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Friday, November 03, 2006

That Man Looks Like God!

When I was a little girl and going to church every Sunday, I tried to imagine what God looked like. What does a being who has always been around look like?

One day it came to me through the TV set.

God's face was the same as that of Johnny Cash. My attraction and fascination with men with dark, brooding looks started before I know what a hormone was, let alone did. But Johnny Cash's face and haunting voice captured my imagination. Wouldn't God be the brooding type? Aren't brooders and those of intense feeling dark looking? Intense?

Yes, of course.

One afternoon I went grocery shopping with my mother at the ACME and in the small record isle (vinyl records, kiddies) was a Johnny Cash album called San Quentin. All the record albums I had up to that point were educational or whimsical in nature. This would be my first important record purchase, that is if Mom would buy it for me. To my surprise, she did.

Music is said to capture the feeling of a soul that words cannot express. There is something about Johnny Cash's voice that represents feelings of mine. I've never heard anything else like it. I'm sorry that I never had a chance to see him in concert.

But that face. That craggy, weary face reflected my own view of what God looks like. Of course now as an adult my view is different - God doesn't have a face or gender - but Cash's influence on how I think a soul or spirit would sound in audible hasn't changed.

Even though the Man in Black is gone from this earth, he still has a lot of power over his fans and admirers including me.

1 comment:

Criseyde said...

I love Johnny Cash. I like Rosanne Cash a lot too, and not simply because she's his daughter. (If you've ever seen the video for "The Wheel," it's not hard to figure out why a medievalist would like her.) I especially liked some of her comments in the last years of his life. Essentially, the argument was that true art lives on and true artists continuing performing despite the ravages of age. If only everyone subscribed to that notion that we shouldn't shut away our aging and our ill because we don't want to see what time and disease can do to them.