This morning I was driving into work for my 6:30 meeting and decided to start listening straight through Dylan's concert album, Hard Rain.
As the disk flipped over from "Maggie's Farm" to "One Too Many Mornings" I knew the song was hitting me at just the right moment, catching me at a point of profound sympathy with the artist.
"One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind ..."
Can anyone give an existential-Amen to that? At least some days? Certainly today began as a "one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind" day for me.
Then I realized moving from "One Too Many Mornings" to "Stuck Inside of Mobile, with the Memphis Blues Again" how carefully crafted the song-list for Hard Rain really is! Not only was the song that first grabbed me a perfect expression of my state of mind, the whole album is a careful working out of that state of mind: its reasons, roots, unfoldings and implications.
And ... maybe this is one of the real powers of art, something that Aristotle understood and tried to explain as "catharsis" ... listening to these songs, I no longer feel "one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind."