. We know what we write, therefore we write what we know. The Truth comes to us from those we know and love, and who love us for who we are. Their voices are light in our lives, laughter for the disheartened, they are grace and hope at the time when it is needed most. This, dear friends, is God alive in the world – our world – and as I can see it, this Emancipation is the way God, THE God, intends it for his Kingdom.


Eric Peters, affectionately called "Pappy" by those who love him, is the grand old curmudgeon of the Rabbit Room. But his small stature and often quiet presence belie a giant talent. He's a songwriter of the first order, and a catalogue of great records bears witness to it. His last album, Birds of Relocation, blew minds and found its way onto “year’s best” lists all over the country. When he's not painting, trolling bookstores, or dabbling in photography, he's touring the country in support of his latest record, Far Side of the Sea.


  1. mike

    The reason I visit the Rabbit Room almost daily is not to read a great book or record review but to see first hand the poem that is life being lived out among those who have the privilege of doing what they have to do and not that which is expected of them. Thanks Eric for sharing your lifepoem with us.


  2. keith

    Thanks Eric.
    Thanks for the thoughts…it makes me excited.
    My wife and I are anxiously awaiting our first child in March and through the past 7+ months, God has showed Truth to us in many ways, I can’t wait for the daily adventures that await, let alone the Miracle of a life He created entering the world.

    We truly are “fearfully and wonderfully made”…may all little details encourage all of us to realize that God’s plans are bigger than we imagine, and we affect each other as a body in all ways, whether it’s music, art, conversations, prayer…

    relationships are what make life worthwhile….be it children, friends, strangers or especially adoption by the Creator of all that is and all that binds each of us together.

    May all be to His GLORY!

  3. Jason Gray


    Thanks Eric, and it was good to see you today (though it was too brief and I talked too long about things I’ve buried in my backyard).

    Speaking of the laughter and comfort Ellis brings you reminds me of our little Gus. He has become a great comfort and escape for us. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m too needing of him and the distractions he brings. Is it selfish to take such delight in him? As with you, the struggle to make a career of my vocation is increasingly an ugly business to the point that to be away from home and our boys for only a day, or even an evening, feels like such a burdensome price to pay. Sometimes I want to let this calling go hang and I just want to get down on the floor and put together puzzles with Gus or read Shel Silverstein poems before bed at night with my older boys.

    But as you remind us, it’s not a career or dreams of glory we’re pursuing, but rather an effort to be true to giving an account of the Life with a capital “L” that we have seen and known and tasted and smelled and sometimes even lived.

    I thank God for the grace along the way, the grace that these days comes as Gus reenacts entire scenes from “Nacho Libre” and as Kipper gets lost in creating music at the piano and Jacob responds emotionally to a book that we’ve given to him to read. Delight in them is my favorite distraction.

    Thanks for reminding me to take stock of that tonight.

    Be blessed

    (and I’m jealous that you have a copy of “The Entrance To Porlock!” – do you also have “A Long Day’s Dying”? Porlock is the only one I haven’t read)

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