“We were communicating emotions and ideas with grunts, groans, chants, and hums well before we were enunciating complex ideas like the ones we're sharing right now.”
-- Mark Jude TramoNeuroscientist/Neurologist
Harvard Medical School, Mass. General Hospital
When I heard the news of the death of Captain Beefheart on December 17, 2010, another bit of the past rose to consciousness, and also came to a resolution.
No, not Beefheart's passing, I meant that I am thankful to put certain memories to rest.
Some memories of interpersonal discordance remain troubling to this day, but the least of these pertain to differences over Beefheart.
Perhaps he was too avant garde, or maybe I was too conditioned to the melodies and harmonies of the 1940 Hymnal, but I never did "get it."
Perhaps a taste of his work might help you to understand:
I am sorry for all negative things I said about his albums, but the sound still goes against my grain.
I can only presume that other minds appreciate these sounds in ways unimaginable by primitives such as myself.
This is not unlike the problem of resolving conflicts between the reasonable, structured, and understandable musings of a conservative mind and the bizzare twists and convoluted effluent of a liberal one.
I wanted to watch William F. Buckley Jr. and "Firing Line," while my friend wanted to watch Jimmy Carter's State of the Union Address.
My mind still can't get around that State of the Union Address.
Similarly, theological differences are hard to harmonize. The Church has never fully come to grips with how to hold these dissonances together and sing the Lord's praises as one voice.
Resolving such dissonances is usually too difficult for the Church, and it is nearly impossible for the average human relationship.
"Relationship," that buzzword of the decade, fails.
Sadly, my late friend marched to the beat of a different drummer than I, so we went our separate ways.
Some differences are insurmountable. The earthly resolution seems to come through the distance of separation.
I pray the Lord both their souls to keep. May light perpetual shine upon them.
"He shall not judge by what his eyes see,Maybe someday, after this body dies, they will explain it all to me, and maybe then I will understand what I thought to be so dissonant, and finally, at long last, it will resonate within me and I will "get it."
or decide by what his ears hear" - Isaiah 11:3
Until then, my opinion of his music remains unchanged.