A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Pilgrim's Way (4): Ain't Talkin', Just Walkin'

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?

BOB DYLAN Blowin’ in the Wind

Let me drink from the waters where the mountain streams flood
Let the smell of wildflowers flow free through my blood
Let me sleep in your meadows with the green grassy leaves
Let me walk down the highway with my brother in peace
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

BOB DYLAN Let Me Die in My Footsteps

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail . . .

Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine.

BOB DYLAN Shelter from the Storm

The tempest may howl and the loud thunder roar,
And gathering storms may arise,
But calm is my feeling, at rest is my soul,
The tears are all wiped from my eyes . . .

Go tell my companion and children most dear

To weep not for me, now I'm gone

The same hand that led me through seas most severe

Has kindly assisted me home.

BF WHITE and ADGER M PACE Lone Pilgrim (Sung by BOB DYLAN on World Gone Wrong)

For Mr. Dylan there’s no difference now between an itinerant bluesman and a haggard pilgrim. 'I practice a faith that’s been long abandoned,' he sings. 'Ain’t no altars on this long and lonesome road.'

THE NEW YORK TIMES 20 Aug 2006 The Pilgrim’s Progress of Bob Dylan

The only thing I knew how to do 
Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew.

BOB DYLAN Tangled up in Blue

Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’ . . .

BOB DYLAN Ain’t Talkin’

You have to realise you are constantly in a state of becoming.


Bob Dylan exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery, New Bond Street, London, 2013-14.

Thanks to Am at Talking 37th Dream (Rumors of Peace) for inspiring this post.

To be continued . . .


John Pendrey said...

'If the road was not an endless highway?' says my wife.

Bonnie said...

You forge a seductive trail, Robert.

I've really enjoyed this series of posts exploring all the facets of the metaphor 'journey'. What you write are far beyond musings on a theme. You write about journeying from the most intimate of perspectives. Thank you.

George said...

These lyrics and quotes are such a delight! My favorite: "Beauty walks on a razor's edge . . . " I also love Dylan's observations about his faith, the fact that there is not much difference between an itinerant bluesman and a haggard pilgrim." Here, here to the poets and others who creatively tear down the walls of preconception.

The Solitary Walker said...

... and a crooked trail, John...

Thanks, Bonnie! That you enjoyed these more-than-musings delights me. I really like that intimate perspective you get from blogs and blogging.

The Solitary Walker said...

Interestingly, there's a biography of Dylan called 'Restless Pilgrim: the Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan', George.

'We are travellers on a journey without a fixed abode; on our way, not yet in our native land.' ST AUGUSTINE

For St Augustine, the journey was not home, but the way to home. One can see both perspectives, I think: journey as home, and journey as way.

One of Dylan's songs is, of course, 'I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine' (from the 'John Wesley Harding' album).

The Solitary Walker said...

PS Here's a link to Dylan's beautiful song sung by Joan Baez:


Goat said...

Love it! Nice Bob-fest to start the day as I begin another modest adventure of my own -- and after neglecting your site (and everyone else's) for too long.

I see you're doing a pilgrim theme, most apt for me as my walk is a pilgrimage to a personal sacred place loaded with meaning and peace.

Hope you had a great Easter, SW, and I'll catch up when I'm back.

Susan Scheid said...

Ah, Bob Dylan, Minnesota boy become American icon. So many quotable lines. One thing I didn't know about him until quite recently, though I certainly should have, is that he renamed himself "Dylan" after Dylan Thomas. A proud tradition, that.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Goat and Susan, for your visit and comment!