Sounds pretty easy don't it?
And it is.
Except when it isn't.
If you have thirty minutes this one's pretty good.
I'm trying to think
Of other times in life like what is happening right now but the longer it stretches on the more it is engraving itself as a very singular time. I was then trying to think of other times when I've made choices to go against the grain that have been met with similarly severe resistance as my creative efforts of the past two months but even those are getting tougher to remember.
Let me try here to compile a really short list:
Well shoot. That's not a list that's a...
Like the color of my skin, or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patterns, that can scarcely be controlled.
– Simon & Garfunkel
But it doesn't make any sense
How can one launch or partake in an adventure or project that goes against the grain of friends and family, in some cases doing so without needed support, and yet still find success? In fact sometimes not just success but feel that the wind is at one's back, that the sails are full, that instead of closed doors the world and opportunity are in fact opening their doors wide, that the project in fact seems charmed, meant to be?
Wouldn't you think that friends - esp. old friends - and family, would have a monopoly on knowing what's best for a person? That going against that advice or blazing a new trail would at the very least result in an unfinished goal, at the worst an utter failure?
I wonder have others dealt with this.
Oh, that's right.. that one guy did.
That Tom guy.
How could I have forgotten, sheesh.
Is that why I gravitate towards a Tom Petty type? A singer/ songwriter with a chip on his shoulder?
Very possibly yes.
Tom had a long and now well-known rift with his father Earl over life goals, resulting in Tom leaving his Gainesville, FL roots and becoming a de facto Los Angeleno as if born and raised somewhere just off of Ventura Blvd. There were other reasons to leave Florida for L.A. but his father's abuse both verbally and physically trumped all and left a pretty deep scar on the young rocker, and left him with a hugely primal goal.
Prove that damn man wrong.
Here's what he had to say to Rolling Stone circa 2012:
"(My father) was scary and violent. He beat the living hell out of me, and there was constant verbal abuse. Looking back on it, he probably was disappointed that I was so drawn to the arts. He probably thought I was gay. I wasn't interested in sports. I didn't know the names of any baseball players. I liked films and books and records."
If you've read anything on Petty's upbringing you know this shaped a great deal of his attitude and demeanor, esp. in the early days when that's exactly what he needed. He needed a fighting spirit to break into the music scene - esp. in the mid 70's when the heartbreakers were pitching a jangly british sound and songs that barely tipped the three-minute mark in a time when it was not that uncommon for a band to submit a 7-10 minute opus to their record company.
And speaking of hometowns
There was another guy who ran into opposition going against the grain locally.
And He said,
"Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown." Luke 4:24
Misha Thomas, Princeton Theological Seminary comments on this:
The role and function of the prophet is to create an awakening that comes from seeing typical things within the social environment of that land in a new and shocking way. The prophetic is precisely shocking only because people have a natural tendency and defense to avoid seeing hard-to-fathom realities.
So both the prophet and his/her attempt to awaken others must cut through the normal and familiar routines of thinking which deny and avoid perspectives that would otherwise threaten our comforts. The prophetic is, in this sense, always exotic.
To be a prophet in one’s own land, therefore, is unlikely for the would-be-listeners. Who would take a native son or daughter seriously! We are the same, please!
* * *
There are some interesting words and phrases there.
Cut through the normal and familiar.
Threaten our comforts.
Threaten our comforts? Did someone say Shelter in place?
Ahh so that's what's going on. An artist. A musician. A filmmaker. A t-shirt designer. Anyone who threatens comfort - esp. in a new or shocking way, is to be avoided, to defend against, maybe even to restrain in a violent manner.
I guess that would explain my experience the last few months.
Last question. Really.
If those things are all true and I believe they are, why do total strangers or recent friends many times have the polar opposite reaction to a shocking or new statement by said artist? Not only do they not avoid or seek to restrain but they joyously celebrate this new thing. This art or new thought. They gravitate towards it. They applaud and cheer.
When the old friend says "I don't know dude," and the perfect stranger says "You just made my day! I love it." What's a prophet to think?
Probably struck a nerve.
Maybe I did.
So I shall continue. And see what I find.
What's that? You did't know the first episode was up?
Well if you're an old friend you may not like it.
Just know that even small-time prophets gotta prophet.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly