Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bob Dylan - "Dylanesque" a tribute by Queen of Swords


Troubadour at the Helm*

Many a nascent and duly programmed and closeted free spirit lay in wait in the mind-numbing environs along the outer reaches of what we perceived as civilization.  Whipped into shape by parental prudence we yearned to uncover previous generations' indoctrinated boundaries -- to burrow inward, or flee heedlessly exploring distances--often deceptively close.

Disillusioned by stultifying, if benign, complacency and false security, or  disheartened by unexpected brutal pronouncements, the first stone was cast and with it began the saga we fervently craved to own. Unknowing, rancorous and unrepentant in our ignorance, guarded, impregnated with utilitarian sensibilities--raucous, ebullient divertissements beckoned from metropolitan hives... slyly baring their distinction of difference.

Possibilities summoned and burgeoning examples engaged us, while war and assassinations occurred, some protested while others conceived ideas for an enhanced life. Concurrently, our unblemished moon, succumbing to mankind's curiosity, was scavenged for souvenirs and marked with what will, in future, surely be considered an archaic concept of nationality.

Change -- its allure strange, colorful and mysterious was unleashed. Oblivious the counterculture was but a fraction of the whole, appropriated and seduced, we surged forward, saturated with age old visceral longing.  Blindly tasting, with unswerving certitude, we sought undiscovered truths -- our undeveloped selves avid for awareness and comprehension.

Discarded were coddled asphyxiating restraints of cocooned youth and preconceived beliefs of conventional morality and conformist matrimony. With wild abandon we rallied forth with n'er a backward glance, catapulted into a new age, reckless with unbound, uncompromising liberties. Pursuit was our byword.

It was a time careless, wild and stupid with hope. The floodgates opened and nothing, we were convinced, could be lost or damaged, nothing betrayed.  Yielding to the wakefulness of the moment, for a brief period, harmony ensued.

Having already made his mark, a Troubadour, possessing talismanic power, entered the mainstream. A radical, controversial, ingenious provocateur -- he passionately unleashed protest against wrongdoers and with hauteur and vitriol put imbeciles in their place.  At the footstool of seemingly indifferent deities, he shouted his outrage and unfurled unvarnished accounts of benighted humanity's heroism and barbarism.

Legends arose from extraordinary deeds, creations, power, zeal talent and vision.  Like a wizard, with pharaonic impact he uncoupled what was extraordinary from the ordinary and unsheathed a refined cornucopia of style.  His birthright, an iconic profile, luminescent cherubic curls and unsettling eyes, a color only ancient pearl hunters may have once beheld, he emanated command and innovative brilliance.

The capstone in a musical renaissance, he created original, eloquent poetry with irrepressible élan and plangent, memorable melodies that conveyed love's tender largesse and bitterness. Cloaked in sophistication, his were influential, unexplored, apocryphal sorties into artistic unexplored avenues.

His talent transformed him into an incandescent myth and before long his persona was perceived as that of an almost visionary effigy.  In time, in an artists' enclave of a hundred years, in response to a grave personal awakening and in stark contrast to the phantasmagoric, psychedelic flights of carnivalesque musical expression then in evidence, he composed austere, sage, compelling songs, christened with an outlaw's name.

The otherworldly, polished beauty and pathos of "I Shall Be Released" captured my heart and spirit.  My psyche became enmeshed and entrenched in his world -- the linchpin of a lifelong fascination and esteem.  His spell-binding aura, his ascetic mystique and the bold male gravitas of his voice,  galvanized me to initiate the untoward act of befriending him with the written word.  In the best of terms, it was desire to shore up his spirits and mitigate his seemingly disconsolate sorrows.  

Entranced, bedeviled, uninformed and benighted, willingly I met my fate.

As a collection of harmonious, romantic, mellifluous songs would subsequently attest, the skyline was transformed and delight was no longer only a seraph's province--I was irretrievably beguiled.

Imagination suggested one day we would encounter one another beneath a pristine verdant arboreal canopy -- a mystical nave with luminescent lancets of sun glinting and ribbons of light illuminating flickering dancing light-headed life... above the damascene cushioned treads of our imprints.

Sequestered and enveloped in this arboreal place, we would stand transfixed, a black and white still life, a prototype of memory from another life -- assaulted by the significance and intense impression of the moment, by hard-edged clarity and inescapable impression -- like purposeful silver snaking alluvial rivers, implacably, inexorably hastening to oceans rife with bequests,

Subsistence for his continuance was confirmed by his enduring talent and persuasive, transcendent contributions -- reflecting talented highways traveled, innovative accomplishments and fables of old.  Thoughts, dreams, beliefs and ideas were  presented with stunning expertise--a ballast for grave consideration and heartfelt, sanctified acknowledgement.

Among thousands of stories twined in and about his life, for me, arrangements soon became unglued and in my helplessness, despair and shameful loss -- surrender to circumstance dictated my actions.  A child answered and in its being, maternal resolve, fealty and determination persisted with which freedom, romance and art could not compete.  Unwittingly, in an out of the way basement, the mood was playful.

Admired and invited, veracity and sincerity questioned, promises made and unfulfilled made for emotional turmoil.  The tightrope of avowals of love, remonstrations, contrition, affection and reconcilement ushered in emotional fragility and thus overwhelmed, I was unhinged.

For those who cannot distinguish love from obsession, ego was checkmated by the fact we were attuned -- there was altruism, reciprocal affirmation of attraction, as well as emotional intimacy and exceptional rapport.  The playing field was further leveled in that although many worshipped him, it was his acceptance and indulgence evident in his responses to me, that allowed the connection to evolve to more than one would have expected.

The alchemy of consanguinity was the crucible.  Thus we retain credibility, as forgiveness allows for armor against doleful reflections of diminished returns.  In  the here and now, in terms of the divine retribution and biblical righteousness, I must concede past thoughtlessness -- what may be by some deemed sin and turpitude, and which has resulted in years of solitude, seclusion and estrangement.

The elusive, recalcitrant and ever-present cast of the moment between us, however, was ever palliated by mutual amicability and in most loving terms, the emotional and poetic alignment was to be possessed and to possess.  Who is to say Judgment may not yet award this secret honor with flowered circles of distinction.

It was you, beloved Sainchaidh, who awakened and fostered hearts to absorb wisdom.  Imbued with riveting exuberant exquisiteness, did you not assiduously gather tradition and emerging currents and fuse a gathering of influences by any means possible?  

Was there a grand plan afoot when first you saw the light of day and clamored for attention? Did you not supersede your expectations and engrave your name on our times?  Your songs achieved immortality and it is entirely possible you may have facilitated a change in our world for the better.

Your ineffable and nuanced spirit, invested love for family, friends and God. Did you reckon on a connection fraught with intrigue and temptation?  But were we not dedicated, nay devoted in our willingness and cooperation -- even if always one measure short of satisfaction? As the years rampaged through our lives, did we not, despite self reproach, regret and disheartening powerlessness, nevertheless still seek comfort?

What Faustian pact determined these predilections? In what ancient grimoire was this malediction devised, or was it secreted in a consecrated reliquary? In the background, despairing of duplicity and games of brinkmanship were perpetuated by need -- tenuous, and cast in second hand resignation, for me, the way forward led back.  In the foreground, with elegiac brio, blessed with divinely granted aptitude and panache, you created yet another masterpiece.

So lips were not meant with flesh to be acquainted and a courtly pavane of touch between alabaster crosier and scabbard did not take place -- but given another time and place, when troubadours wandered the land and destriers and palfreys were corralled by man's dominance, stabled separately and harnessed by disparate entities...once unbridled, recalling vestigial instinct, freedom would induce them to  prance, cavort and abscond together.    

Many forsaken spun out decades of separation and forlorn vigils gave birth to mournful yearning songs of pathos and salvation. Having dared my best to attempt to master the tightrope between your liberality and your reticence, escorted by rejection, acts of kindness and condemnation remembrance took hold,

Like jesses ground a kestrel, so I was bound to the Troubadour...occasionally free to follow my nature, but always to return to him with a token seeking comfort and reward. Fretted by our experience we spoke of resolution, but our obdurate selves made a prison and set the clock implacably after midnight.  Lavish ebullient accolades of adamantine glory, laced with acidic imprecations invariably followed.

As the years hounded each other, hurtled into other unfathomable realities, questing for soul and deity, revelations and elucidation, portals to an undisclosed world were presented, visible intrusions of the paranormal illuminated for me the mystical rapture of nature's and humankind's capability for mythical results and craven choices.

As time suggested escalation of companionship and commonality, our bond grew tenuous and our link frail but embedded in a dream, sermons to refresh the spirit and lingering memories were conjoined with tenacious devotion. Intense and delicate are the splendors I take with me for the Troubadour at the helm fevered my spirit with delight and yearning and exposed the need for togetherness until at last our minds capitulated and collided.

Eventually Justice's arrangement of payment for fame and riches are extracted, as is inevitable for pauper alike, and a mirthless meeting will place when and where the Great Recycler never capitulates.

But our time has not yet come and since times past immemorial the call of a rapacious raptor still makes itself known on a full moon night when all seems to exist to demonstrate intransigence.  In the sylvan cathedral woods birds will still declare our story and a zephyr affirm our presence and ancient gnarled tree elders continue to embrace sun, cloud, rain and snow, symbiotic in their share -- integral components of that which has been bestowed.

In this sacred, pontifical framework designated life, I adored you and you favored me. Like a confluence of rivers sustains and nourishes, the infinite wraithlike domain of inspiration prompts and translates melody and lyrics, as thought to deed.

Queen of Swords
An Admirer

"Peace will come
With tranquility and splendor on the wheels of fire
But will bring us no reward when her false idols fall
And cruel death surrenders with its pale ghost retreating
Between the King and the Queen of Swords."

By Bob Dylan from "Changing of the Guards"

*Note: Queen of Swords obviously is a pseudonym, however, all material in various blogs has been copyrighted.