Bob Dylan’s Dream: Thoughts on my Birthday

Sunday, April 24, 2011

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had

Today, April 25th, 2011, is my birthday. I still feel the same way inside as I did in my twenties. Unfortunately, each morning that face in the mirror chases that notion away every morning.

With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singin’ till the early hours of the morn

On Saturday, my wife assembled some of my friends for a brunch. Not everybody could come. Many people wanted to, but couldn’t come because of Easter or other prior engagements. But it sure was nice to see everybody.

By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were sung
Where we longed for nothin’ and were quite satisfied
Talkin’ and a-jokin’ about the world outside

It made me think about how you lose people that were once a central part of your life, like your friends from high school and college. You see those people almost every day for years, until graduation happens … and that’s about it. At the time, you’d never imagine that you’d lose some or even all of those people forever, but you do.

It made me think about how you lose people that were once a central part of your life, like high school. College, work, etc. You see those people almost every day for years, until the thing that united you ends… and that’s about it. At the time, you’d never imagine that you’d lose some or even all of those people forever, but you do.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold
We never thought we could ever get old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
But our chances really was a million to one

I quarreled with some of my friends so much that we reached a point where there was no point in continuing. Others slipped out of my life without me noticing it. Some became famous and forgot they knew me. Some moved to other cities. Some got married and had children. Some simply changed. One died.

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split

I’m not blaming anyone. It’s the natural order of things. As I’ve gotten older, the constant hunger to connect with more and more people has eroded. At this stage in my life I’m not really looking to make too many new friends. It’s hard enough to find time for the old ones.

How many a year has passed and gone
And many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a friend
And each one I’ve never seen again

After all the thousands of people I’ve encountered in my life, it comes down to my family, the people I saw on Saturday, and a few precious others. Some relationships have endured, and some have fallen away. Is it passing the test of time or is it just dumb luck?

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that

The words in italics are the lyrics to the song  “Bob Dylan’s Dream”
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