It has taken a while to come up with a theory that seemed acceptable to myself about why Bob Dylan waited so long to respond to being selected to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. It just didn’t seem “PC” or even polite for him to ignore the whole thing. As a long time fan of his music, my husband understood it immediately. “It’s just Bob Dylan being Bob Dylan.”
Maybe that’s why his music has touched so many of us. A truly authentic artist somehow resists being put into a box where others have defined who he or she is or how they must respond to life. The freedom to continue authentically evolving requires a certain immunity from caring too much about what others may think of us. As the saying goes, there isn’t much room to dance on a pedestal.
In the coming days, a test of our own authenticity may come in the polling booth. Our freedom allows and requires us to make decisions that are authentic for who we are and what we really believe. The curtain in the booth reminds us that there is to be no audience for this sacred duty.
The freshness of being our authentic self is what my favorite Dylan song is about—being “Forever Young”: “May your hands always be busy, May your feet always be swift, May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift, May your heart always be joyful and may your song always be sung, May you stay forever young.” Sing your true song.