Wednesday, January 27, 2021

To live outside the law




Bob Dylan and I were drinking together. That's all we do. Well, sometimes we talk, but mostly we drink. Lately it's cognac. We were drinking cognac. I can't remember the name of the cognac, sorry. Cognac can get very fancy. This wasn't that kind of cognac.

"I read that book you told me to." Bob said.

"It's Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat it?" I asked. I hardly even knew he heard me when I recommended it. He just kind of grunts at a lot of what I say.

He grunted.

"Did you see where the author quoted you, as a way to talk about how his friend was about foraging?" 

He grunted again. 

Maybe you thought I was kidding about the grunting. 

I wasn't kidding.

"To live outside the law you must be honest." I quoted, referring to the Dylan line that the book we were talking about quoted.

"Eh." He said, though that might have been a grunt. Not that there's much difference.

"Oh come on!" I cried. "That might be your greatest line. It's biblical but also wise, insightful, and down to earth."

"I probably stole it somewhere." Bob mumbled.

"Did you ever read that poem by Emily Dickinson?" I asked. And then I recited the poem, which is one of the advantages of poems.

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph 
Burst agonized and clear!


"Hey, that's good." Bob said drily. "Maybe I'll steal that too."

"To try slowly and humbly and constantly to express, to press out again, from the gross earth or what it brings forth, from sound and shape and colour which are the prison gates of our soul, an image of the beauty we come to understand- that is art." I replied.

"What does that mean?" Bob asked.

"I don't know." I admitted. "It's by James Joyce."

"We're in one of your blog posts again, aren't we?

"I apologize." I replied.

"Eh." Bob grunted. "S'al'right." And then he swirled his cognac and peered into it as if divining secrets.

"C'mon man." Bob said. "I just like the color."


No comments:

Post a Comment

If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.