Bob Dylan is a musical genius. His lyrics have won every award imaginable (including the Nobel Peace Prize) and transformed the way I think. A few years ago I wrote an essay about the imprint his music has left on my life. This is an excerpt:
Bob Dylan was once asked about writing “Tangled Up In Blue” and said, “I wanted to defy time.” This feeling is threaded throughout his music and for me, it’s found in the familiar brush of fingertips over six metal strings. There’s a timelessness that seeps from muscle memory taking over, chords and lyrics rushing like water through a dam, my mind ascending far beyond the constant troubles of this place. His lyrics are burned into the pathways of my brain, carved into the back of my eyelids—words that hang suspended beyond time and space, and allow me to do the same.
I don’t profess to be good at guitar or singing. I enjoy both, and that’s all that matters—I have something to come home to. Every second I play is a respite from current problems, a vehicle to drive down the crossroads of my mind. I sit, and the guitar’s wood fills my hands, unclipped strings whisper wild and warm, and the night seems full of possibility. This is where I return, again and again and again. It’s the simplest reminder that love can be found in the strangest places and no matter how stupid it may seem, it’s still love.
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This week, as my original love, college football, re-enters my life, I re-released that Dylan essay in podcast form as an ode to one of the things I truly love. Please listen. I have also re-released another essay (this one about college football) in podcast form as Nebraska prepares for their season opener on Saturday against Northwestern. I cannot wait for the season. I am sick and excited and optimistic and pessimistic and filled with love, as always. This is an excerpt and again, please listen:
Saturdays are still, and will always be, sacred. It has been almost 20 years since Nebraska was a nationally relevant college football program. Scott Frost has returned home and many people (myself included) believe he’s the one to resurrect Nebraska from the dead. Maybe I have to believe this because the alternative is too depressing to confront: that I’m doomed to chase sparks from the past in spite of an open future.
I used to trust in expectations. I imagined belief would make things so, in football and life, that a strong enough will could warp the world to my demands. This belief has dissipated over time, replaced by something just as powerful: acceptance. There is something holy in the act of knowing we are powerless against so many things and persevering, something divine in tasting the wild and dazzling things this world can throw, seeking out beauty in the dark, and falling out the other side.
This Week On The Chris Rawle Show
On this episode:
- Change is an inevitable part of life—projecting the depth and direction of that change is hard and at times, impossible.
- Daisy Johnson in Everything Under: "The way I see it, he said, life is a sort of spinning thing. Like a planet or a moon going round a planet. Do you understand? Yes, she said though she wasn’t sure she did. Life is like that. Sometimes it’s facing one direction but only for a second and then it’s spinning and spinning, revolving on its base so fast it’s impossible to really see. Except sometimes you catch a glimpse and you sit there and you know that’s what it would have been like if things had gone differently, that is the way it could have been."
- The variability of the NFL Draft. How can you even attempt to understand what a 20-year-old is going to transform into in the high stakes, high pressure environment of the NFL?
- Projecting who will be the 2022 NFL MVP and discussing the top seven contenders according to Vegas odds: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, Russell Wilson, and Justin Herbert.
- 2022: a bet on Justin Herbert to ascend to the top of the quarterback mountain.