Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dylan on a Sunday

This quote from Dylan from Douglas Brinkley's 2009 article in Rolling Stone.

As far as I know, no one else plays this way. Today, yesterday, and probably tomorrow. I don't think you'll hear what I do ever again. It took a while to find this thing. But then again, I believe things are handed to you when you're ready to make use of them. You wouldn't recognize them unless you've come through certain experiences.

I love this quote. There's the audacity of it. No one has ever played this way and no one ever will. I don't know how to explain, musically speaking, Dylan's current musical style. He claims its a mathematical thing that he's discovered. I know what it feels like to me. It rolls. It's got a big engine and big wheels and its moving over smooth pavement. And if the band didn't stop the song at some point, it would roll forever out of its own power. It is its own source.

But the better part of this quote is the business about things being handed to you when you're ready to make use of them. Maybe things are offered to you before you're ready to make use of them and you just don't notice. But I do think there is something loose in the world--inspiration--that finds us when we're ready to use it.

This is not an age thing. Inspiration is not simply the accumulation of your experiences. But inspiration is conditioned by experience. It matters what has come before, but more, it matters what is happening now. And its not that it comes apart from work or effort, or even seeking. It's more that when it appears, regardless of the work or effort, you know it was given.

Maybe not everyone experiences this. And certainly the donation is greater for some than for others. But it points to grace. It suggests that there's something other than karma at work in the world. And the name for that is hope.

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