Sunday, November 27, 2016

God is Not Your Audience

Recently, a friend introduced me to Bishop Robert Barron. I didn't meet him face to face. Instead, she gave me a link to a YouTube Video. I found it ironic since the good Bishop did three short takes on early Bob Dylan songs. The songs covered his early works as a folk singer.

People have compared my vocal style to him. Some astute musicians have accused me of channeling Robert. I don't attempt to imitate him; I just have a stylistic vocal quality to my songs. If you grew up in the coffee house era, you might understand. We all sounded like Bob Dylan. No one I knew, however, wrote and performed "Like a Rolling Stone."

Years ago, I knew the Dylan catalog. Artists favored different cuts, and my favorite started out with these lyrics

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

As a Catholic, I had a slight problem reconciling some of Dylan's early lyrics with my beliefs and tenets of the Church.  Then, I saw and heard the following Videoes, and they changed my mind. Call this a personal Sea Change.

Bishop Barron on Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Bishop Robert Barron on Bob Dylan

Bishop Barron on the Disorienting Quality of Real Prayer

What did I find compelling in these videos? 

In the Bishop's discussion of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, I saw an ugly part of myself. One I denied existed.

In 1992, during a recording session, Chris O'Connell, made an offhand comment that got my attention. Chris said that I thought of myself as the center of the universe.  Evidently, something I said to my co-producer, Danny Levin pushed one of Chris' buttons. Almost 25  years later, Chris's words came back to haunt me.  I'm full of myself.

As I continue to add materials to "Cold Soup," you'll understand how Bishop Barron blew my mind as he discussed the Pharisee and the Publican.

For now, you will get what you get.