Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Can't you hear that rooster crowin'?" / Zen Bob's Koans and the Theater of Cruelty meet the Days of Awe

"... Can't you hear that Duquesne whistle blowin'
Blowin' through another no-good town

The lights of my native land are glowing
I wonder if they'll know me next time 'round
I wonder if that old oak tree's still standin'
That old oak tree, the one we used to climb ..."
(Bob Dylan, lyrics from "Duquesne Whistle")

That's the Blue Moon waxing in my little video.  It will be full tomorrow night, August 31st.

This morning as I was waking up I could hear the delighted laughter of the baby boy with blue eyes who had appeared in a dream fragment.  So happy just to be alive.

Thank you to Velveteen Rabbi for the following from This is Real And You Are Completely Unprepared:  The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation, by Rabbi Alan Lew:

"Look! I put before you this day a blessing and a curse."  So begins parshat Re'eh, the weekly Torah portion we read as the month of Elul begins.  Look.  Pay attention to your life.  Every moment in it is profoundly mixed.  Every moment contains a blessing and a curse.  Everything depends on seeing our lives with clear eyes, seeing the potential blessing in each moment as well as the potential curse, choosing the former, forswearing the latter (pp. 65-66)

The disturbing "Duquesne Whistle" video with its rollicking soundtrack could be a demonstration of how every moment is profoundly mixed.  And who is Bob Dylan?  The young man? The young woman? The young man lying battered on the sidewalk?  The jaded old man walking around the young man? The 71-year-old man singing, "I can hear a sweet voice suddenly calling / Must be the mother of our Lord"?  A little bit of everyone in that video? Maybe we've been treated to another of Bob's koans.  Maybe it's a nod to Antonin Artaud.  I sure don't know.  I've been listening to Bob Dylan since I was 14 years old,  and I'm grateful for the presence of his mysterious creative energy in this world of curses and blessings, in which we are given the freedom to choose where we want to put our energy.

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