Tangled Up In Blue…

The title of this blog is the title of a song by one of the most brilliant, iconic and original artists of our Baby Boomer generation, Bob Dylan, who wrote so many really great songs, both brilliant in word composition and vivid visuals of a surreal world gone mad put into a musical format that is catchy and appealing as well….His songs not only skewer the pretensions and false assumptions of the so called “Establishment” of the later 1960’s and early 1970’s, when he wrote most of his best work, but they are also still relevant today….

This particular song, “Tangled Up in Blue” really resonates with me, because it is how I am feeling lately, especially today for some obscure reason. If you get a chance to check it out during one of your busy days, say on You Tube, please do, it is yet another of his seemingly endless string of classic songs….Love him or hate him, he articulated the views of an entire generation….

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I especially like the way Bob Dylan the artist tells a story, because he has this uncanny knack of verbalizing feelings and emotions as well, capsulizing universal emotions and individualistic feelings and viewpoints all at the same time…I especially like this line in “Tangled Up in Blue”: “All the faces we used to know they’re an illusion to me now”….This is how life is, at least this is definitely how my life is, but I think it is a universal home truth for everybody…

Unless you stay in the same neighborhood you were born and grew up in, and stay rooted like a tree surrounded by your family and neighbors and friends from your high school or college days you inevitably lose touch, you part with old friends and make new ones… The thing is, time passes by so rapidly and wipes the slate clean so quickly of old acquaintances and friends as causally and inexorably as though, just like the line in the song, they seem like illusions to me now…

High school and my nearly 3 years of college are a dream to me now, like it all happened to somebody else, I was not the same person then as I am now, and neither I am sure are any of my friends from back then, all of whom I liked and got along with great at the time…

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It is just that life is a series of diverging paths and I guess that I have chosen, in the words of the Robert Frost poem to have “taken the path less traveled,” with all it’s concomitant results due to my choices in life…This is true for everybody, unless you are incredibly wealthy, most of our “choices” in life are thrust upon us and we have very little individual real choices, most people end up taking the lesser of two evils….

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I do not believe in predestination, the notion that no matter what we do, our lives are all predetermined and fixed from the moment of our birth, if that were true, why bother at all? But i do believe there are certain “choice points” in each person’s life that totally determines how their lives eventually turn out…The problem of course, is that you seldom realize these pivotal times, these “choice points” while they are happening, they are seen most clearly only in retrospect, and by then it too late to change them, to undo what you have already done, for better or worse…

1967, Woburn Abbey, Hippies enjoy themselves at the 1967 Woburn Abbey Love In  (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)dylan5

 

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This is the good part of the aging process I guess, to be able to look back on your life and see just how and when you made these choices, and the results that were positive and flowed and flowered or the ones that were negative and backed up and caused you to spin out of control at the time…It is like that old saying, “Everybody has 20/20 hindsight,” Or “If I knew then what I know now” or in the words of one of my own songs, “Lonely One”: “If I could have seen the future back then as clearly as I see the past right now.”…

I feel rootless in many ways, I have worked 45 years in a series of jobs, mostly low paying dead end jobs, but I have worked hard all my life and I am now retired and can look back on the choices that I made or did not make…I have not been able to keep up with more than a few friends from all of these jobs, for one reason or another, and so I am now living basically a reclusive hermit lifestyle, not that I ever was a social butterfly, but I know I used to get out a whole lot more…

Thank God for the love and support of my family, both my family back in the Midwest and my own family, children and grandchildren here in California, because they provide the only source of continuity in my life at all…They are anchors of stability and without them I would feel like my life was essentially meaningless, because i love them and they love me…..

I am not bitter about any of this, I mean it more like in the sense that I never had the chance to discover a cure for cancer or do anything great like that, to really make my mark on the world like I had always dreamed of doing as a child, but then again, not many people do…I guess we are all stuck with the hands we are dealt with, for one reason or another…

And sometimes I just feel, “Tangled up in blue”….

2 thoughts on “Tangled Up In Blue…

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