I believe in simplicity. I believe in feelings and family, friendship and fidelity, forgiveness and fortitude. I believe in motherhood and make believe and that music is the only real magic this world has ever seen. I believe in concocting and consuming colorful cocktails and fussing over and feasting on fabulous food. I believe in living out loud. I believe in laughing until your face hurts and loving until your heart breaks. I believe in behaving boldly and when warranted, badly, taking bubble baths and being barefoot. I believe in poetry, puppies and playing in the park. I believe in scheduled working on weekdays and sleeping in on Sundays. I believe in seeking without ceasing that which sings to my soul and strengthens my spirit. I believe in dancing in the rain and digging in the dirt. I believe in honest expression and the golden rule. I believe in nature and naps and that naïveté is sometimes necessary. I believe in goodness and gratitude and grace. I believe in unity and the power of the universe. I believe in being authentically awesome. I believe in being better today than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow. I believe in challenges and change and growing pains. I believe in the inherent worth of every creature on this planet. I believe in honoring the individual journeys and paths of people whether I understand them or not. I believe in letting people live their truth and trusting that it’s right for them. I believe in lifting up and letting go. I believe that death is just as sacred an experience as birth and that it is never, ever an end.

Mostly, I just believe that I’m never going to stop learning what it is I believe.

Read the Printed Word!

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”

—Bob Dylan

May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung. May you stay forever young, forever young, forever young…

Robert Zimmerman ain’t everybody’s cup ‘o tea. To say his voice is an acquired taste is about the nicest way I can relay some of the truly harsh comments that I’ve heard come from the mouths of friends and foes over the years. I get it. Really, I do. In fact, I was well into my 26th year before I fell for Mr. Freewheelin’.  So when people complain about his nasally tone and unintelligible mumbles during performances (especially in recent years) I can shake my head in knowing agreement and concede that he is most definitely NOT a great singer. In fact, I’m sorta kinda surprised that U.S. military forces haven’t used “Like A Rolling Stone” on blaring repeat as a form of enemy torture yet. Or have they?

But I don’t care about what he’s not. I got over that in my 20s. Hell, I got over caring about what EVERYONE (including myself) is NOT in my 20s. I highly recommend it. But I digress. The only thing that matters to me is what he IS. And what he is, ladies and gents is a damned national treasure.

One of the most prolific songwriters and lyricists of this or ANY time, his contributions to the whole of music…to EVERY genre you can think of, are too vast to consider much less count and his songbook is among the most covered in all of history. Probably second to only the Beatles? (Someone really should look that up for me ‘cause I’d like to know but am really tired. For serious.) And why? Because his music is timeless and universal. Dylan gave voice to an entire generation of people at the precise time they found themselves with words and thoughts and emotions in heart and mind that desperately needed to be heard and validated. That type of impact is important in this world; it matters. We all need and want to feel and believe that the secret dreams and hopes of our hearts and minds have been heard. We all long to have a voice. That’s why we use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and Blogger and Tumblr and so on and so forth. Hell, that’s why we go the polls and vote…that’s why we LOVE our democrazy (intentional typo ‘cause that’s how I roll when I’m main’ up new words).

We want to be heard.

So perhaps when next you hear that familiar whine of Dylan invade your external acoustic meatus, instead of changing the station (do people still listen to real radio?) or fast forwarding through to the next available digital track on your preferred technological listening apparatus indulge me for just a moment and pause to consider the man’s body of work. Consider how that “acquired taste” voice is actually the voice of millions of people who have come before us and who will come after us…their hopes and dreams, fears and frustrations, struggles and triumphs. Consider how inspiring and important that is and how we need SO MUCH MORE of it in the world. Then that without it, a TON of those toe tappin’, windows down-volume up-steering wheel slappin’ songs that you LOVE and enjoy would never exist. And then ask yourself…

"Who am I helping, what am I breaking, what am I giving, what am I taking?"  Bob Dylan

And if you STILL can’t force yourself to look past his, um, “unique” tone, then enjoy some of my very favorite Dylan covers from artists I love, won’t you? ;-)


Jason Mraz - “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”

Jimi Hendrix - “All Along The Watchtower”

Sam Cooke - “Blowin’ In The Wind”

Redbird - “Buckets of Rain”

Indigo Girls with Brandi Carlile - “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - “Everything Is Broken”

Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers - “Forever Young”

Etta James - “Gotta Serve Somebody”

Cat Power - “He Was A Friend Of Mine”

Norah Jones & Peter Malick Group - “Heart of Mine”

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - “I Shall Be Released”

Bruce Springsteen - “I Want You”

Jeff Buckley - “If You See Her, Say Hello”

Denison Witmer - “I’ll Keep It With Me”

The Be Good Tanyas - “In My Time Of Dying”

Fleet Foxes - “It Ain’t Me, Babe”

Johnny Cash - “It Ain’t Me, Babe”

Van Morrison - “Just Like A Woman”

Guns ‘N Roses - “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”

Magnet - “Lay Lady Lay”

Solomon Burke - “Maggie’s Farm”

Garth Brooks - “Make You Feel My Love”

Jeff Buckley - “Mama, You Been On My Mind”

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - “Mr. Bojangles”

The Byrds - “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Manfred Mann - “Quinn The Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)”

Union of Sound - “Rainy Day Women #12 & #35”

Billy Preston - “She Belongs To Me”

Ricky Nelson - “She Belongs To Me”

Jeff Tweedy - “Simple Twist of Fate”

The Persuasions - “The Man In Me”

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”

Naked Eyes - “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”

And a handful of tunes that are always and forever best sung by Bobby Z. ;-)

Bob Dylan - “Like A Rolling Stone”

Bob Dylan - “Most of the Time”

Bob Dylan - “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

Bob Dylan - “Tangled Up In Blue”

Bob Dylan - “The Times They Are A Changin’”

Bob Dylan - “You’re A Big Girl Now”

Long Night Ahead  (Taken with Instagram at Tornado Alley)

Long Night Ahead (Taken with Instagram at Tornado Alley)

But that would require you to stop talking about yourself for 5 minutes. I know it’s difficult for you but try.

But that would require you to stop talking about yourself for 5 minutes. I know it’s difficult for you but try.

“Denying our weaknesses is neither power, nor protection. We cannot overcome those disabling parts of our own nature which in fact steal our power away, if we do not acknowledge they exist.”

—Sonia Choquette, True Balance


Text, photographs, quotes, links, conversations, audio and visual material preserved for future reference.