YOU'RE THE EAGLE
Dreamed 2000/2/8 by Chris Wayan
I'm playing an old vinyl record by Robin Williamson: The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, maybe, or Changing Horses, or Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air.
He appears in my room and starts talking about the record--not just the songs, but the whole package right down to the logo on the record label.
I'm startled to learn he plays songs he doesn't feel that good about--just tries them out on the audience, doesn't try to make every one perfect before going on with it. Performs for the long haul--win some lose some, but always keep learning. A workmanlike attitude-- a carpenter of music.
He calls one song "not very good--I must have written that twenty years ago." I liked it. As mystical as his old friend Mike Heron's work, but not very structured and the scansion was very loose; in his later work the words and rhythms are exquisitely chosen and tend to be worldlier, even comical. Still, despite the song's roughness, I found it moving.
Here's what I remember of it:
Once upon a time, a shy, unworldly hermit found a mountain cave to live in. He sees visions, wanders through other planes of being... but (in the middle verses) we learn he never can quite figure out how to tell his revelations in a way that convinces the skeptical materialists of this world. In all his middle years, he acquires only one student...
Who grows up much more polished and articulate than he is! Builds both a solid reputation as a visionary AND has a base of friends and followers who DO listen. The student's figured out how to be a mystic yet have a life!
In the penultimate verse, the mystic admits his shame and sadness and envy: "I've spent my life in ghosts and shadows. The student's outflown the teacher."
And then the final verse. The student says in awe and a certain shock:
"You're the eagle, I'm just a falconer
the arm you land on, the tender of your nest.
You fly into the sun, while I watch from the mountain-shoulder...
Don't you know how I envy YOU?
NOTES ON WAKING
I did. Only took ten years on and off. I'm pitching it now to our band, the Krelkins. Still no recording, but I'll try...
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