About a year ago I watched “I’m Not There,” a movie inspired by Bob Dylan’s music and in many ways his life. At the end of the movie the people I was with got up, exclaimed “good movie” and that was that. I sat there…and I just cried. Someone asked me why I was crying and I didn’t really have an answer. Up until that point I was only vaguely familiar with Dylan. I knew some of his songs and the basics of his life but I had yet to really experience Dylan.
After watching, though, what choice did I have? I really got into his music after that. He’s been my favorite singer ever since. But its amazing how we forget the way things start, isn’t it? We just forget the way things are born and never really remember until they die or are reborn. Tonight I watched the movie again. The last two scenes were the scenes that made me cry the first time…and the same two made me cry this time. This time, I knew why. “It’s chaos, clocks and watermelons…it’s everything.”
The way I experienced Dylan was to experience my own life. Of course, I have no way of knowing what his message really is because even if I got the chance to ask him he wouldn’t answer me. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t know…or maybe he does and just doesn’t think I deserve to know unless I can figure it the fuck out on my own. Anyway, what my own life has taught me and what Dylan’s music reminds me is that we can fight things or accept them--we can stand up or back down…it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re aware. For an aware person life can really blow. Its easy to meander through life, brainless, thoughtless…you’ll never be alone, but you’ll never be aware either. To be aware, frequently means to be alone. But it also means to reap everything out of life. The flowers blossom differently when you are aware. The snow ceases to fall gently when you are aware. Colors are even more vibrant. Its this insane ecstasy, to be aware…just as beautiful and just as addictive. The Aware taste and crave more and more of this cognizant life and turn to things like drugs and poetry. Drugs and poetry are nothing more or less than the embodiment of artificial life. But when life isn’t enough or when being aware seems to lose its high, than what choice do you have but to turn to art and hallucinogens?
Artists go mad, philosophers kill themselves. Is this a lack of life? Or an overdose? How do we maintain life without over or under indulging? …Is that even possible?!
“If you’re missing me one place, search another.” Well, I’m sure one day I’ll wind up where the rest of them are. I’ll be just as old, just as tired and just as burned out. But, is it not, after all, better to burn out than to fade away?
I guess all things end…at the beginning.