|Last Man Standing|
I don't know how it all got started. I don't know what has happened to my life.
I just know that one day things had changed in my relationship to Bob Dylan and his music. I heard him breathe, the sound of him taking a breath on some song I'd probably heard a few hundred times and from that moment on I thought about him differently. My thinking/feeling towards him deepened. His artistry became more real not just appreciative words. Rather than pulling him in I began moving out. It stopped being all about me and what his music gave-and gave- and gave to me and to all the other individuals who have been captivated by him, each according to their own knowing. Instead I began to hear the universality in his language on a new level. I began to feel the individuality of archetypes, those that inhabit his lyrics and those that appeared to come through him in his ever changing, seemingly shapeshifting personas. Paradoxically perhaps his unique personhood and simple humanity showed itself in that one breath.
He became much more than the amazing artist I intermittently- though often waxed rhapsodic about and extolled the amazing-ness of to any who would listen. I don't know, maybe it seems idiotic to say this but the best way I can express it is that- He became a man to me.
I'll explain what that means later but first let me backtrack and go over a little of my history as it relates to Bob.
Dylan has, more or less always been there. All the cliches that you read: "Voice of a generation," "Poet Laureate of Rock and Roll," "Folk Legend," "Cultural Icon" all those things have been part of the identity compartment Dylan had in my mind. He provided my life context in some ways. He articulated for me the inchoate ideas and feelings I had when growing up in a family I seemed to have no place in. "Too" sensitive, shy, physically and emotionally abused. I saw injustice, prejudice around me both personally and in the world. My perceptions, on the rare times I would speak them aloud were ridiculed or denounced in anger. I learned to be afraid, to keep my mouth shut most of the time and longed for escape.
His words often gave me solace and comfort when no one else could or would, when no one was there in my journey.
To Be Continued...