Wednesday, November 13, 2019
#317 / Two Feet Away
Well the desert is hot, the mountain is cursed
Pray that I don’t die of thirst
Baby, two feet from the well
"Under Your Spell," is one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs. The song is the last track on his Knocked Out Loaded album, and is not particularly well known - at least, that's my impression. According to the official Bob Dylan website, Dylan has never played that song on his never-ending tour.
If you would like to listen to "Under Your Spell," you can click the link. It's the last verse (shown above) that counts most for me. I tend to ascribe great significance to Dylan's poetry, and I have from the very first. With Dylan, I think, things are almost always more than they seem. There is, for instance, a Biblical reference in that last line. I was pleased to find that the Swedish Academy has agreed with my evaluation of the significance of Dylan's poetry and song, which is why they awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan in 2016.
At any rate, and back to the song, I believe that Dylan is telling us that we are really just "that close" to doing what we need to do; that we are just "that close" to knowing where we really are, and to making the transformative changes we need to make to escape from the death-threatening situation in which we find ourselves. I think Dylan is letting us know, in this song, what William Faulkner said in his own Nobel Prize acceptance speech. We need not just endure. We can prevail.
The deserts are getting hotter, and the mountain glaciers are melting away. As we confront the curse of global warming, a curse upon all humanity that is our own curse, come back to kill us, let us pray that we don't miss our chance to make the changes we need to make. Let us pray that we don't all die of thirst...
Two feet from the well!
(1) - https://bible-daily.org/2011/09/05/who-is-well-spring-of-salvation/
(2) - http://www.bobdylan.com/albums/knocked-out-loaded/