The title is because I’m thinking about a Bob Dylan song. New Morning. Listening to it too. Lots of noodling guitar and buzzing organ. And growling lyrics. Bob was a growler, even when he was singing about new mornings.
I’m thinking about this Bob Dylan song because I’m looking towards another new morning. Spring of 2023 is staring me down. And I’m staring back. Staring contest, I guess.
I spent a few weeks hibernating the best I could. Played some video games and shoveled the driveway. Did my best to stay sane as the immeasurable energy of my two children, now 7 and 9 years old, sparked and spit. Almost burned the house down. Almost burned the Sam down. We need another 2,000 square feet to contain our boisterous offspring. Not in this economy, friend.
Solomon’s birthday is December 17th. And then Hanukkah happens because we’re Jewish. And then Christmas happens because we’re Christian. It’s complicated, but so is everything. I share this, as I’ve shared before, I’m sure, to remind my gentle reader that we have about 10 crazy nights of gift-giving, candle-burning, and energetic-exaltation. 10 nights of gift-giving? In this economy? My humble wallet is reeling.
I’m such a 42 year-old. Doting on my children. Napping during football games. Complaining about the boisterous energy of young people and paying credit card bills. Shoveling driveways, longing for hibernation, praying my pants button, and bracing for the return to campus, the return to work.
I’m a 42 year-old who has seen all sorts of mornings. And, God willing and the creek don’t rise, will see all sorts more. As an English major, I’m well versed in the ways that morning signals newness. Signals innocence and freshness and something different about to happen.
When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, he again lit his fire. That’s a line from the Odyssey. I taught the Odyssey many mornings ago in 9th grade English. Talk about a Western text. I loved it. Such a strange epic poem. Sprawling and hard to read. I made the kids draw pictures of scylla and charybdis, those beautiful monsters.
Again rosy-fingered dawn is here and my fire will be lit. Who knows what the flame will bring? Who knows what happens next?
So this is just a short blog about new mornings.
And you should know that I’ve finished listening to the song by Bob Dylan. It’s not as good as I remembered. Few things are. The passage of time changes the ways you experience things. No way around it. Let’s hope for timelessness in the future. Not the sort of timelessness Holden Caulfield, hashtag English major, lusts after. I don’t want to freeze things as they were. As they are. Just want to hold onto hope for a measure of infinity in the future. Endless new mornings. How’s that for riffing on the religious traditions mentioned above? There’s certainly something of that hope in lighting candles, giving gifts, and celebrating holidays, for sure. Regardless of your own traditions. Regardless of the way you tell stories about all of your new mornings.
Anyway, here’s to another new morning. In fact, here are the words of another growler, the esteemed Conor Oberst: I’m wide awake it’s morning. That song stands up to the test of time. That whole album does.
I stand up to the test of time too. I hope you do as well, kind reader.