(Late Again) Five Minute Friday: Praise

Creative

Gentle Reader,

I don’t remember what I was doing last Thursday night that meant missing both the chat and writing. Probably sleeping. And so my life motto shall be: “And thus, she slept.”

Kate says: praise.

Go.

I never imagined that I would become an armature music historian, especially not the sort who takes really deep dives into specific bands and time periods. I don’t have any musical ability whatsoever. (Some tell me that I sing well, but I don’t believe them). Nevertheless, here I am, wishing that Mark Lewisohn would hurry up and get the next two volumes of his massive Beatles biographical trilogy written and published because the 800-plus pages of the first book are just that good.

Lewisohn writes about more than the Beatles. He sets them in their context, the grungy, depressed Liverpool of the late 1950s, a major port city whose inhabitants were looked down upon by much of the rest of the country. Yet this place produced an impressive number of bands, all of whom helped to drive rock ‘n’ roll forward in some way.

But we’ve never heard of most of these bands.

Gerry and the Pacemakers?

Rory Storm and the Hurricanes?

Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes?

Or if we have heard of them, we know very little.

The Searchers?

The Merseybeats?

The Rutles? (Please, somebody get this joke).

Our lack of knowledge does not equal these bands lack of worth or talent. I imagine they brought great joy to their listeners. I can picture little clubs all across Liverpool filled with music, dancing and laughter (and not a few fistfights between “Teddy Boys”; this was a rough city in a different era). Of course they all hoped to make it big. They wanted the recording contracts and the big concerts. But it doesn’t really mean anything, it says  nothing about them, that this was never achieved.

Difficult for us to understand in a society built on achievement. If you’re not receiving the praise and adulation of thousands, then who are you, really?

Still you.

Still placed at this exact point on the timeline for a reason.

And in the end, it’s all going to fade, anyway. I realize that that seems defeatist, even nihilistic, but it really isn’t. Knowing that God Himself is the only thing that is going to matter when we’ve sloughed off these mortal shells frees us up to write, paint, make music, build things, tend gardens, design clothes, knit, experiment with recipes…without having to compete. Without having to base our sense of security and self on analytics.

Be creative, even if nobody but Jesus ever applauds.

That is more than enough.

Stop.

Also, my theme song.

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8 thoughts on “(Late Again) Five Minute Friday: Praise

  1. Thank you for sharing the truth that lack of knowledge does not equal lack of talent or worth. We all need to be reminded of that as we strive to write or do whatever it is we do to the best of our abilities. How does God view it and our hearts? Yet deep, down I think we all want to know that someone, somewhere was blessed by our gifts. I know someone, somewhere is as we are not islands unto ourselves and like ripples in a pond or stream, our gifts influence. God chooses to work through each of us in different ways and to different degrees.

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    1. It is a struggle, Leigh. I don’t think it’s wrong to want some notice, some appreciation, but, as with all things, we easily tip into craving the applause of others. I am (very, very, very slowly) learning to seek His applause only. All else is just icing on the cake.

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  2. Hi Marie
    I stopped by to read your comments on Merseybeat as it was a key element when I was growing up in Liverpool in the early 60s. If you can find out anything about Faron’s Flamingos or The Big Three, then good luck! As for today, the survivors of a number of those anonymous bands from 50 years ago continue to play in a charity called MerseyCats (you can find them on Facebook and on-line). They’re no longer in it for themselves, but use their talents to fundraise for others.

    Also, see if you can find Pat Metheny’s version of Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey – it’s a tranquil meditation.

    Found a lot of what you have written on here interesting and inspirational. Long may you continue …

    Brian

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