I was watching No Direction Home last night. As we glide into the next political season, I found this quote of Bob’s really transcending:
There’s no black and white, left and right to me anymore; there’s only up and down and down is very close to the ground. And I’m trying to go up without thinking about anything trivial such as politics.
Out of context, these seem like wise words. But the amazing thing is, he was telling this to a bunch of progressive political activists who were hoping to associate him with their brand by presenting him with an award. That quote was the tamest thing he said that night. He also let them know he found them irrelevant. He went on to express empathy for Lee Harvey Oswald. E gad! The whole story (and after shock) is nicely documented on the Corliss Lamont Website. There’s a copy of the apology letter, where he really doubles down, bursting with so many befuddling and poetic pronouncements, it forces you to wonder if he isn’t either an old testament prophet, or a raving lunatic.
Anyway, I too have been struggling with the instinct to speak my wretched mind vs. hold my peace (hey check that out! I just equated myself with Bob Dylan!! Not to shabby… or humble). It kind of comes down to this for me… Every once in a while I have nagging regret, the kind of regret that keep me awake at night. It stems from conversations I have with people (usually at work) where I find myself being too agreeable, or being dishonest. The part that keeps me awake is playing the tapes back in my mind, and getting to the part in the conversation where I spin the truth, or fail to provide a persuasive argument, or cave in to pressure, or chicken out, or lie.
I’m getting too old for this kind of regret. I like peaceful sleep. I’m going to be more honest, and I’m going to be less agreeable, and I’m going to be less regretful (or discover some other kind of regret I can begin rooting out of my life).