From Dylan’s Chronicles Volume One (2004):
I can’t say when it occurred to me to write my own songs. I couldn’t have come up with anything comparable or halfway close to the folk song lyrics I was singing to define the way I felt about the world. I guess it happens to you by degrees. You just don’t wake up one day and decide that you need to write songs, especially if you’re a singer who has plenty of them and you’re learning more every day. Opportunities may come along for you to convert something—something that exists into something that didn’t yet. That might be the beginning of it. Sometimes you just want to do things your way, want to see for yourself what lies behind the misty curtain. It’s not like you see songs approaching and invite them in. It’s not that easy. You want to write songs that are bigger than life. You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen. You have to know and understand something and then go past the vernacular. The chilling precision that these old-timers used in coming up with their songs was no small thing. Sometimes you could hear a song and your mind jumps ahead. You see similar patterns in the ways that you were thinking about things. I never looked at songs as either “good” or “bad,” only different kinds of good ones.
Some of them can be true to life cases. I’d been hearing a song around called “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill.” I knew that Joe Hill was real and important. I didn’t know who he was, so I asked Izzy at the Folklore Center. Izzy pulled out some pamphlets on him from the back room and gave them to me to read. What I read could have come out of a mystery novel. Joe Hill was a Swedish immigrant who fought in the Mexican War. He had led a bare and meager life, was a union organizer out West in about 1910, a Messianic figure who wanted to abolish the wage system of capitalism—a mechanic, musician and poet. They called him the workingman’s Robert Bums.
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Tagged "Big Bill" Haywood, 1960's, 20th Century, Alfred Hayes, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Earl Robinson, IWW, Joe Hill, Labor, Leadbelly, Music, Paul RObeson, Photography, Saints, St. Augustine, Ted Russell, Unions, USA, Woody Guthrie
The Girl Who Took Care of the Turkeys
Now we take it up.
There were villagers at the Middle Place
had her home
at Wind Place
where she kept a flock of turkeys.
At the Middle Place they were having a Yaaya Dance.
They were having a Yaaya Dance, and
during the first day
drawn to the dance.
with her turkeys
taking are of them.
That's the way
she didn't go to the dance on the FIRST day, that day
she fed her turkeys, that's the way
the dance went on
and she could hear the drum.
When she spoke to her turkeys about this, they said
“If you went
it wouldn't turn out well: who would take tare of us?" her
turkeys told her.
She listened to them and they slept through the night.
Then it was the second day
of the dance
and night came.
with the Yaaya Dance half over
she spoke to her big tom turkey:
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Tagged 1960's, 20th Century, Animals, Birds, Dance, Dennis Tedlock, Native Americans, Poetry, Turkeys, USA, Walter Sanchez, Zuni
Henry Raeburn: Portrait of George Harley Drummond (ca. 1808–9); “It is curious…that the animal’s hindquarters should be so prominently displayed” says the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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Tagged 19th Century, Animals, Art, George Harley Drummnd, Great Britain, Henry Raeburn, Horses, Mammals, Painting, Portraits, Scotland
In 1945, near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, a farmer named Muhammed al-Samman discovered a sealed jar containing thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices. Written in the Coptic language and collectively known as the Nag Hammadi Library, these writings are usually referred to as Christian and Gnostic texts dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries; one of them, however, defies easy categorization: Thunder, Perfect Mind. Scholar and translator George MacRae writes:
In terms of the religious traditions represented in the Nag Hammadi collection, Thunder, Perfect Mind is difficult to classify. It contains no distinctively Christian, Jewish, or gnostic allusions and does not seem clearly to presuppose any particular gnostic myth. There are resemblances to the tone and style of the wisdom hymns in the Biblical and intertestamental wisdom literature, and the self-proclamations are similar to the Isis aretalogy inscriptions. But if the multiple assertions in these works are intended to assert the universality of Isis or of God’s wisdom, perhaps the antithetical assertions of Thunder, Perfect Mind are a way of asserting the totally other-worldly transcendence of the revealer. (source)
Here is MacRae’s translation of this enigmatic text:
I was sent forth from the power,
and I have come to those who reflect upon me,
and I have been found among those who seek after me.
Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me.
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard!
Do not be ignorant of me.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.
That dreaming is a less sound species of sleep, appears from the familiar fact, which has probably been observed by every individual; viz. that the first sleep is much freer from it than the second. We retire to rest, fatigued by the exertions of the day, and sleep soundly for five or six hours: we wake, and then fall asleep again towards the morning, and dream the whole time of this second sleep.
— Abraham Rees: The Cyclopædia, Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature (1819)
Until the modern era, up to an hour or more of quiet wakefulness midway through the night interrupted the rest of most Western Europeans….Families rose from their beds to urinate, smoke tobacco, and even visit close neighbors. Remaining abed, many persons also made love, prayed, and, most important, reflected on the dreams that typically preceded waking from their “first sleep.” Not only were these visions unusually vivid, but their images would have intruded far less on conscious thought had sleepers not stirred until dawn. The historical implications of this traditional mode of repose are enormous, especially in light of the significance European households once attached to dreams for their explanatory and predictive powers. In addition to suggesting that consolidated sleep, such as we today experience, is unnatural, segmented slumber afforded the unconscious an expanded avenue to the waking world that has remained closed for most of the Industrial Age.
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Tagged 18th Century, 19th Century, A. Roger Ekirch, Abraham Rees, Africa, Art, Dreams, France, Homer, Painting, Sleep, Virgil
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Tagged 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 20th Century, African-Americans, Art, Collage, Duke Ellington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Jazz, Louis Armstrong, Music, Sports
A headline from this article in Popular Science Monthly, January 1932:
In 5d Chess (released last month by Thunkspace), pieces can travel back in time. A rook in the eighth move of a game, for example, can be placed on the board as it was in move five. This then creates an alternative timeline version of the game with the pieces as they were in move five, plus the additional rook. (The rook, however, disappears from the board in the original timeline.)
After this second universe is created, players must then keep track of moves in both timelines in the game, with the possibility of additional universes being created every move. Players get as many moves per turn as there are timelines. The game is won when one player has fewer valid moves than the number of timelines.
Wadsworth Jarrell: Compared to What – I Am Better
Than Those Motherfuckers and They Know It (1969)
My painting Compared to What: I Am Better Than Those Motherfuckers and They Know It was critiqued. The form consists of graffiti-style words and letters, mostly of the letter B—for Black is beautiful—and five figures in Cool Ade colors. The dominant figure in the painting is an African-American man sitting with his legs crossed, playing a guitar. The four figures in the background represent the European music group the Beatles. The words and letters, especially those near the end of the canvas, explode and fragment into multiple colored shapes. The white borders that rim the painting indicate that it is a poster. The statement “I Am Better Than Those Motherfuckers and They Know It” is difficult to read, because it is an intricate component of the form. Everyone agreed that the idea was well executed, and that it embodied excellent qualities. (source)