Have you ever had a lyric come to life? This morning on the way to work I was listening to Bob Dylan’s new album Tempest. Bob always takes a few listens to appreciate his lyrics. This morning was particularly ironic to be listening to Bob Dylan for two reasons: first, it is Halloween – which is Desi and my wedding anniversary. Our song is “Emotionally Yours” by Bob Dylan so the song and phrase is a particularly meanful reference for us. Two, if you haven’t ever noticed, Bob Dylan is always in Chicago during Halloween. I’ve never been able to figure out why but he will be here with Mark Knopfler November 9th – much later then he’s been in past years, but still here during the witching season.
As I was driving through Mundelein on my way to work when “Long And Wasted Years” began playing and I chuckled at the irony of the song title and our anniversary. As I listened to the words I saw the darkness Dylan had woven into this lyrical landscape, it started to drag away my bridal thoughts…
“There are secrets in em that I can’t disguise
Come back baby
If I hurt your feelings, I apologize”
It reminded that our past twenty five years of marriage hasn’t been as blissful as the cards and ecards I had been sending to Desi these last few days. As I leave Mundelein south under the viaduct, a train was moving past a parked train on the other track. Bob sang,
“Two trains running side by side, forty miles wide
Down the eastern line You don’t have to go,
I just came to you because you’re a friend of mine”
The train I pass under is moving East. Desi and I were friends in college before we started dating we had graduated. My thoughts explode as he continued,
“I think that when my back was turned,
The whole world behind me burned
It’s been a while,
Since we walked down that long, long aisle
We cried on a cold and frosty morn,
We cried because our souls were torn
So much for tears
So much for these long and wasted years”
It was a somber reminder that we celebrate what’s good in life but it doesn’t take away or cover up what hasn’t gone right. The past is the past but it is rarely forgotten. We don’t live in Hallmark Anniversary cards. And on a gray Halloween morning, with the sky dipped in soot, Bob took away mirthful playfulness and left me a cold rock, shaped like a tombstone.
I played “Long and Wasted Years” two more times before I got to work. I didn’t want to spoil my Halloween euphoria, but rather dull the edge of life Bob had re-exposed to me. And it was in that examination I saw both the darkness and the light of life again – as I always have. And as I’ve done in the past, I bent to the light. “Emotionally Yours,” Dez? You betcha. Because its easy to celebrate happiness but its love, respect and perseverance that gets you through life, especially when you have Bob in your ear.
Happy Anniversary Dez, thank you for being there for me in those darkest hours while we lie scared and exposed to life. When it appears God has abandoned me I know I will find you besides me. That make life’s champagne moments, or beer in my case, that much sweeter – when you love the one you’re with. EY Still.