Blowing in the Wind

Yesterday, tax day, was my birthday.  It is customary for women not to say how old they are, so I’ll let you wonder about that.  For my birthday this year, I asked to be taken to a Bob Dylan concert that was in town last night.  I may have had to ask a couple of times.  It was not only a Dylan concert; it was a Dylan concert on my birthday so I really wanted to go.

I sent out a tweet wondering if, given the inevitability of April 15th; turning another year older, facing the tax man, and the eventual death we will all face, I would die on the inevitable 15th day of April.  Maybe.  It sounds like something that would happen.

In my book, “Telling Hands,” I share about how my grandfather used to sing “Blowing in the Wind” to me sometimes.  As I got older, he would ask me to write down the song lyrics for him.  I did that several times throughout my life, as did other members of my family.  After his passing, I was looking in the trunk of my car, and found an old notebook with those song lyrics hand-written inside it.  It was almost as if my Paw Paw was smiling at me from beyond the grave.

So, last night I was escorted by my old man to the concert held at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.  I had seen Bob before at a street concert in Birmingham.  I recall standing on the hot asphalt, not really enjoying myself that much, standing shoulder to shoulder with so many people.  But, the MPAC was cool and clean.  Our seats were mid-ways back of the sold out theatre, occupied by the fairly intimate 1,800 fans.

When approaching the merchandise table, I spotted one of the ladies shirts.  It had a pretty bird made out of lyrics to the familiar song “Blowing in the Wind” on it.  The man behind the table informed me that it was the very first time that shirt had ever been offered, like I needed more reasons to purchase the beautiful tee, that felt as if it was designed just for me.

Bob sang several of his new songs from “Shadows of the Night.”  He alternated playing the piano on every other song.  The songs that I knew were hard to sing along to, bless him, because he changes the arrangement so much.  I have never been to such a poetic, literature-like rock concert.  After he played his last song, the crowd demanded an encore.  He and his band came back out, and started playing.  It took me a few seconds to recognize the tune.  Of course, though, it was “Blowing in the Wind.”

Bob Dylan didn’t know; he wasn’t playing it for me.  But sometimes, when the stars align, your history meets your present, your expectations meet reality, or the man in the moon winks at you, it feels like the universe is reaching down and giving you a hug.

I guess the answers really are blowing in the wind.

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Jamie Godwin

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