Friday, April 10, 2009

another year with Zimmerman

This is Good Friday. Presumably almost two thousands year ago the last prophet to walk on earth was killed today. This is Good Friday. I sit and die slowly in my cubicle just like any other day. I check my ipod.Two weeks ago I had 1566 songs loaded into it. Then I updated software to 2.2 and everything got erased. 1566 songs. 1566 creations of Art, consumerism and magic. How much did I listen of those 1566? I try to remember. Which one was the most oft-repeated song from that gigantic playlist? Was it "us & them", was it "Hain Laun Zindagi", was it Yo Yo Ma, Metallica, Rage against the machine, Paul Schwartz, Britney Spears.......? And again, that grumpy old man in his expensive suit and top hat starts crooning in my head...."Ramona, come closer...set softly your watery eyes/ the pangs of your sadness will pass as the senses will rise".

And how closer did I come to you, you grumpy old cowboy of an era long gone? You fallen prophet of a music that promised to hold my hand in this "version of death called life". You thief and the tormentor, robbing me of all those words and scenes which I could claim as my creation. Any one of them. Any one of them to make me immortal to my own heart. When I was young, my long lost father used to tell me that every moment of life has a Tagore's song for it. And when I grew up to share with him the same map of disappointment, the same kiss of hopelessness planted under the tender valley beneath both the came to me just like Tagore came to him. Year after year, life after life, I drag on to see if any of my pain, any of the stones I carry, any of the anguish I use as the body pillow, did it escape your pen, did it escape your guitar? And you bang and you crash on any other insignificant day and pour into my black heart those words, those images, those imitations which in my words, in my frail power of expression would always remain mute.

People would say that I discover you. I discover one song after another and live enuf for it to fill my inside until another of your torment wash me clean. But they don't know. It's you who discover me. On a rainy evening you came with your 'Tell-Tale Signs" and without giving me a chance to get ready starts attacking with "Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears/In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors /Lookin' into the lost forgotten years / For dignity---- Soul of a nation is under the knife/Death is standing in the doorway of life, /In the next room a man fighting with his wife/over Dignity."

You lure me with love that I never knew, with chants of heartbreaks that are closer to home, you smirk, you mock, and you sympathize and talk in the tongues of angel and in the tongues of men. And then you leave me. Leave me as a termite-eaten puppet. Still ready to jump if strings are pulled but the master has left the building a little too soon. And all those good times reek in my brain thruout the days and the weeks which lost their colors and names long ago. Monday brings "Everything is broken" ("Broken dishes, broken parts,/Streets are filled with broken hearts./Broken words never meant to be spoken,/Everything is broken.) Tuesday starts with Huck's tune (Well I wandered alone,/through a desert of stone,/and I dreamt of my future wife./My sword's in my hand,/and I'm next in command,/in this version of Death called Life.) Thursday's demons croon what left of Wednesday's angels in "Born in Time"("In the lonely night/in the blinking stardust of a pale blue light/you’re comin' thru to me in black and white/When we were made of dreams.") And behold another week, another insignificant piece of life ends here as my head chants "I tried to find one smilin' face/To drive the shadow from my head/I'm stranded in this nameless place/Lyin' restless in a heavy bed."

See, when this last song runs enuf, when I reach that place where you tell us, "Remember me you'll understand/Emotions we can never share.", that feeling of being so shallow, this limitation of all my dreams and words never being able to touch the feet of that all encompassing despondence of my existence makes me ashamed, makes me angry. I want to shake you off, to deny and defy you, to tell myself,"This ain't the place to put my faith on”. But then your harmonica starts to play a tune which is truer than hunger, deeper than desire, sweeter than ballads of daily death. And my realization whispers in my ears that time has come again to spend another year with Bob Dylan.

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