November 10, 2012

I’m writing this post very late at night. Tracey and Tammy (she’s here for the weekend) are both sound asleep, the rabbits are all quiet and settled, and I can actually hear rain falling outside beyond the screen doors opened to the cool Arizona night air. It’s just you and me and the Sam Adams Boston Lager next to me. Not a bad combination at that…

Three songs from George Harrison’s fine 1973 LP Living In The Material World have somehow been floating around my head and in my thoughts and dreams the past few weeks. I can’t get rid of them, no matter what I do. Not that it’s a bad thing – they’re a source of great introspection, peace, and comfort in these times of great upheaval and uncertainty.

First up: The Light That Has Lighted The World:

I’ve heard how some people have said
That I’ve changed
That I’m not what I was
How it really is a shame
The thoughts in their heads,
Manifest on their brow
Like bad scars from I’ll feelings
They themselves arouse
So hateful of anyone that is happy
Or free
They live all their lives,
Without looking to see
The light that has lighted the world

Its funny how people, just won’t
Accept change
As if nature itself – they’d prefer
So hard to move on
When you’re down in a hole
Where there’s so little chance,
To experience soul

I’m greatful to anyone,
That is happy or free
For giving me hope
While I’m looking to see

The light that has lighted the world

Second is Who Can See it; fine tune, great lyrics, check these out:

I’ve been held up,
I’ve been run down
I can see quite clearly now
Through those past years,
When I played towing the line.

I only ask, that what I feel,
Should not be denied me now,
As its been earned, and
I have seen my life belongs to me
My love belongs to who can see it

I’ve lived in fear,
I’ve been out there,
I’ve been round and
Seen my share
Of this sad world
And all the hate
That its stirred

I only ask,
That what I know,
Should not be denied me now
As its been learned,
And I have seen my life belongs to me
My love belongs to who can see it

I only ask, that what I feel,
Should not be denied me now
As its been earned, and
I have seen my life belongs to me

My love belongs to who can see it.

I think this is George’s own testimony to God, that he be allowed to cast aside all the crap and bullshit so that his life can be lived in accordance with God’s will, whatever way that might lead. For George (like yours truly) always struggled in that sacred space between the material and the spiritual, the desire to be a saint while all too aware of his unwillingness to give up the world and its pleasures. Guess that is why there are saints to begin with and why there are so few of them…

And last but by all means not least, one of my all-time favorite tunes of his, Be Here Now:

Remember, now, be here now
As its not like it was before.
The past, was, be here now
As its not like it was before – it was

Why try to live a life,
That isn’t real,
No how
A mind, that wants to wander,
round a corner,
Is an un-wise mind

Now, is, be here now
And its not what it was before,
Remember, now, be here now
As its not like it was before – it was

Incredibly introspective and yearning, I can listen to this song any time of day, any time of year, and have it touch me the very same way.

These songs speak to me in very much the same way: if there is anything I am focused on more than anything else right now it is to live life in the present: the future will be whatever it is led to be, good or bad, happy or sad (more likely in both cases the latter), the past is a comfort or tragedy you’ll always have with you (as long as the Alzheimer’s doesn’t steal it); now is what you make of it.

Unusual as well that, even though I’ve been Roman Catholic for almost three years now I’ve lately found myself drawn to writings by past Archbishops of Canterbury – Michael Ramsey’s The Gospel and the Catholic Church is one of the finest books on pure Christian theology I have ever read, and a book of speeches by Robert Runcie called Seasons of the Spirit – a book I remember quite fondly reading while I was on retreat at Holy Cross Monastery are a source of renewed interest and comfort. About time I started paying attention once again to my spiritual side – just in time for the new Church Year to begin in just a few weeks.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments (3)
  1. I always loved George and he was my favorite.
    If you have not seen the dvd, Concert for George, go get it. It is amazing. Eric Clapton and Dahni Harrison did this together on the one year anniversary of George’s death. You will love this.

    Comment by Jana — November 11, 2012 @ 6:16 am

  2. Yes, I’ve seen it. It was very moving. I think Santa has plans to have Martin Scorcese’s film about George, “Living In The Material World”, under the Christmas tree this year.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 13, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  3. I just wanted to say that this blog post has given me a hope at just the right time. I am off on my tlrveas for a month from Sunday with a female friend, going round Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma I sit with tears in my eyes that your story is how I want mine to be to be somewhere else, to find the atom within that didn’t die with my husband Much love and thank you, truly .widow’s timing xxx

    Comment by Alvina — November 29, 2012 @ 7:16 am

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