Hey Mr Tambourine Man

I was outraged late last year when a Scottish journalist declared that women don't like Bob Dylan. Well in this household at any rate it's me who worships at that particular shrine. Above all, I love the way he refused to be defined, labelled, branded. Just as soon as they thought they had pinned him down, he changed. It was as though he cared, but he was damned if he was going to be squeezed into whatever mould the media had planned for him. Instead he would simply thumb his nose at them, and reinvent himself as something else. He's a shape shifter, he's mercurial and he's magic.
I like everything he does, but if pushed, I would have to say that I like Tambourine Man best. And I like Dylan's extended, exuberant and exhilarating version better than the Byrds. No matter how many times I hear it,I'm back there, when I was young and when everything seemed possible. Love was an adventure. Words were an adventure too. What happened, I wonder? Did I just stop taking the time to daydream?
I used to write poetry in those days. Now I write plays and prose that have something of poetry in them. But the spark that seemed to make the poems themselves comes seldom, if ever. If I start again, it will be Dylan that does it for me.
Back then, I could "forget about today until tomorrow". But now that tomorrow is well and truly here, I find myself remembering. Sometimes I feel like Alice, grown cumbersome, peering through the little door into the lost garden. It's Bob Dylan who gives me that feeling, every time.

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