Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dylan on a Sunday

This was a good weekend. I traveled to Dallas to work with congregations working hard to discover for themselves what it might mean to be missional. We are at the end of a three year process and it has been hard, but gratifying work. On Friday night, our consulting team went to a Texas Rangers doubleheader. Going to a game is not about the Texas Rangers, but rather about the green grass and white chalk and the crack of a bat. Baseball invites you in gently. It doesn’t demand your attention, “look at me, look at me, look at me.” It says, “watch if you want, there will be another pitch in a little while.” And so, you can look around and share the moment with others and talk about what song would play if you came to bat and shell peanuts and root for blue or red in the dot race.

We were sitting in a section of season ticket holders who all knew each other. So, the conversation was lively and courtesies were high. They welcomed us into their koinonia, though less so those of us wearing red sox and braves paraphernalia. Two guys sitting behind us decided that I might be a likely source of ancient baseball lore since I looked older. And sure, enough, I could answer their questions about Nolan Ryan and I knew the trivia question featuring a 1970’s catcher for the Oakland A’s. Some of my colleagues took great delight that I was valued for my advancing years. But my young inquisitors also liked the Bob Dylan t-shirt I was wearing. Bob has a way of bringing generations together.

The Rangers swept the A’s, and the baseball was beautiful. The first game featured the beauty of 20 year old Elvis Andrus, the Rangers’ new shortstop. The nightcap featured the virtuosity of 42 year old Omar Vizquel, one of the best to ever go deep in the hole or to turn the double play. Twenty years apart and in the same beautiful game. It expressed the entire weekend, the old and the new, the frontier and the settled country. The baseball doubleheader ended in a fireworks show. I have to admit that I’m not usually much of a fireworks guy, but this one I will remember. The percussive thumps in my chest, the brilliant light, the smokey trails in the night sky, the appreciative fans. Perfect.

I was reflecting on all of that while sitting in the Dallas airport, sipping Starbucks and splurging on their keylime crumb cake (I love that stuff). The end of a PMC. The celebration with colleagues. The beauty of a ballgame. And suddenly there was a Dylan song playing through the overhead speakers, full of smokely nostalgia and longing. Sometimes a song just captures the feeling of the moment. The song was This Dream of You, from the new cd, Together Through Life. It’s the last song a band plays at a dance, the one that gathers up all the good feeling and holds it between you and your partner in a slow two-step. And when it is over everyone is satisfied. This song matched my mood at the end of a great weekend.

I listened for the lyrics on the plane back to MSP. Couldn't get em all, but here is today's Dylan song.

How long can I stay in this nowhere café before night turns into day
I wonder why I’m so frightened and down
All I have and all I know is this dream of you which keeps me moving on

There’s a blowing wind, all those things become new again
But the moment might have come and gone
All I have and all I know is this dream of you which keeps me moving on

I look away but I keep seeing it
I don’t wanna believe but I keep believing it
Shadows dance upon the wall, shadows that seem to know it all
Am I too blind to see, is my heart playing tricks on me
I’m lost in the crowd, all my tears are gone
All I have and all I know is this dream of you which keeps me moving on

Everything I touch seems to disappear, everywhere I turn you are always here
I run this race until my...
I’ll defend this place with my dying breath
Though my chin is...
I saw a star from heaven fall I turned and looked again, but it was gone
All I have and all I know is this dream of you which keeps me moving on

1 comment:

nicteis said...

I adore this song. The only one on the album with lyrics by Bob alone, and it shows.

Several notes, though:
"I wonder why I'm so frightened of the dawn"

"There's a moment when all old things become new again"

(I really love this line. It's like he perks up for just a second, looking forward to that moment - and then realizes that even though such a moment really happens, it happened back when that star from heaven fell; now it's probably all in the past.)

"I'll run this race until my earthly death
I'll defend this place with my dying breath
From a cheerless room
In the curtained gloom..."