Bob Dylan Turns 80!

Photo by Travis Saylor on

In my estimation, Lila our dog is around 80 in human years. So Dylan is 80 today. I was just a child when he was writing profound lyrics. In fact I hadn’t learned to speak English yet. So when my husband (who is about 4 1/2 years older than I am) talked to me about the profoundness of Dylan’s lyrics, I found myself seeking out the songs and reading the lyrics to see what I was able to glean. I am sorry to say that the whole period of the beginning of the Vietnam War and protests and all that essentially passed me by as I was in a completely different world than that of my husband who would have just been starting his college career. I was not even in high school yet and my life revolved around other things.

The radio station FUV in New York is playing a fan-generated list of 80 Dylan songs on this day. They began the “countdown” at 7 a.m. and my husband has been listening for most of it. I come in and out of the room, neutral about the whole thing but happy to see my husband enjoying time with the music that transports him to an important time in his life. I cannot know what he associates with the songs he is hearing, whether or not he likes the choices, etc. It is satisfying enough to see him quietly ruminating.

I feel Lila at my feet, her customary place when I am writing. At her 80 years, I can see how she has slowed her pace; she thinks carefully before lunging into a situation that might be dangerous. She no longer heads for stairs if there is a ramp, at 65, so do I. We walk in tandem, no leash is necessary these days; the temptations are just not worth it she seems to think. I am glad, running after her is not something I am eager to do anymore. These days I am content to let her lead me, my slower pace can be blamed on hers.

I am wondering where and how the reclusive/elusive Bob Dylan is spending his special day. Are his children with him? Is he on tour? Is he still writing? What does he make of the fuss everyone has made over him and his talent over the years? If Bob Dylan were in the same room as I, what question would I ask him that would not make him think of me as just another ignorant, unimaginative Mr. Jones? Since I really can’t think of anything, I am glad the chances of Bob Dylan ever being in the same room as I are nil!

Happy 80th Birthday, Mr. Dylan.

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