Oddly enough, the boys brought home some cool retro hippie posters:
Back in the seventies, you know, last century, when posters like these were popular, I heard a song by Bob Dylan. (I can hear your eyes roll.)
I am a huge Dylan fan, always was, even before I knew it. I sang 'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'Mister Tambourine Man' for years before I actually heard Bob do them. And then I heard him do them, and they blew me away. So did this song:
I got the album Planet Waves sometime around nineteen-hundred-and-seventy-five and spent a lot of time sitting on my bed learning the tunes Bob Dylan had sent me, directly, it seemed. The words to this song encouraged and brightened me; it was a song for the boy/man, artist/athlete, intellectual/idiot I was at that moment. I sang it as an anthem, pounding the chords, and, singing like Woody, I shouted it to the mountaintops, a promise. Then it was the prayer of a dreamer; eyes, heart and soul forward, ready to fly.
As a young man out of college, slummin' it, drinkin' too much, thinkin' too much, working too much at everything but a career, I sang this song dirge-like, with a melancholy angst that I only now begin to understand. The part in life where you realize dreams don't always come true and, as it turns out, you can dream it and not do it. I can vouch for that. I sang it for us then, I guess. I sang it for the young men I knew so well, dying of AIDS; I sang it to the brokenhearted actors, singers and playwrights selling insurance or bartending. I sang it to a generation of lost, wandering dreamers.
Yesterday, I played it again, on the same guitar, vintage now but purchased new, on which I learned it. I sang in the basement of my home, surrounded by love, content for the most part, and, if I can say it, a little wiser. I sang it this time for our sons, my sons and yours. I sang for children, I sang for childhood, I sang for innocence, I sang for hope. I sang it forward, as Bob had done for me. I will do for them.
Today, I send this out to my kids as a dream, to you as a prayer and to myself as a hope. The hope that I have done this thing, lived this life well enough; that I have laughed and cried with enough honesty; that I have loved enough with my soul to be worthy of saying: "I have kept my promise, may my song always be sung."