Thursday, September 19, 2013

Born in 1949 / We travel like an ox

I buyed me a little dog
Color it was brown
I learned him how to whistle
Sing and dance and run
His legs they were 14 yards long
His ears they were quite broad
Around the world in a half a day
And on him I could ride
Sing Tattle O’Day

I buyed me a little bull
About four inches high
Everybody feared him
That ever heard him cry
When he began to bellow
It made such a melodious sound
Until all the walls in London town
Came tumbling to the ground
Sing Tattle O’Day

I buyed me a flock of sheep
I thought they were all wethers
Sometimes they yielded wool
Sometimes they yielded feathers
I think mine are the very best sheep
For yielding me increase
For every full and change of the moon
They bring both lambs and geese
Sing Tattle O’Day

I buyed me a little box
About four acres square
I filled it full of guineas
And silver so fair
Oh now I’m bound for Turkey
I travel like an ox

And in my big chest pocket
I carry my little box
Sing Tattle O’Day

I buyed me a little hen
All speckled gay and fair
I sat her on an oyster shell
She hatched me out a hare
The hare it sprang a handsome horse
Full fifteen hands high
And him that tells a bigger tale
Would have to tell a lie
Sing Tattle O’Day

Yesterday something happened.  I've been feeling an underlying sense of progressive depression and fatigue for some time now, and yesterday morning I just didn't want to get out of bed and chose instead to enter into a form of meditation and soon drifted back into sleep.   

I dreamed a dream that didn't make me sad.  Because I was dreaming that I was in bed, I didn't completely realize that I was dreaming until I woke up. In the dream, I was awakened from sleep by a frightening commotion and loud voices and a tempest strong enough to force my body to move down my bed in the direction of my open bedroom window. 

For a few seconds, I fought being moved from my bed and then remembered a dream I had in October of 1998 while traveling on the coast of Northern California.  In that dream, I didn't realize that I was dreaming either because the dream also involved me being awakened from sleep while in bed. In that dream, I dreamed that I awoke to the sound of Hell's Angels on motorcycles outside the rented cottage where I was staying on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean in southern Mendocino County. I awoke in terror, feeling myself being pulled by my feet from my bed by an invisible force at the foot of the bed.  The feeling in that dream was similarly and oddly familiar, and felt like a memory from my childhood.  The dream room in that previous nightmare was filled with a subdued golden light which should have been reassuring but was not.

Still thinking that I was awake, as I fought the tempest and recalled that previous nightmare which had seemed to be based on a childhood memory, I noticed that everything in my vision was illuminated by a white light, and my distress shifted to the curiosity of lucid dreaming.  

Understanding clearly that it was within my power to make a decision to relax and see what would happen, I did just that.  Instead of finding myself flying out the open window, it was as if the tempest went through me, and then I woke up.  

I've felt disoriented and aimless since 2008 when Richard died. Or was it when the First Gulf War started in August of 1990 or was it in December of 1970 when Richard returned from Vietnam or was it somewhere way back in my childhood?

When I woke up this morning, I found that I suddenly had the ability to focus my energy enough to sit down at my work table for the first time in a long long time and listen to Another Self Portrait while I prepared a plan for warping my inkle loom and then warped the loom and began weaving.  

Listening to Another Self Portrait this morning inspired me to look through my CDs for the rest of the Bootleg Series, and I found I was missing Vols. 6 and 7 and promptly bought them both on iTunes and began assembling a Bootleg Series random playlist for listening while I am doing creative work. So far the playlist is over 10 hours long! 

After August 1990, as I began to exhibit symptoms of PTSD similar to those which many Vietnam veterans began to experience at that time, I found that preparing to do creative work only upset me. What was once the source of my solace had been transformed into a dark place that I could no longer tolerate.  

Although I had frequently been inspired by listening to Bob Dylan's voice in the past, I haven't been able to bring myself to do that for years when I have sat down in an attempt to do art work. In the past few weeks, I've come to realize that I can listen to the alternative versions and live versions of songs sung by Bob Dylan and can feel something new instead of reliving the past.  

P.S. I'm still playing my ukulele daily, inspired by George Harrison:


bev said...

A couple of days ago, I was discussing grief with a friend. when my dad died in 1999, it took me about 7 years to get feeling pretty much *right* again. It has now been 5 years since Don died on September 6, 2008. I have recently noticed that I am feeling more like I once did - more optimism In most of what I do. Creativity was once forced, but now seems to happen more without me having to make anconcerted effort to draw or paint. I don't think I am entirely there yet, but not so much oppressed by sadness as I was for the first 3 or 4 years. I have a number of widowed blogger friend - male and female - and it has become apparent to me that pretty much all of us struggle mightily through the first several years, but that even after the heaviest sadness has passed, there is probably a long -maybe even a permanent - time during which we experience feelings of loss, sadness, depression, inertia, loss of direction, etc... I have come to think that we can't expect to return to where we were before losses happen, but that they become part of us as we grow in new ways. In time, I think we will find direction - maybe following completely novel paths. At least, I think this is true for me and what I have observed happening with a few of my friends.
I'm glad you cntinue to play music. I feel it is a very healing act - expressive and transports us to a peaceful place.

am said...

Thank you, bev, for these thoughts on grief, especially the insight about new directions and completely novel paths that don't end lingering feelings of grief but accompany them through life. That is true for me as well.

Yesterday I saw an old autoharp and thought I would like to play the autoharp. Thank you for directing my attention to the joy of stringed instruments by way of your blog.

bev said...

Last winter, a woman brought an autoharp to one of our jceltic jams. It was quite neat.

I feel that musical instruments are among those objects that have so much worth beyond their cost. Of the instruments I've purchased over the past five years, all of them mean so much to me, especially the little 1920s tenor parlor guitar which I play almost every day. I'm so glad that I bought it. This summer, I met someone who plays a teardrop shaped dulcimer held and played like a guitar. I just love the sound so much. A dulcimer may well be in my future.