Sunday, July 4, 2021

Freedom Meditation / beginning with "... we carried you in our arms on Independence Day ..."

Come to me now, you know we're so alone
And life is brief

-- Bob Dylan and Richard Manuel  ("Tears of Rage," late 1960s)


My heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who've sailed with me

-- Bob Dylan ("Mississippi," 2001)


I feel the holy spirit inside
See the light that freedom gives

-- Bob Dylan ("Crossing the Rubicon," 2021)


Last night as I was beginning to drift into sleep, I heard something like gunshots and then realized that someone in my neighborhood felt compelled to celebrate the 4th of July early, knowing full well that fireworks are illegal inside city limits.  I remembered the 4th of July in 1972 when my friend, Roger, a non-combatant Navy veteran,  24 years old at the time, said, "Why do they do this? It sounds like war.  Some of us who have lived through war are traumatized by what sounds like gunshots."  Tears of rage, tears of grief.  Roger killed himself on his 50th birthday in December 1997, leaving behind his wife and two daughters, and friends who loved him.  He was fond of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, fond of this song:

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old-fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee
If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you
For like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "you must not ask for so much"
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, "hey, why not ask for more?"
Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

(Leonard Cohen)


"... Well I got a hammer
And I got a bell
And I got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land ..."

(Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, 1949)


And then there's the possibility of Interdependence Day.  


We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

(Martin Luther King Jr.)



Sending love near and far.  Today and always.


Anonymous said...

Fireworks here last night at 10:00 pm. Startled us so much we couldn't sleep for hours after . My twin brother had a similar experience in Santa Cruz two nights ago. An explosion so loud he thought a transformer had blown. I don't understand this obsession with the need to mimic the sounds of war. It's a nightmare.

Carruthers said...

We live a couple of miles from a military firing range. Not the best thing about living here. You can quite often hear real shooting - single shots and machine guns. It always makes me wonder what it would feel like if it were for real and coming our way.

37paddington said...

Fireworks were being set off in the streets here till 3 am. Pets were traumatized. And neighbors argued over whether to call the police or would it result in unwarranted violence. In the end some neighbors did call the cops who sat in a cruiser parked on the street till morning. Fortunately no harm came to any humans.

Colette said...

Sorry I'm late this this party. I'm deeply moved. I'm feeling that love, by the way.