And so Bazan wrestles - with himself, with his audience, and with God.
And he grieves what he has lost. At the show Friday night, Bazan and band played the Pedro the Lion song "The Fleecing." The song used to sing,
I could tell you why I doubt itAnd why I still believe itAnd why I need itAnd what the Pharisees don't see
Friday night, Bazan sang instead,
I'd tell you why I doubt itAnd why I don't believe itAnd why I grieve itHow I was blind but now I see
As he sang these words on the edge of everything in Silver Lake at Spaceland, many present cheered. Many others sighed - in confusion, in commiseration, in love.
Elijah, thank you for so carefully explaining the heartbreaking moment when, in changing the lyrics, Bazan stopped speaking for me and started speaking for the guy in the plaid shirt in front of me (pictured here) who cheered and clapped to find in Bazan such a kindred spirit.
I suppose it's only fair I have to share. I've been able to count on Bazan for the last ten years to give words to my own struggles, to the challenge to reconcile faith with the wrongness of the world and the suffering of so many at the hands of the church. And I couldn't want for anything other than the fierce honesty that has made Bazan's writing so strong. But it still makes me sad to loose him. I guess that's why my hand shot up when he asked for questions right after the song you quote and I asked: "How do you grieve it?"
"How do I grieve it? How do you grieve anything? You take the process seriously..."
You can only grieve what's lost. If "Curse Your Branches" was Bazan's break-up record with God, then this concert was my "break-up" with Bazan.
I think I'm grieving it.