good vibrations

My friends, this is happy music.  “Good Vibrations” was a hit in 1966 composed and produced by Brian Wilson.  It’s the stuff which entertained us at sock hops, cruising down Market Street on Saturday nights, picnicking at the beach.  THE BEACH BOYS popularized a genre of music which did not focus on the Vietnam War, protests, and street violence.  Their toe-tapping sounds gave way to the soul’s underside with the advance of THE ANIMALS, ROLLING STONES, BOB DYLAN, JANIS JOPLIN, JIMI HENDRIX, DOORS carrying us to darker spaces.

A blogger, unless blogging for profit, tends to trek through hills and valleys of creativity.  Some days simply do not inspire anything worth writing.  It could be laziness, but the truth of the matter is that quite often the weight of the world is overwhelming.  Wearied to the core by social, political, and religious upheavals continually bombarding all the media screens and soul’s conscience, there are times when retreat is necessary.

For many Vietnam War era men and women, the protest days are over. Instead, there’s a place to go where the eagles fly high, the rivers run deep, the grass is lush.  In that place it is peaceful and kind, no violence nor intolerance.  Whenever solace and rest are needed, this internal heaven can be right here and right now or it can be a million miles away.  Joyfully, in that space the good vibrations of the soul embrace a higher calling.

Namaste. 🙏

cropped-cropped-cropped-scan00042.jpg

 

stoned

I’m a child of the 1960s.  My formative years as a teenager were spent listening to the music of the Doors, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and, of course Bob Dylan.  We got high together, we got drunk together, and we had our first escapades into liberated sex listening to their lyrics.  The times were a delirious mix of rebellious freedom and social ostracism.  Preachers, teachers, and parents warned of the deleterious effects our behavior would have on the sanctity of American society.  And we did not care! Those very same preachers, teachers, and

parents had lied to us about the black man’s plight, the Vietnam War, the murders of JFK, RFK, and MLK, Jr. and we were angry.  Music was our voice and, dammit, America was going to listen!

Dylan came out with “Everybody Must Get Stoned” around 1966.  The ‘over 40’ crowds fumed over such an overt embrace of the drug culture where getting stoned was the hip talk for smoking marijuana.  Had they taken time to listen to the lyrics they would have realized Bob Dylan was referring to the ancient punishment of stoning for a variety of sins committed against society and religion.  Just as Dylan took substantial heat from the status quo of his era, we will always be stoned, perhaps not literally but certainly figuratively, for the stands we take against corrupt government and false religious doctrine.

Stephen, a Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jew and early follower of the teachings of Jesus, according to the Book of Acts became the 1st Christian martyr.  Having been accused of blasphemy against God by the ruling Jewish hierarchy and refusing to recant his loyalty to the Way of Jesus, he was stoned to death by a group of men under the leadership of Saul, later known as Paul upon his conversion.

It doesn’t matter whether I accept this account of Stephen as historical fact or if I see it as a statement of moral compass, a spiritual lesson to be gleaned from the Christian scriptures.  What matters is whether this story prompts me to ask of myself,  “What is Larry going to do when he gets stoned?  Will he cave to the pressure or will he stand tall?”

Lord, I’m just a weak traveler in this world trying to make a difference in somebody’s life.  But, today I know from where my strength comes, I know who shepherds me through the valleys, I know who loves me as a Father.  When the stones come hurling towards me because of my loyalty to you, help me remember that everybody must get stoned.smiley-face-2

 

 

 

 

 

“masters of war” Bob Dylan

 “But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do”

Masters of War  lyrics

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead

Songwriters: BOB DYLAN
© BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind