Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blowing in the Wind

Cousin Brian and I get to the Brandt Centre and when the woman scans our tickets, she says, "You've been upgraded." We find our seats, a little closer than we've paid for, closer to the cement floor level of the hockey arena . We walk around, look at the Dylan tee-shirts, feel the buzz in the air. Bob Dylan, we're here to see Bob Dylan, live!

Dylan starts singing. I'm having trouble understanding the words and following the stories that made me fall in love with him, but Brian has warned me; Dylan's new style is not acoustic folk, and I'm loving the energy of the people behind us and in front of us who are shouting the words, calling for songs from the new album by name, getting in trouble with security for being too loud.

I look through the binoculars and there Dylan is, prowling the stage, working the harmonica, banging the piano. I'm happy just to be here, soaking up a piece of my own history, my love for folk, my roots in social justice. Guess I fell for Dylan the first time I heard "It Ain't Me Babe" with Joan Baez, and the harmony was just as loud as the melody, and they shouted it at each other with funny hats on their heads, smirky grins on their faces, old friendship and love circling like a wind tunnel.

This morning, a week later, I play my guitar, start with Buffy Sainte Marie's "Universal Soldier" and then her "Country Girl" after listening to Ovide Mercredi, Jim Sinclair, Sharon Venne, Chief Reginald Bellerose and Chief Ian McKay who are educating me over and over on Disk 2 of the Chiefs' Forum on Treaty Implementation that Dan Bellegarde gave me.

I play a few more before I turn to "It Ain't Me Babe". Dylan ended his concert, after a rowdy standing ovation, with a blues "Blowing in the Wind". I sing it now. "How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see." And like Buffy Sainte Marie, I am trying to get honest and realize that it's not just the men, it's not just the leaders, but it's "him and you and me" who need to keep chasing the wind for answers.

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