I am seven years too late or perhaps I am too early.
I have spent my whole life around the concept of ‘revisionism.’ In historical terms, it causes little difficulty. Instant revision. Apologies to my readership. What I meant to say was that it often causes a lot of difficulty. The past is ever changing in relation to the moment you live and it is reinterpreted according to that last decision you made.
Larry Norman. We headed out into the snows, travelling sideways and sometimes our momentum drove us forward and then we arrived. He was amazing. He played for four hours. We then started the sideways journey back. I met him once. That was a disaster. He may have needed a translator for my ever so slight ‘Norn Iron.’
His songs really reflected the 1960’s and 1970’s and they interpreted the nature of faith and what it meant to believe. The songs still live. His understanding of Vietnam and his songs on what Vietnam meant to the US are an extremely important part of the musical archive. He was an exceptional live performer. In Northern Ireland terms, he was a saint. Yip. Of course we can allow our emotions to build up the wrong person. That is absolutely clear. But occasionally, we can allow our sadness to be lifted by the right person. Optimism. What little light that may have existed back then was certainly maximised by Larry’s excursions into the heart of Belfast.
He was another voice of the ‘alternative Ulster’ that existed. Even the compromised vessel may carry a key portion of our understanding. The ‘human frailty immunity certificate’ doesn’t yet exist. Occasionally our vision is altered by what we should have noticed earlier. We just are who we are and we all succeed and fail according to life’s unerring path.
Revisionism will always reinterpret. It might not always catch the nuances of what occurred. It might not always capture the fact that the frailty of existence encourages boldness, self-sacrifice and selfishness at the same time. It certainly won’t capture the importance of faith, a moment that exists between you and the beyond. It won’t catch the fact that sometimes the faithful are diverted and sometimes the faithful are frail. It won’t catch your moment of clarity, nor will it capture your moment of doubt.
We live. We doubt. We have faith. We have none. We are inspired. We make mistakes.
Life without revision. Life without alarm. Life.
Seeking clarity through the many experiments of living. Always falling and always learning.