All day today the Dylan song the VW Boys played Friday night has been in my mind. I have swayed within all day to that song. Rock me mama in the wind and rain, rock me mama like a southbound train. It has kept my mind in awe all day long thinking of 50 years of Bob Dylan the poetic genius of the 20th century, Rimbaud with a long life and volumes and volumes of ouvres. Every album he made from the very first one has been among the best albums released each year when it comes to musical excellence. Since I've become acquainted with mountain music I appreciate him all the more, as songwriter, as band, as performer, as singer, as fountain of song after song with lyrics that blur the line between song and poem. From the start, I saw him the poet who sings his verses, like Bertolt Brecht before him and the entire Western tradition. He was the shot that changed rock & roll to Rock when he went electric. He has been a dynamic influence in American music as well as American poetry, a major influence. I remember how much respect I felt when he declined an invitation to dinner at the Whitehouse in the Nixon time. It was a similar respect that I felt toward Philippe Petit walking the wire between the World Trade Center towers.
Lunch at the Circle L with Jim W and after that I went on to Selma's for a mocha with an hour to spare before a meeting at the hospice office, a talk actually on dementia and Alzheimer's. Talking with Todd and Selma, I heard Milly Richardson's voice calling to me from the door. I turned around and she'd just walked in. I said, "If my nose was running money, honey, I'd blow it all on you." No matter what she might have expected me to say, that wasn't it. Milly has a good funny bone and we're all the time telling each other the craziest things we've witnessed or heard recently, usually laughing all the time we're talking. That one stopped her in her tracks. It's the same sense of humor my cats had with each other. Many times I saw one cat surprise another and scare it so bad it jumped and hissed, and I see the eyes of the trickster laughing. That's what I did to Milly. Made her jump up in the air, turn around, land backwards and hiss, shake her head so fast her ears buzzed like hummingbird wings. What was that? As always, it was fun to see her. As usual, she had a surrealist agenda going, this one to attract tourists to shop in Sparta using the side of her building for a billboard. I say, Hail Yeah, get er done. Be sure to get a Confederate flag in there and a Harley emblem.
I feel like today I really have to say I am happy with the people of my world. 2 hours at lunch with Jim flapping our jaws about Thailand, Buddhism, international tourists who travel for years at a time, months or years in one place then another. From the Circle L, I went on to an hour at Selma's flapping jaws with friends in there, then a couple hours at the hospice office hearing some good information on the mind falling away. Good fellowship with good people. That's what it was all day long. There's no way I can have a complaint at the end of the day. I even refused to get wound up over $30 buying only half a tank of gas. It's out of my control. Our economic system is set right now on crushing the middle and the working classes into a peasant class of cheap factory labor. I can't swim upstream against that current, so I prefer to sit on the bank and watch the stream go by. This is the reason for all the vampire movies and tv shows and pop novels of the present. Seeing movies as dreams we share collectively, I can't help but read this dream as having our life blood sucked out of us, Constitution and all our American rights included, by the Bank. I can't struggle against such a behemoth. It would smash me like Godzilla stepping on an ant. But I don't have to smile and act like I like it. Yet.
This is the very issue I've been dealing with this week. I spend a day among friends, enjoy conversation with people I enjoy talking with, whose company I enjoy, and feel uplifted within, in the spirit, in a way. Not the same way as in church, but an uplifted feeling within like that. And then there's the day spent thinking about politics, parrot politicians, capitalism, the American contempt for the poor, my country traumatizing the poor in the poorest countries in the world, collateral damage no problem, because they're poor--they don't figure. Thoughts about my government not ever honoring any treaty signed with any of the Indians, the Reagan administration telling the World Court and Bush administration telling the Geneva Convention to take a flying jump at a rolling donut. A day of that kind of thinking and I'm ready to see a Hong Kong men-with-guns movie with guns blaring from start to finish. Like the quote I found of Tammy Faye Bakker saying a half hour of watching television makes you want to go out and kill yourself. What a lousy day that makes. At the end of the day I'm ready to go to bed just from mental/emotional weariness.
Yesterday or the day before, I vaguely broke it down and looked at it. All that stuff that brings me down is of the mind. It's all out there someplace I don't even know where and it's all people I wouldn't even want to know, not even want to meet, would clean my hand with a Lysol disinfectant wipe after shaking hands with one. It's really that all that "out there" inside "the beltway," the volatile Middle East, the stock market, is in my mind. It's all my mental interpretation of systems and operations I know absolutely nothing about and am glad of it and better for it. There's no way anything I think about what's going on in DC, Beijing and the World can have any validity, because I know nothing about it but for what's in the misleading news, interpretations of interpretations reduced to soundbites and a picture or two. Only somebody like Noam Chomsky can keep up with all of it and his eyes are so bad from reading all the time his glasses are like the bottoms of 50s coca cola bottles. All of that is mind. All of it is mind. It's what might be called an invisible city. Beliefs about something or somebody that aren't even close, but make a good story. How many of those do I have in my head? All of my own creation.
A day of that kind of thinking brings me down like nothing else can. I don't think of it as negative thinking. I'm finally coming to see it as false thinking. And all it does is make me need a drink. I get out among friends, even other people I don't know, have simple, friendly conversations, go in the grocery store and see people I know in there, be in among a bunch of people enjoying a concert of good mountain music, come home to my friend the cat wanting to be held and the top of her head rubbed after I'd been gone all day. At the end of such a day I feel happy I've lived as long as I have and feel the need to reassess my issues with a lot of that mind stuff I make up like the images of characters, scenery, rooms seen in the mind reading a novel. What's going on "out there" is made up the same way. Hear "information" on the news, fictionalize it in the mind, "figure it out" and draw conclusions on what is usually false information. Makes me want to quit thinking about anything beyond the people of my world here where I live and my relatives and friends that live other places. The world of the people I live among does not depress me. It lifts me up. Isn't it about time I get it?