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  • Bob Dylan took the fine art of reinvention, and reinvented it! What I love about Dylan is the mystery. He leaves so much up to the imagination. You can make a Dylan lyric your own, interpret it in a way that fits where you are at at any given moment. Come back to it 10 years from now, and it will mean something completely different - yet still ring true.

    He is truly an enigma. He once was a shooting star on so many different scenes, the James Dean of the Folk and Rock scenes, although he never completely bought into the image others expected him to wear. And, unlike Dean, and Jimi, and Janis, and Jim, he endured, kept on truckin', kept on reinventing, and lived - he does what makes him happy. He has evolved into the wandering, venerable minstrel, on the road most of the time, doing what he loves. I saw him perform live in the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and hope to God to get to see him in the 10's.

    But, above and beyond all of the rest, his words have rung so true, have so captured the complexity of an increasingly complex world. Some of his song lyrics painted such broad, beautiful, haunting mosaics of life, and capturing the struggles of so many to be free.

    Being in a Dylan kind of mood this morning, which has kind of evolved, I thought I'd share the lyrics of one of my favorites of the modern "Bard". So full of pictures, speaking to freedom and compassion.

    Love ya, Bob. Keep on rockin', oh great song traveler. Hoping to catch up with you out there on the road, somewhere, sometime soon.

    Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
    We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
    As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
    Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
    Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
    Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
    An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
    With faces hidden as the walls were tightening
    As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
    Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
    Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
    Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
    Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
    The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
    That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
    Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
    Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
    Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
    An' the poet an the painter far behind his rightful time
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    In the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
    For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
    Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
    All down in taken-for granted situations
    Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
    For the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
    For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an' cheated by pursuit
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    Even though a clouds's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
    An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
    Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
    Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
    Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
    For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
    An' for each unharmfull, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
    Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
    As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
    Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
    Tolling for the aching whose wounds cannot be nursed
    For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
    An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
    An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.
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