Friday, March 4, 2016

Face to face with a certain kind of fear some of us have and face to face with a certain kind of fearlessness

Every so often when I feel frightened, and that 10-letter word repeats itself in my mind, I suddenly remember this song by Bob Dylan, particularly the lyrics below, and I know that I'm not alone and not all that far from the light that is always there, always has been, and always will be, no matter what happens.

... It frightens me
the awful truth
of how sweet life can be ...

Not everything is up to me, but some of it is.  It's a daily practice, discerning what is and what isn't.

I know that not everyone has this fear.  If Bob Dylan hadn't mentioned it in this song, it might have taken me a lot longer to figure out just what it is that frightens me sometimes.   It's not a fear that makes much sense but it is real.  Being able to name it takes away much of its power.

It's one of the Four Noble Truths.  How sweet life can be.

When I look out the window in the late afternoon and know by the light that there is a rainbow somewhere:

And then I turn and see a rainbow:

Or when I look out before dawn and see:

Followed by:

And then this:

How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?
(Bob Dylan lyrics from "When He Returns"-- 1979)

YouTube comment on the above video:

Max Autonomy3 months ago I'm an atheist, but I still love the emotional genuineness of this powerful song.

Well a childish dream is a deathless need
And a noble truth is a sacred dream
(Bob Dylan lyrics from "Tweddle-Dee &Tweedle-Dum -- 2001)


Anonymous said...

I love this post. Thank you for writing it down. The photos are so beautiful and remind me why I look out the windows all the time as the light changes. It's all there, every moment of life's sweetness.

Tara said...

I railed against suffering for most of my life. Now, I think, at least today, I can hold suffering in one hand and ecstasy in the other, and know them both at the same time. I love your photos. They remind us there is something much greater than ourselves. I like knowing that. It lets me off the hook.

am said...

robin andrea and Tara -- As always, thank you for your presence here. So much beauty and experience to be shared.

Nick said...

Actually, everything IS up to you - not a comforting thought perhaps, but imagine how much, with courage, it expands the possibilities open to you. Regards, Nick.

am said...

Nick -- In a sense everything is up to me, and I find that comforting, and that is part of what I love about Bob Dylan's song, but I know, too, that what other people do is NOT up to me. It's up to them. I see limits to what IS up to me, but they aren't in any way limiting, and that sounds like something I might have read in the Tao Te Ching (-:

I think, too, that Bob Dylan had a change of heart in the years after he wrote "Up To Me." Right now, I'm thinking about him singing "That Lucky Old Sun" and acknowledging limits and praying to have them lifted. Of course, I could be wrong.

Thank you for your encouraging words.