Sunday, July 1, 2012

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- In the Time Of His Time

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Bob Dylan performing his classic call to, well, something, I am not sure whether he knew what the call was to, Blowin’ In The Wind.

Blowin' In The Wind by Bob Dylan


How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Copyright © 1962 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1990 by Special Rider Music

Joshua Lawrence Breslin comment:

He was not sure, exactly, when he, as he called them, caught the "dissatisfied blues." He tried, tried like hell, to remember when he didn’t have them so he could kind of work his way back to give the damn things a date, or at least a time frame. But he couldn’t. The best that he could come up with was when he was in third grade, maybe fourth, because he had had female teachers both years (and pre-teen boy chaste crushes on both of them, and don’t try to make anything out of that, that is strictly a false lead if you do) at the old now long torn down and since rebuilt Olde Saco Elementary School up in Olde Saco, Maine in ancient post-World II times.

It could not have been later because in fifth and sixth grade he had had hard-ass male teachers who would have boxed his ears, or some such thing, if he had expressed out loud his dissatisfactions. Or, if not them doing the boxing of ears (or some such), then salt of the earth Papa who trucked no dissatisfactions, not compared to his hard-scrabble childhood down in some forsaken Appalachian mines (somewhere near Hazard, Kentucky, of some fame in song and story he learned later, much later). Or, in her mother mood days, Meme (she, nee LeBlanc), if she heard that he was dissatisfied with anything greater than the weather after our lord (and, no question in Olde Saco, post –World War II, French –Canadian hard scrabble textile mill Olde Saco, that “our lord” was a vengeful Gallic Roman Catholic our lord) had provided the family with, well, for openers, a roof over their heads, food, good solid food on the table, and… well, whatever “and” she had decided on mother mood days.

Still he was dissatisfied. If he did not express it publicly in the wilds of the complacent Olde Saco school system, or the comforts of the Papa and Meme household, or confess it as some sin, venial or mortal (he never did confess not being sure which type it was), at Sainte Anne Dupree’s Church (not need for the Gallic Roman Catholic part, that is etched in stone) he was still dissatisfied very early on.

Later he could give it a name, although his capacity to do anything about it, or that he could do anything about it did not rise measurably for a very long time. It was little things, kid’s inarticulate things, at first. Why did he have to wear older brother Andre’s hand-med-downs to school when everybody else was wearing new things from the new Penny’s just build up the road in Portland? Why did five people (two adults, already introduced, Andre ditto, and younger brother Prescott) have to live in a tiny house on the wrong side of the tracks (literally, the tracks divided the low-rent Atlantic Avenue section of town from the more upscale Ocean Edge section.)? Although it would be a long time, a very long time, until he got to the bottom of all of that.

Later, high school fresh kid later, first faux-beatnik in Olde Saco later (mostly, very mostly, to impress the girls, especially a certain Lola LaCroix whose perfume, or bath soap, he couldn’t always tell the difference, drifted carelessly all the way across the room to inflame his desire) his first public break-out (mainly at night, mainly if someone had a car, he didn’t, and
wanted to head to Harvard Square and sights of real, faux real, beatniks) and tag as “different.” To some “cool” different but mostly not.

Later still, blown winds across the land later, southern winds of change later. First stirrings, but just first stirrings of wind changes in North Carolina journey later. Winds of war, the smell of war, and stiff resistance later and he the sacrificial lamb to those wars later. He at war with, well, with his government, his parents, his brothers, his Lola, his textile mill town, his beatnik friends, his, mother the ocean in front of him, and his box-like way of life later. And he still sang those dissatisfied blues to high heaven, and beyond. And he never, as far as anybody knew, stopped doing so. Even, if like that third or fourth grade boy, he was never quite sure when it started. Or when it would end.

No comments:

Post a Comment