Dear Bob Dylan

Denmark now, Stavern, Norway in two days. Today is my daughter’s birthday. She is twenty two years old. I am Norwegian.

It’s not anything new but I feel like I have been dragged out of bed to write you a letter. It’s always that way, some sterling moment that will remind me of you.

Full Moon and Empty Arms will not play for me. I’ve known about it since May. Every moment is different, every day is like the one before. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve penned a letter though I’ve recited many unwritten. Obviously, I’m unwell. I minister at work. I curtail at home. Every day is a challenge in and of itself.

With a look of astonishment upon my face simply in discovery of how long it’s been, I hope you are well and I will whip the face off anyone who tells me otherwise.

Dear Bob Dylan,

The strangest thing about Tempest is how it has managed to return me to you. Men’s music worth noting, that is how I think of this album, a slow re-awakening. I remember how I used to be (feel). I remember how it was you (me) rolling and tumbling, turning to the sound, breaking like poverty over the ground truth of your lyrics, eating each song alive.

You haven’t stopped evolving. This is what I’ve realized, though I’d realized it before, it’s like a new dawn. Have I already said re-awakening? I have. Perhaps I’m not feeling well. Like many women I falter. I’m four decades down and sitting back on my heels is a milestone.

I can’t even choose a favorite song. I love them all. I feel like I’ve been breathing your words for a long time and I can barely survive their beauty.

Dear Bob Dylan,

A neighbor of mine purchased The Whitmark Demos for me. On vinyl. He looked in through the door of my apartment once and saw several of your albums framed, hanging on the wall and thought: she collects these.

I wish I had The Whitmark Demos on c.d. Or iTunes. Then, I could actually listen to them.

Another type of day stirs in me when I hear your songs again. I hear them often. I pressure them onto people and when I witness recognition in their eyes, like a light turning on, I feel a profound happiness. As if I’m doing the right thing by passing them along.

There was a time when the very everything you did made me smile broader than any feeling, apocalyptic or contemplative, judicial or incorrect, I felt a sense of promise. Loving you the right or the wrong way, either way, it felt important.

You’re in Paddock Wood tonight. You won’t be seen again until Berlin.

Reading your tour dates is like a season in hell. Where are the illuminations?

I’m still a child, though I’m stuck in this opera of adulthood. One day maybe, when I can set the schoolwork aside, perhaps when the world is not so wood-like with the heaviness of dark green velvet drapery hiding what is true, I can present myself to the world.

Dear Bob Dylan,

Ignore the last letter. The person who wrote it was absurd. Out of her mind perhaps. You know how one man reads to understand, another already knows and lives in order to enjoy.

Since, however, I am me, and have been preoccupied with such, this in no way means I haven’t heard the door open (and shut). I know what you’re up to. Trust me, I’ve been afflicted.

I do not stagnate with my feelings. For you I let them go.

Life has been exceptional. Work has been exceptional. I can’t even call it work. It’s my life. I’ve taken on a responsibility. I work for a residential treatment center. It’s like splinters and claws, bandages and blondes, flesh and destiny. Perhaps my explanation is an erudition of knowledge, yet I travel through my days now bursting with pure humanitarianism, pure respect and pure love! My monsters I decline to the nearest closet.

I miss you. I feel tenderness toward you. I worry. And I hope you sleep well.

Dear Bob Dylan,

It’s sad, like sickness in the pit of my stomach, to realize I don’t care about you anymore. It doesn’t matter what you say, what you do. Like any great tragedy, you’re mine no-longer-mine. I used to exist only after reading how you were existing. Perhaps it would require a scientific explanation, who knows.

Lately I’ve been practical. My son survived heroin addiction. My daughter, nineteen now has survived successive poses of “good daughter”. My marriage is broken, beyond repair. I wonder, how many people contemplate social service as I do. And is the field as satisfying to them as it is to me? I find human psychology full of gross mistakes. I find love as simple as a brush of moonlight across a second-hand kitchen table.

I was born at the tail end of the sixties. Freedom is something I’ve always been taught yet never understood.

Forgive me. I loved you because of my attitude. I refused to be sidelined into a crowd of onlookers. I loved you because I believed in you. I loved you for my own ideas about nobility and achievement.

The Amnesty compilation has its moments.

The songs remind me of you when I was first learning of you.

I will always love you. Ask any eternal god.

Dear Bob Dylan,

In order to free the mind of subjective behavior, what should the mind do?

Contrary to favorable beliefs, I think of each person as an individual soul. I think judgement is a whim people have. People are products of their environments and how sad is that?!

Forgive me. I’ve been reading too much.

Dear Bob Dylan,

All my life I have been susceptible. All my life I have been laying the groundwork for my assumptions and beliefs. All my life I have subverted my own desires for that which society indicates is “right”. All my life I’ve developed this nature, this mindset, this non-productive state of productivity. I’ve been adaptive, coherent, fluent in speech and action, yet wholly unsatisfied.

All my life I have considered ways to get beyond all the things life has to offer, including myself and my placating existence.

I’m returning to school. Again. Not that I have an unquenchable desire to be part of the norm as it pertains to displaying a degree in a pretty oak frame but because I’m finding myself unable to secure a job. Which makes me emotionally anxious. By turn, makes me rely on specific behaviors I don’t want to depend on. Which causes me to reflex and research and read books that once again form assumptions and beliefs.

I’m studying behavioral health.

That’s all I’ll voice about that announcement for now. I’m too naive and influenced to voice any true opinion.

It distresses me that “they’ve” been calling you a plagiarist lately. I happened to view some of the photographs, mainly out of this innate want to know. The paintings and the photographs are shockingly similar. I don’t think you’re a plagiarist. I simply think you saw something worthwhile and painted it. People balk for credit and yes, I understand why.

I decided, throughout my latest educational endeavors, that addiction is largely a matter of misplaced energy.

You see, I’m a plagiarist too!

I read that sentence in a book. A book I tend to agree with in print and the privacy of one’s own mind. In actuality, my son was a mess. If he was sober enough to read it, he’d be okay. This is a book for those interested in saving. In social work. In endeavors of the heart and soul.

God bless us all for trying.