Friday, May 15, 2015

Every Grain of Sand

Every so often,
I get a feeling that I'm
Part of a big plan.

"Every Grain of Sand" is impossible to get a grip on. Everything that everyone says about the song, which comes from the 1981 album "Shot of Love" is true. You might think that it's hype, but it's not. Whatever universal mind is out there opened up the gates to Dylan's hand, and out came the words. That's about how he described it, anyway. People have made all kinds of comparisons to William Blake, and have noted how this song isn't a "Dylan vs. the world" song like many of his other Christian songs. Instead, he sees himself (as we would ourselves) in the web of the universe, eternity and so on. He casts this realization of everything/everyone being numbered, therefore known and accounted for and classified, against the chaos of hurt feelings, broken people and various temptations that would lead someone without a sense of place in the universe to a bitter end. There's no way to encapsulate the epic of the song, so it's better to go in the opposite direction, to describe how the grain of sand feels rather than the vision that Bob has.

Ingredients:
- Time of confession, deeprest need, pool of tears flooding every seed, dying voice, danger and the morals of despair.
- No dwelling on mistakes. Break a chain of events. Then the first of the great lyrics in the song: "In the fury of the moment, I can see the Master's hand, In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand." I've asked before, just like many people, How does he DO this?
- Flowers of indulgence, criminals, the sun beats on the steps of time, gives light, eases the pain of idleness, memory of decay
- The doorway of temptations angry flame. Every hair is numbered (like sand).
- Sorrow of the night, rags to riches, summer's dream, winter chill, loneliness fading, the broken mirror of innocence on forgotten faces.
- The last verse speaks for itself, and must be quoted in full. It's the second great lyric of the song, and it should be carved in stone and put where people can see it: "I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea. Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me. I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man. Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand."




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