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Bob Dylan – Series of Dreams

October 11, 2008 2 comments

While my wife delivers a late night training session, I sit here in the hospital lobby listening to Bob Dylan’s recent release Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol 8. After listening to most of the album, I get stuck on the song Series of Dreams.

I can’t move on but listen over and over and over. When songs like this impact me, I am always asking myself, “Why?” Not sure I can explain, but here are thoughts echoing through my head. The rhythm is relentless forcefully driving the melody forward. The lyrics and the melody are repetitive, interacting with the dramatic tension of the drums to arrest my attention–much like some of the surf songs in the mid-60s. With minor variations in the melody at the end, Dylan brings a limited resolve to the tension, but it is incomplete.

For me, this tension highlights the spoken/sung lyrics that paint a series of pictures about unresolved tension within dreams. In these dreams, “time and tempo fly” as the dreamer is left running, climbing, and witnessing troubled scenes.

“And there’s no exit in any direction, ‘cept the one you can’t see with you eyes.”

In the middle of the song, Dylan offers this one line of transcendent hope. And I am reminded that in the middle of this life of struggle and doubt and fear and pain, hope may be the one real thing penetrating the illusions that so often pervade my thoughts. Oddly enough, as I’ve been listening to this tune over and over, I’ve also been reading St. Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s hope beyond hope.

The future was hopeless. Yet Abraham persisted in trusting the promise of God’s goodness. In this hope that endures the dark nightmares of failure, the future shines out with the surprise of love.

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

While I’m working on business KPIs and online marketing, I listen to the Grateful Dead belt out Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

I feel a bit foolish as tears fill my eyes and a deep ache fills my heart because something, someone “calls for me.”I don’t always understand what makes me cry so easily. One minute I in the midst of promotions and products and schedules, and the next moment, I’ve slipped over into a thin place.

This joyful pain seems out of place in the cold light of fluorescent rows, staring down on endless cubicles of people pounding out metrics on laptop machines. And yet, the voice still calls.

Beneath our engines of enterprise and above our monuments of marketing, the still small voice is wooing, drawing and stirring us to love. Maybe the match I strike does not burn up this material world around me. Maybe instead I leave the cold, relation-less sterility of business behind, and remember once again that I am a lover and called to love and embody love in the midst of every place–whether lush green valley or a cynderblock room of cubicles.

Categories: love, Music Tags: , ,

Man is broken

December 8, 2006 Leave a comment

Here’s neat little quote that Jimmy posted on the kidney transplant list:

Man is broken. He lives by mending.
The grace of God is the glue.
Eugene O’Neill

Makes me think of a Dylan tune. I hope we’re all sticky today (and mend everything we touch).

NT Wright Sings Bob Dylan

November 25, 2006 Leave a comment

David Williamson pointed me toward a podcast of NT Wright singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” as well as talking about Christianity, politics, and the role of faith in action. This podcast was from an empireremixed conference held in Toronto.

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