Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dynamic Dylan

I appreciate Bob Dylan and his music more each day.  His music moves beyond meaningful. His approach to people resonates deeper and increasingly gains my attention.  His plethora of lyrics prove pertinent and offer insight to nearly every situation I encounter. His music captures the American zeitgeist almost before the zeitgeist comes to fruition; in fact, he most likely is the zeitgeist.

I recently read this commentary about (and from) John Steinbeck's novel The Wayward Bus, and I think Dylan would strongly relate to the sentiment:

As Steinbeck wrote the first synopsis of The Wayward Bus in Spanish, he had originally chosen El Camion Vacilador as the book's title. He writes, "the word vacilador, or the verb vacilar, is not translatable unfortunately, and it's a word we really need in English because to be vacilando means that you're aiming at some place, but you don't care much whether you get there. We don't have such a word in English. Wayward has an overtone of illicitness or illegality, based of course on medieval lore where wayward men were vagabonds. But vacilador is not a vagabond at all. Wayward was the nearest English word that I could find." It is a shame that there exists no English equivalent for vacilador, as it truly is the most apt word to describe the novel's (as well as the bus's) trajectory.

This observation greatly reminds me of Dylan's belief that there is "no direction home."  As the title of my blog implies, I, too, seek home despite possessing all of the things that supposedly constitute "home."  Many artists have explored this idea; Wallace Stegner, in one of my favorite quotations, states, "That gypsy hobo life, that's it."  Where will I find my spiritual, physical, holistic home in this meandering medium?  It's a question to which I must find an answer.

And so we're back to our visionary Mr. Dylan, who never hesitates to tell people: "You've got a lotta nerve."  It's a phrase I need to use with greater frequency.  If I don't, I may finish a complete unknown, a mere rolling stone.  And I have to think twice, because that's not all right.

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