Not Dark Yet (Not even a little bit)

With getting back into albums, today I sat down with the new expanded release of Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind.

I listened to this album a lot in high school. It came out around the time I got my first guitars, so I was downloading chords and tabs to play along with it.

At the time, I thought of it as an album about an older artist grappling with mortality. Dylan was only in his mid-50s when he made this album. He’s still recording and performing 25+ years later, so I’m going to chalk that mindset up to a teenage misunderstanding of what old means.

Listening to it now, I remember most of the lyrics. It still invites slipping into the grooves of the songs like gliding along a rain-slicked stretch of highway in the middle of the night, miles from city lights.

Lyrically it feels like the space between moments:

  • I’m sick of love / That’ I’m in the thick of it / This kind of love / I’m so sick of it
  • It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
  • I could offer you a warm embrace / to make you feel my love
  • I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
  • Last night I danced with a stranger / But she just reminded me you were the one / You left me standing in the doorway cryin’

Liminal spaces. Ghosts of feelings haunting the narrator. Discomfort with the pace of life.

Now it feels less like a conclusion and more of a transition. An uncomfortable middle ground where things aren’t like they used to be and haven’t become something else yet.

And maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’ll have another opinion in 20-some more years.