Saturday, February 10, 2024

New Morning by the Cosmic Sea

"New Morning" was released a few months before R returned from Vietnam in early December 1970.  As with all Bob Dylan albums, I listened to it again and again.  In those days, I was listening to albums on my turntable and could put albums on continuous repeat for hours on end.  After R died in 2008, something astonishing happened.  I wrote about it on my blog a month and a day after R died:

Last week, I finally was able to go to the photo lab in downtown Bellingham so I could order some prints of my old friend and his art work to send to his sister. As I was standing at the counter trying to explain my project, I heard Bob Dylan singing. I stopped talking to listen to him sing. When I tried to talk again, I couldn't because I started crying. The young woman clerk was playing Bob Dylan's album, "New Morning," which is what I listened while my old friend was in Vietnam and what we listened to during the short time we lived together in 1971. The clerk was playing the ALBUM (!) on a turntable and handed the album cover to me. More than a coincidence. How else could that happen? "New Morning" is a great album. Ends with a beautiful song to God called "Father of Night." The song that made me start to cry is "If Not For You."

Now it's "New Morning In The North Country."

The first time I heard the words "cosmic sea" was in the song "If Dogs Run Free" on that album.  This early morning, the words "cosmic sea" came to me again,  and then I remembered the poem Patti Smith wrote in response to "If Dogs Run Free" and was overjoyed to find this:

have you seen
dylan's dog
it got wings
it can fly
when it lands like a clown
he's the only 
thing allowed
to look dylan in the eye
(from Patti Smith's poem)

"Down the street the dogs are barking and the day is a-getting dark ..."
(lyrics from Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings")


It's 3 a.m. here.  After 6 hours of sleep, I woke up just before midnight and have been awake since then.  It's been a fruitful time.  The first day of the Year of the Dragon.  My mother was born in 1916, a Year of the Dragon.  She made a large stained-glass window of a dragon that looked very much like the dragon on the Google doodle for today.  After my mother died, her stained-glass dragon was given to a Chinese woman friend of hers. 

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