Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 16 Dec 04 15:59
Indeed! Welcome. "Death" = "End of the Road"? Let's talk about that by the riverside, if you care. Fwiw, I have no position on this proposition.Just something to chat about.
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Thu 16 Dec 04 23:06
Hey Marked, You bring up a good point, "It must have been" a subcouncious thing to relate the "dead" to death. Fareyou well! No doubt, there's the positive and the negative. If I start with one and double it, it goes to infinity, If I start with one and divide it by half,it goes to infinity, I guess the only difference is,one gets big and one gets small. Listen to the river sing sweet songs , to rock ,you're soul. Going home Does perspective enter in the world of infinity? P.s. I'm totally uneducated and terrible with a keyboard. Could spellcheck be made to show me the correct spellings, instead of just telling the words that are spelled wrong? Ha ,I just checked this message and it says I spelled spellcheck wrong:-)
David A. Mason (mntnwolf) Thu 16 Dec 04 23:45
Heh! ain't technology a bitch... "There is a road, no simple highway, Between the dawn and the dark of night; And if you go, no one may follow -- That path is for your steps alone." I never saw this as having anything to do with Death. I saw it as speaking of a long, complex, maybe-dangerous highway leading from "dark of night" TO "the dawn" -- classic metaphors of the 'spiritual journey' from ignorant delusion to enlightenment. In prose, it'd be "There is a road (which is not a easy sort of highway to take), that runs from the dark of night to the dawn". But it's done as poetry, so the construction there. Although the poet says "between... and" them and NOT "leading from one to the other" (made even more ambiguous by putting dawn first & dark 2nd), and that gives the implication that its possible to travel on this road BOTH ways -- one can also 'spiritually journey' from Dawn back to Dark of night, from enlightenment back to ignorant delusion. [throw in snarky comment here about American politics Carter--> Bush] We don't usually think about spirituality that way -- or at least don't sing about it! -- but Buddhist monks & etc all thru the ages have worried about that possibility, taking the road in that 'backwards' direction. I'm sure that Hunter 1970, having watched the Hippie scene implode & degenerate & be co-opted & sold-out, having watched many formerly-bright spirits become meth-burnouts or religious fanatics or political-terrorists or whatever, had this somewhere on his mind. But whether he *intended* that ambiguous suggestion when writing about the 'spiritual journey', or if it just appeared there in the Dylanesque way, only he knows... "And if you go, no one may follow -- That path is for your steps alone." I take that as just the simple common obsevation of many about the existential loneliness of the 'spiritual journey' -- you have to do it within yourself, others can support but cannot really accompany -- "you're on yer own, on THAT highway!"
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Fri 17 Dec 04 00:02
Ahh! But death would make a ripple? I shudder to think about it!
David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 17 Dec 04 14:21
Welcome, Bill! Great conversation. I always did think of those lines as having to do with birth to death. Nice to see it open up!
Michael D. Sullivan (avogadro) Sat 18 Dec 04 23:57
Birth -> Death Delusion -> Clarity Clarity -> Delusion The beauty of poetry is that it can sustain multiple interpretations, allowing the reader to make it his or her own. Ambiguity allows for interpretation. That's one of the things that I like about the Grateful Dead's lyrics: What the fuck did that mean? I dunno, what did it mean to YOU? It means different things to different people, and no one meaning is the RIGHT one. It can resonate with many in different ways, and open avenues to understanding. Oh, yes: Welcome to the Well. Feel free to join other conferences, but be prepared to wear some asbestos in a few here and there. Ignore the trolls.
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Sun 19 Dec 04 05:58
heh. but in the meantime, and you may know this already, there are a few dead-centric places: <gd.> <tours.> <deadlit.> to name a few...
David A. Mason (mntnwolf) Mon 20 Dec 04 01:23
> and no one meaning is the RIGHT one. Well, except that MINE always is...
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Thu 23 Dec 04 21:25
Thanks for the welcome everyone! I must admit that last week the Absinthe was kicking in and I was a little loose lipped. But my thoughts on that line remain the same. I know everyone has a different point of veiw, and I'm no stranger to the flame. Hey Mike , If : Birth -> Death Delusion -> Clarity Clarity -> Delusion Then would death -> birth Are you talking about reincarnation?
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Thu 23 Dec 04 22:11
"It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken" What breaks up the thought, other than death? The thoughts are handed down, generation to generation. "There is a road, no simple highway Between the dawn and the dark of night And if you go, no one may follow That path is for your steps alone" If the road is life, between birth and death, Then why does he say "if" you go?
Julie Ellen Anzaldo (jewel) Fri 24 Dec 04 21:28
I usually hear that as the road to enlightenment.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 27 Jan 05 08:32
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung Would you hear my voice come through the music? Would you hold it near, as it were your own? Hunter musing on the difficulties of his, and the GD's, art. Even if we were able to impart The Truth, would you (the other, the audience) recognise it as such? Or is The Truth something that each tourist must locate for themselves, maybe even a different Truth for each tourist? It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken Perhaps they're better left unsung I don't know, don't really care Let there be songs to fill the air Hunter musing on the Muse, echoing what has been said by Garcia, Weir and many others - that the music is already out there and the artist is a medium through which it can be expressed, and then, no matter what the skill of the artist, imperfectly. The artist does not debate whether it might be better to leave the perfect streams untapped. The artist is compelled to access the source and communicate as best their skills allow.
from BARBM (tnf) Mon 7 Mar 05 14:35
barbm writes: So glad I found this website. Heard someone sing "Scarlet Begonias" and I started surfing for the lyrics, which I found, then y'know I just kept going. I've been singing Ripple with lots of people for lots of years, it's that kind of song. Thought a lot about what it means to me. I agree with jewel that the road seems like it leads to enlightenment. I didn't know about the "fountain not made by the hand of man" in Kublai Khan poem, but my old-time Jesus friends talk about the "fountain of grace" which is what this song makes me think about. I think it is a psalm or prayer, addressed not to God but rather to a person. "You who choose to lead must follow" is deep for me. Leading means you need to have a destination in mind, like a goal or a purpose or a place where you are taking the people that follow you. So to get there you need to follow a path or a person or a signal, like the sound of the music either in the air or in your soul. In this case I think it is the water image, the sound of the fountain rushing down only to rise again. The Ripple in Still Water seems to represent the person being sung to. A ripple that rises without wind or "a pebble tossed" must come from life hidden beneath the surface. I think it sounds like it's from a teacher to the disciple who is rippling with the desire to be enlightened. Just my take on this beautiful song.
The Answer Man (comet) Mon 7 Mar 05 21:48
The "gold (or cold) of sunshine" couples well with "harp unstrung" as images of dialectic contradiction, a fundamental element of popular zen philosophy. On that level the entire lyrics of Ripple can be read as a zen buddhist screed. The chorus refrain, where there is no pebble tossed, expresses the buddhist's answer to Western attachment to the causation worldview.
David Gans (tnf) Thu 7 Apr 05 13:42
Posted to the GD Hour mailing list by Indradeep Ghosh: perhaps an accident, but more likely an intention if you, like me, regard ripple as an allegory for the spiritual path, with the chorus being an allusion to the quality of mind during deep samadhi. from http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/zenindex.htm Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!" "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
behind the Orange curtain (eidolon) Mon 25 Apr 05 10:38
"Let it be known, there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of men." This is the line that drew me into the Dead's art. With so many in this era suggesting themselves as a solution to others' longings, this line assured me that dead-heading wasn't idol worship.
Paul Keniston (cross-road) Mon 25 Apr 05 21:42
I recall a PBS documentary where Hunter described writing the words to this song and knowing they would live forever. I forget his words exactly, but you could see it was the sort of moment he lives to embrace. It immediately reminded me of that line and the ecstasy of being caught up into the flow of that fountain.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 25 Apr 05 22:57
Yeah, that was in "Anthem to Beauty." He wrote three songs in one day, right after arriving in London.
Paul Keniston (cross-road) Tue 26 Apr 05 07:15
Do you know where I can obtain that documentary ?
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Tue 26 Apr 05 07:34
you can buy it on amazon. Anthem to Beauty.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 26 Apr 05 11:55
Fantastic doco, thoroughly recommended.
Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sat 30 Apr 05 06:49
We just got it from Netflix recently and checked it out for the 2nd or 3rd time.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 5 Jan 09 13:33
From a discussion elsewhere in the WELL, posted here for amusement only: > "If I knew the way I would take you home." Worst pickup line ever.
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 5 Jan 09 16:57
And amusing it is! Thanks, David!
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 16 Nov 09 06:48
I was reading CG Jung's biography, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" (highly recommended BTW) last week and found an interesting comment on Bethesda, the Place of Grace (and Disgrace). The surface of the Bethesda pool was sometimes troubled by an Angel (ie there was no pebble tossed, no wind to blow). According to Wiki, some modern versions of the Gospel of John omit verses dealing with the troubling of the waters and the angel, skipping straight from verse 3a to 5.
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