Tuesday, January 07, 2014
When I read this blog entry, I had a lot of emotions well up. I, too, feel like a misfit. I have my whole life. Sometimes, I enjoy it, other times, it frustrates me. As I read this, I knew I'd have to share my feelings.
First, I must insist that this feeling is cultural. I've not felt spiritually out of place. For the most part, I've always felt like I had a connection with my Heavenly Father, and when I've felt that the connection wasn't as strong, I've always known that it's been me that was disconnecting.
When I was younger, I grew my hair out long. At one point, it was down to the middle of my shoulder blades. I used to wear shredded jeans, bandanas and untied high-tops. I looked like I'd walked out of a guitar magazine. Yet, I always carried a current temple recommend. I wore my hair like a flag, challenging all to get to know the real me.
My taste in music has never been mainstream LDS. I recognize that Janice Kapp Perry and Michael McLean are great talents and wonderful people. I've met them both. But I have no tunes by either one on my cell phone tracklist. What is there? Lots of hard rock, much of it Christian. Lots of old school prog rock, too. Some classical.
Early on, I yearned for hard rock music with Mormon themes. Finding none, I made my own. I still carry much of that in my phone lists, too. Did you know there are LDS rappers?
All of these things are superficial, I know. But I really have felt very alone through much of my church experience. I still go. It's still true. Much of LDS church culture is built on the concepts of obedience and of following your leaders. And they wear white shirts, dark suits, and simple ties. That's how you're supposed to be spiritual, right?
In the end, I grew tired. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle, all the while nobody else around me knew that we were even at war. My hair is short, my shirts are mostly white. But my ties have guitars and looney toons on them, and I still love loud, obnoxious guitars.
Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his Dutch Oven blog.