I Am Half Sick of Shadows


From the land of Wiki:

Dave Van Ronk, an early supporter and teacher of Dylan, had the following criticism to make of the song All Along The Watchtower:

That whole artistic mystique is one of the great traps of this business, because down that road lies unintelligibility. Dylan has a lot to answer for there, because after a while he discovered that he could get away with anything—he was Bob Dylan and people would take whatever he wrote on faith. So he could do something like “All Along the Watchtower,” which is simply a mistake from the title on down: a watchtower is not a road or a wall, and you can’t go along it.[5]

That’s where you’re wrong, Dave.

I say this as someone who deliberately set out, about a year ago, to sit on the lookout for enemies and wildfires, and lots and lots of would-be marrauders have gone along this tower that I inhabit.

Only one of them breached the fortifications, because I decided to head downstairs and point out the fact that the door was never locked in the first place. Schnooville isn’t for everyone though. I begin to wonder if it’s really for anyone else at all? It’s a fine place to visit, so I’m told, but I think perhaps there was an error in selecting the paint colours.

When I moved out of my parents’ home, they painted my bedroom yellow. Not long after, in an unrelated conversation, my mother pointed out that yellow is the colour best suited to guest rooms, because though it is cozy and comfortable, something about the colour makes people want to keep their visits brief.

I think Schnooville might be yellow.

I also think this might be o.k. As frustrating as it is, I have a tickle in the back of my head that tells me I have to sort out a couple of fairly major things before I can redecorate. I’m happy to report that I’m making major inroads here. It’s exciting, and it makes me feel really good about myself.

Love doesn’t happen in an instant, of course it doesn’t, but a gal like me knows in an instant if you’re going to have a good hold of my heart. Sometimes it happens when I speak with you face-to-face for the first time, and sometimes it happens when I read the way you are able to weave words together. But I know, instantly. From that place, when I feel like that, I open the door. The screen door too. So you can see that it’s open, and you can come in. Always for lemonade. Sometimes for a slice of pie. I can’t control whether or not you’ll choose to stay, but I will never act like you’re a stranger until track your muddy boots across the floor.

The time has come to extinguish the signal flame though. I’m still watching, but now I liken the activities of my heart to those of the Lady of Shalott. I am sitting before a mirror that is reflecting the view from my tower window. All day I watch, and weave the stories I see on a colourful loom. Some day, something beautiful out there will catch my eye, but before I impetuously abandon all of my intricate work to go chasing beauty down by boat, I think I’ll try lowering my hair-ladder. If you can scale the walls without falling into the thorns and gouging out your own eyes, I suspect you’ll want to stick around for a while.




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  1. Daniel
    June 24, 2009 / 11:47 am

    I LOVE

  2. Daniel
    June 24, 2009 / 11:55 am

    …sorry, computer malfunction…

    I LOVE that painting! And Coldplay’s Yellow is going through my head now… šŸ˜‰

    Beautiful read. You are a conundrum, like an underground Mansion.