Last year in March, I ran an entry about one of my favorite singers of all time, Van Morrison. The gist of that piece was that a google search of the Irish artist revealed that although no one disputes his talent or place in music history, Morrison seems to be universally despised by those in the industry. We like our icons to be, well, likable, and from what I read, Van Morrison is not. The Irish singer from Ulster, according to what I read, had zero social skills and did not seem to be in any hurry to cultivate a sense of agreeableness. I spoke in my article of the disappointment I felt in finding out negative reports about someone I had judged as being a nice person, simply based of his music.
Several days ago, I was surfing You-tube, wanting to listen to Van Morrison's classic Tupelo Honey, when I found clips from a CBS Sunday Morning interview with the man himself. Taking a few minutes to watch the look at his career, I was fascinated by what he had to say about himself, especially since he almost never grants interviews. He came across as a man who is extremely shy and not at all unlikable. He made a statement which I thought summed up his dilemma: ''I'm an introvert in a business of extroverts.'' Morrison went on to say how concerts can be a struggle for him and how he almost tries to put himself in a trance, dissociated from the audience which paid good money to see him perform. He mentions relating especially to Ray Charles as he likes to sing with his eyes closed, the posture of the severely introverted performer. Coincidentally, it was the blind Charles who introduced Morrison on his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After watching those Sunday Morning clips, I felt much more empathy for Van Morrison than when I wrote the original piece. Being a strong introvert myself (at least on the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator) gives me some insight into how a shy person would deal with fame and the spotlight. My students don't believe me when I tell them I'm introverted but I explain that I play a role in class that's different from my outside the school personality. As Christians, we have to navigate a world in which we don't feel, or at least shouldn't feel, completely at home. We often quote our being in the world but not of the world stance. I told my kids in class yesterday about being in a situation on Monday with a group of women who were loudly uttering the worst profanities. I recounted how there was zero profanity in our household and even heck and darn were punishable offenses. I blush to think of my mom hearing the words those ladies were using and I encouraged the girls in my classes never to relinquish the ability to blush. We have to live and work and shine on this earth but we need to make sure we don't get too comfortable with the wrongs we see around us. Van Morrison has never quite fit into the music world which has given him the platform to showcase his gifts. Maybe I fit too easily in my world.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I don't feel comfortable doing interviews. My profession is music and writing songs. That's what I do. I like to do it but I hate to talk about it.''
To watch part 1 of the Sunday Morning segment on Van Morrison, click here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH-fPvur0Sk
To hear Van Morrison sing Domino, copy and paste the link below!
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