Wednesday, September 16, 2009

good god almighty that stuff 'aint real

This is how I spent my evening:

and it was just lovely. I'm halfway through the first season (thanks netflix insta-queue! - which I have used way more than the traditional netflix mainly because I'm too lazy to put the dvds in the mailbox which, I realize, is absolutely rediculous) and it's a great show so far. And the wine was pretty good too... I won't lie, the first time I bought this was a few years ago, and I bought it because I liked the label... I just can't help myself when it comes to aesthetics.

I received a few calls to go out tonight, but I'm glad I didn't. It's been really nice to just sit around, watching Dexter and taking periodic musical interludes. Speaking of which, I am completely obsessed with Sea Wolf's Leaves in the River right now. It's my song of the month.

My last day of work was yesterday, and already I'm reverting back to my habit of staying up way too late (having to wake up at 6am everyday really puts a damper on the whole staying-up-till-4am-writing-listening-and-reading thing that has been my life since I was in highschool). I have no clue where I'm going to go from here... and maybe I should be stressed about that. But I'm not. I just can't be. The air is too nice, the music too moving, the possibilities too endless, and the time way too short.

I went out to dinner with my mother the other day, who is going to Portland for a month-long visit, and she was so stressed out, like she so often is. And when I told her that she needn't worry so much, she got upset, like she always does at first when this recurrent conversation pops up. Sometimes she sees me as someone who never really worries about anything. I've heard this from people a few times actually. And I guess I can see where it comes from. Ammi used to get so mad at me in school because I never really worked at anything... or at least never worked at anything I didn't feel like working at, and she couldn't understand my ambivalence about academic pursuit. And I get it, I mean we are embedded with this notion that you need to do well in school and make a lot of money to be happy. But that is complete bullshit. It really is. It's not that I don't worry, or stress. It's quite the opposite actually. I freak the f out a lot of the time. But, in the end, and somewhere deep inside, I just realize... what is the point? You can stress about something until you are crippled by worry, and you can take all that stress and kill yourself to meet some standard that was placed in you, and you can hop from stone to stone with that weight on you, and that's fine, because you end up hopping from stone to stone anyway, but why consciously carry the weight? What I explained to my mother, and what I explained to Ammi about my academic attitude, is that I'm not immune to the pressure. I'm the guy who always says, don't worry so much, quoting Matthew 6:27 out of context; not because I'm actually indifferent to these very real circumstances, but because I've wasted way too much of my life worrying, and because it's what I'd want to hear, what I've so rarely heard, and because I think you just miss so much of the great stuff when you put so much energy into fighting the bad stuff.

I did not intend to get into all of this. It's much too big a concept to tackle here, one that I actually haven't ever really tried to put down in words before. But I'll say (or, rather, Bob Dylan will say) this in closing:


"When your head gets twisted and your mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When you're lagging behind and losing your pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what you're doing if you start giving up
If the wine don't come to the top of your cup
If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holding on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And your train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy finding but you're lazy to fetch it
And your sidewalk starts curling and the street gets too long
And you start walking backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's morning seems so far away
And you feel the reins from your pony are slipping
And your rope is a-sliding 'cause your hands are a-dripping
And your sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And your sky cries water and your drain pipe's a-pouring
And the lightning's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashing
And the windows are rattling and breaking and the roof tops a-shaking
And your whole world's a-slamming and banging
And your minutes of sun turn to hours of storm

And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"
And you start getting chills and your jumping from sweat
And you're looking for something you ain't quite found yet
And you're knee-deep in the dark water with your hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watching with a window peek stare
And your good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
And your heart feels sick like fish when they're frying
And your jackhammer falls from your hand to your feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And your bell's banging loudly but you can't hear its beat

And you think your ears might a been hurt
Or your eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blinding dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an' fooled while facing a four flush
And all the time you were holding three queens
And it's making you mad, it's making you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncing around a pinball machine

And there's something on your mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearing
But it's trapped on your tongue and sealed in your head
And it bothers you badly when you're laying in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And you're scared to your soul you just might forget it
And your eyes get swimmy from the tears in your head
And your pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and your staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closing with you underneath
And you're flat on your belly with your hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

And you say to yourself, just what am I doing
On this road I'm walking, on this trail I'm turning
On this curve I'm hanging
On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
In this air I'm inhaling

Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard

Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailing
On this mandolin I'm strumming, in the song I'm singing
In the tune I'm humming, in the words I'm writing
In the words that I'm thinking
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinking
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking

But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make your heart pound

But then again you know when they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
Cause sometimes you hear 'em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from your bed, from your last chapter of dreaming
And you can't remember for the best of your thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming

And you know that it's something special you're needing
And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healing
And no liquor in the land to stop your brain from bleeding

And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flying train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows your troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at your looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rolling long after the bubblegum craze

You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that you're standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked

You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And your trouble is you know it too good
Cause you look and you start getting the chills

Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny

No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on your ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're telling you
And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are selling you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus

And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knocking and tapping in Christmas wrapping
Saying 'ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry'
When you can't even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache
And inside the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn you in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolig' you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks

And you yell to yourself and you throw down your hat
Saying, 'Christ do I gotta be like that?
Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
THAT STUFF AIN'T REAL'

No but that ain't your game, it ain't even your race
You can't hear your name, you can't see your face
You gotta look some other place

And where do you look for this hope that you're seeking?
Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burning?
Where do you look for this oil well gushing?
Where do you look for this candle that's glowing?
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere?

And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
at sundown

-Bob Dylan

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If you've been generous enough to read through all of this, I'll leave you with a few tunes that have been good to me in this beautiful season.






5 comments:

c. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
c. said...

I don't blame you for buying the bottle for the label... I like it, too.

Sea Wolf is great, stellar sounds.

See you soon, guy.

Kate said...

I finally found Zoo Story at a giant used book store in Detroit.

It was beautifully disturbing.

Now I have this interest in Albee. There's a local production of Seascape I'd like to go see.

Thanks for the great oral interpretation that piqued my interest.

jessielynn said...

catched a whiff of your blog from 8tracks. enjoyed the post i found here, mostly because i'm in agreement with you. life is too short to not do what makes you happy. "happiness is a journey, not a destination..."~Souza oh, as for sea wolf,"The Garden That You Planted" has been my play-and-play-again song of choice. cheers!

Chris said...

Glad I read through to the end. Good music. :)