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Monday, September 19, 2011


When I woke up this 3 freakin' AM I might add, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite Bob Dylan Songs: A "Hard Rain's A-Gonna fall". Of course Bob was talking about a whole different kind of "Hard Rain" then I was thinking of, because we are truly getting torrential rainfall here this morning. No...Dylan in my opinion was reffering to a "PRICE" we were all going to have to pay...that something is coming that we are going to have to atone for, to make right or make some type of amends.

Could he be reffering to Divine Punishment? Certainly that is possible, as a great many other explanations are possible as well. Dylan himself was typically vague over the years when discussing this song and isn't really telling anyone what it really all means. I suspect that if he is anything like I am, it's meaning has changed for him over the years.

For a young person I always linked this song directly to the Vietnam War. And there wasn't some secretive, astounding attachment to it...NO, the tune was just used in a lot of Vietnam Documentaries at one time, including my favorite "Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam" by HBO. And because of that linkage for me between the song and that made an already heavy, forbidding song even more so in my mind.

The Vietnam War, like the Civil War, The Great War (WWI) and Word War II all played major, heavy roles in my mind and in my life, certainly as a young boy but right up until today. I am not going to delve any more deeply into that subject here...but studying War was something I have done all my life. 

I know today that this insatiable desire for knowledge of war was driven by a belief I have had since I was a small boy that I had been a British Soldier who died in The Great War during another life. Once again, I won't re-visit that subject now but HERE is a link to a recent post where I "came clean" about my thoughts and feelings on that subject. What is important to today's discussion is that in feeling connected to war, I was once again feeling things very deeply and delving even further into the subject of guilt, fear and redemption, the need to 'make up" for something...

Today I am actually thinking more about the notion of Atonement which was inspired by those thoughts of the Bob Dylan song this morning: "A Hard rain's A-Gonna Fall". I've mentioned often in my life that I tend to use rainfall as a metaphor for cleansing one's self of fear or guilt, changing one's life around or purging one's self of something unwanted or unpleasant. "A hard Rain will wash all my trouble away" kind of thing...A "spiritual" cleansing.

I very much look at it like that today, so when we have a dark, grey, rainy day such as we have today, I start thinking of such things like redemption, starting over, a new beginning...that type of thing. That is definately an appropriate state of mind for me to be in on a Monday...the day I visit the local county jail.

Renewal of a seemingly wasted life is always a topic near and dear to me today. The men I'll meet with tonight are all ripe for a change...but whether they actually make a change or not always comes down to having the willingness to do so. For me...I almost didn't make it. I fought to the bitter end thinking I could could some how solve my own problems but in all honesty, I didn't have a chance. I was just making things worse and ultimately I gave up and tried to end it all...only to fail at suicide as well.

No...I found recovery only after I stopped fighting it and surrendered to GOD. That is when everything thing in my life started to change, to look better for me. It didn't get easy but I had HOPE for the first time in ages that things might improve. So that turned out to be the very beginning of a brand new way of life that has continued now for more then 5 years.

Making amends...atonement...certainly played a huge role in my daily recovery and has to this very day. Of course I try to live the kind of life today where I hope I don't create a lot of additional heartbreak and pain that I will need to atone for later.

It's funny how this subject was literally inspired by the hard rain I woke up to this morning leading me to think about this one particular Bob Dylan Song. So I will leave you now with a reminder of how good that song really is: