My mother’s father was a bit of a legend wherever he roamed, and roam he did. A poet, musician, raconteur, father of nine (!), likely to pop off a soliloquy from King Lear at the drop of a hat, he was the sort of fella that was too big for the room, and it didn’t make any difference how big the room was. There’s a story of him in church, a swampwater Baptist ministry deep in the bible belt and well back in the good old days. The faithful were going on and on about “Jaysus!”, when it finally came round to him. “Why, I’m as good a man as Jesus ever was”.
Oh my! This was a man who could quote chapter and verse from the King James as well as most of the Bard’s best work. But that was the last time he attended services.
Sorry if that offends, but here’s another story. Bob Dylan had a fan / detractor who was obsessed with Dylan and all Dylan did and all Dylan stood for. This person went to the extreme of dumpster-diving Dylan’s garbage to see if he could divine deeper meanings from the leftovers of Dylan’s chicken dinner. The police had to hassle with this gent over and over; frustrated, they asked Dylan if he could “talk to the guy”.
So Dylan walks up to him, looks him straight in the eye, and says: “I’m not Bob Dylan. You are!”
Finally there is this. One beautiful day I was driving out to canvass, and I was struck so hard by the following epiphany that I had to pull over. The fact is that I came to a time in my life where I took stock of who I was. I’d been beat and broke in many ways and I needed to rebuild. I made a personal commitment to take responsibility for my life, to be the best son and lover and friend and neighbor and citizen that I could be (I’ve no children). I affirmed that it didn’t matter what others did, that I was the alpha and omega of me. And it seems that here in America in the early 21st century many folks have made that same commitment. We stepped out of the woodwork all of a sudden, looked around, and lo and behold we were not alone.
I looked in a mirror and claimed ownership of my life. You looked in a mirror and did the same. I’ve read the US Constitution many times. But never before did I truly understand the meaning of the words, “We the People”.
Peace and Freedom, baby.