Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crow flying / Crow walking / Crow drawing

A few mornings ago, I went out on my porch to see an extraordinary sky around sunrise and noticed crows flying from the east to the west.  Enlarge photo to see them all.

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I listened to all of the birds singing.

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Later, down by Bellingham Bay, I watch a crow taking a walk.

Here's more about the the daily migration of crows and an image of a crow flying at sunrise, Black Crow Blues, and a crow drawing by am from April 2010:


and just found this -- crows or ravens in a tree at Big Sur this very moment:



Friday, September 28, 2012

Bellingham and someone who walks and dances and writes here

Pirate playground at Boulevard Park

Bow pose from Taylor Street Dock

Looking back to the north


More here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Foggy late September morning / Thinking about Bob Dylan and John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Foggy Bellingham morning 7:30 a.m., looking toward downtown Bellingham

Driving through town toward the South Bay Trail

Looking to the northwest from the turnout on Boulevard

Low tide at Padden Creek Lagoon (on foot now)

September colors alongside Padden Creek Lagoon

Entering the area of the Alaska Ferry Terminal

Ground near the skateboard shop

Train tracks leading to Canada

Looping back through Fairhaven

Message rock noticed tucked under larger rock -- photographed, and then replaced.

Approaching Taylor Street Dock

A black and white and grey moment

From the September 27 Rolling Stone interview with Bob Dylan:

"... When that narrator talks about walking this or that road, do you have pictures of those roads in your mind?

Yeah, but not in a specific kind of way.  You can feel it, without being able to see it.  It's an old-time thing:  the walking blues.

The walking could be what somebody witnesses.  It could be the road to death; it could be the road to illumination.

Sure, all those roads.  How many roads must a man walk down?  Not run down, drive down or crawl down? I've been raised on that.  The walking blues.  "Walking to New Orleans," "Cadillac Walk," "Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane." It's the only way I know.  It comes natural."

The person who's walking in these songs, is he walking alone?

Sometimes, but then again, sometimes not. Sometimes you got to get into your own space for a while.  It never really dawns on me, though, whether I'm walking alone or not.  Seems like I'm always walking with somebody ...

From "The Final Days," by Yoko Ono, in the recently published special collector's edition of the Rolling Stone dedicated to John Lennon, who would have been 72 years old on October 9:

"... John liked being prompt.  John was English.  I was Japanese.  The result was both of us possessed extreme austerity and hilarity back to back ..."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

View from the Lake Padden Trail

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"If we're responsible to ourselves, then we can be responsible for other people, too.  But we have to know ourselves first.  People listen to my songs and they must think I'm a certain type of way, and maybe I am.  But there's more to it than that. I think they can listen to my songs and figure out who they are, too."

(Bob Dylan, from the recent Rolling Stone interview by Mikal Gilmore)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Out walking in mid-September in Bellingham





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Splendid mural by Lanny Little in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham, Washington.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Listening to "Tempest" / Heading home on Mt. Baker Highway

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Scroll down on the left side here for lyrics and chords tabbed by Eyolf Østrem.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Radiant golden mist to the east at dawn


Yesterday when I bought my copy of "Tempest," I noticed that the DVD for "Titanic" was displayed at the check-out counter.  I'd never had any desire to see "Titanic," but because I am always curious about anyone or anything mentioned in songs by Bob Dylan, I bought the DVD.  After returning from my trip up Mt. Baker Highway to Heather Meadows while listening to Bob Dylan's fierce and challenging stories in song, I sat down at my work table to watch "Titanic." It is eerie how the cinematic images of the sinking Titanic in April 1912 resemble the camera-documented images of the twin towers collapsing in September 2001.  

"It has been said that sometimes we need a story more than food in order to live."
-- Rachel Naomi Remen, from My Grandfather's Blessings:  Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging.


Below is a view of Mt. Shuksan, taken just down the road from Heather Meadows.  You can hear the opening to "Duquesne Whistle," the first of 10 songs on "Tempest":
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

"... Leo took his sketchbook / he was often so inclined ..." (lyrics from "Tempest")


Above are the apostles Peter and John in a detail from "The Last Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci.

Still thinking about the layers of imagery in the songs "Roll on John" and "Tempest"and "Duquesne Whistle" from Bob Dylan's soon-to-be-released album "Tempest." 

Of note, Bob Dylan has been singing "Visions of Johanna" frequently in recent concerts.

Johanna is the feminine version of John and has its roots in the Hebrew name Yohanan which means "graced by Yahweh." The last book of the Christian bible is titled "Revelations" and contains the visions of the Apostle John who is depicted by Leonardo da Vinci in "The Last Supper" as looking just like a woman.

"... you old rascal, I know exactly where you're going...
(from "Duquesne Whistle")

At age 71, Bob Dylan has not lost his ability to create a musical collage of mystery and edginess leavened with sublime and earthy humor that is ultimately an affirmation of life.  It is that essence of creativity that has kept me listening for so many years and moved my creative spirit time and again.

Here's Oboe sleeping under her bower of Achimenes skinneri:


Leaves are beginning to fall here.  The cloud cover is back today, and the wind is up.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Learn Something New Every Day

A few days ago, I noticed a small unfamiliar flower, about an inch across, blooming on my porch where I had planted seeds from a packet given to me by a friend last year.  "Sweet Baby Blues" was the name given to the seed mixture and promised soothing hues of blue, violet, lavender, purple and white. Turns out the flower is a "Five Spot", as in The Five Spot Cafe:


I'm still learning.  Eric Dolphy was born in Los Angeles in 1928.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Question 42 / Late summer days / "The scenery in his mind"




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"All sorrows can be borne if you can put them into a story or tell a story about them." 

"But it's not to stand naked under unknowin' eyes
It's for myself and my friends my stories are sung." 
(Bob Dylan, lyrics from "Restless Farewell," early 1960s)

From Bob Dylan's first album 50 years ago.  Fifty years ago:


"Perseverance furthers." (from the I-Ching)

"... Leo took his sketchbook
He was often so inclined
He closed his eyes and painted
The scenery in his mind ..."
("Titanic" lyrics by Bob Dylan from "Tempest")

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bob Dylan - Roll on John lyrics / John of Patmos / Talking Apocalypse Blues


 The traditional Roll on John":


Tentative lyrics to the new "Roll on John" from the soon-to-be released Bob Dylan album "Tempest" (you can hear the entire album for free on iTunes until September 11):

Doctor, doctor, tell me the time of day
Another bottle's empty
Another penny spent
He turned around and he slowly walked away
They shot him in the back and down he went

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

From the Liverpool docks to the red light Hamburg streets
Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen.
Playing to the big crowds
Playing to the cheap seats
Another day in the life on your way to your journey’s end

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

Sailing through the tradewinds
Bound for the south
Rags on your back just like any other slave
They tied your hands and they clamped your mouth
Wasn’t no way out of that deep dark cave

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

I heard the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship up on the shore
Now the city’s gone dark
There is no more joy
They tore the heart right out and cut it to the core

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

Put on your bags and get ‘em packed.
Leave right now you won’t be far from wrong
The sooner you go, the quicker you’ll be back
You’ve been cooped up on an island far too long

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

Slow down you’re moving way too fast
Come together right now over me
Your bones are weary
You’re about to breathe your last
Lord, you know how hard that it can be

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

Roll on John, roll through the rain and snow
Take the righthand road and go where the buffalo roam
They’ll trap you in an ambush before you know
Too late now to sail back home

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

Tyger, Tyger burning bright
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
In the forest of the night
Cover him over and let him sleep

Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John


Something tells me this song is about John of Patmos ("...You’ve been cooped up on an island far too long...") as well as John Lennon.

("A Birthday In May," in watercolor, painted by am in the early 1980s)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Another view from my yoga mat

"But I was talking today to a friend of mine, and it came to me that Christ's image is just the perfect symbol for our civilization. It's a perfect event for us - you have to die to survive. Because the personality is crucified in our society. That's why so many people collapse, why the mental hospitals are full. Nobody can survive with the personality that they want, which is the hero of their own drama."
(Leonard Cohen)


"...There are heroes in the seaweed 
There are children
 in the morning 
They are leaning out for love 
And they will lean that way forever ..."
(Leonard Cohen)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

... and then come back to life ...


Although this is my favorite time of year, I woke up a few days ago with an uneasy feeling.  When I focused on the feeling, an image came to me of something small that was trying to grow but was hindered -- something like a plant trying to grow under a rock.  As I focused on the image, it shifted to a crumpled piece of paper, at which point I remembered a poem I wrote for a poetry class I took in 1967, during my first year of college:

All the babies were whining for candy
everyone I talked to said they
hated the weather
the poems in my head
had all been savagely crumpled
by my mind's hand
and when I went out to talk to the ocean
I found it had been drained
and put in storage
only an infinity of water tanks
remained

upon 
the silent sand


The professor wrote "good."

While sorting through some stacks of CDs this morning, I found this, torn from a calendar block in February of 2008, during the last months of Richard's life:

Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life -- after that you cannot be deceived.
(Zen saying)

"We died and were reborn and left mysteriously saved."
(Bob Dylan, lyrics from "Oh Sister")

Listen to Bob Dylan at 23 years old, being interviewed on the Les Crane Show:


Crane: There is a message ...
Dylan: Yeah.
Crane: ... in almost everything you say. What is your main message?
Dylan: Eat?
Crane: No, I don't think that's it. And that's a cute answer but that's not the message.
Dylan: Yeah. Aah. My main message is, ah, you know (giggles), you want it in one word (giggles, audience laughs), one word!
Crane: No.
Dylan: Well, I'll tell ya Les.
Crane: Yeah, Bob.
Dylan: One word message. It's just, ah, 'Be', you know.
Crane: Be?
Dylan: Be. Be period. Is.
Crane: How about love?
Dylan: Love? That's an OK word, yeah, That's all right I guess, but it's been used a LOT, it's been used a lot.
Crane: But that's part of your message, isn't it?
Dylan: Love? Well, yeah, but everybody says that.
Crane: That doesn't make it anything wrong with it.
Dylan: No, yeah, anybody can say it.
Crane: What about 'swing'?
Dylan: Swing? That's a good message.
Crane: Is that part of your message?
Dylan: Swing. Swing. Love. Be. Is. Was. Were. Double.
Crane: Double?
Dylan: Double up, once in a while.
Crane: Yeah (audience laughter). You're gonna sit there and I, I put on these duds for you tonight.
Dylan: You did?
Crane: In a tribute to you and you're gonna sit there and put me on, right?
Dylan: No, I'm not putting you *on*, everybody always thinks that (audience laughter).

The transcript came from here.