Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Times They Are A -Changin'

I am not a musical person. I am fairly musically illiterate and must follow along with the stronger voices at church because I have no idea what all the symbols in the hymnal mean. I have never played an instrument, and my singing voice can only be admired for it's enthusiasm.

When I hear songs played, they may take me back to a time, a certain place in my personal history. But if you ask me a few moments later what song I just heard, I will struggle to tell you. Cyndi Lauper and the Clash remind me of college, but there are a lot more things that will ignite my memories than music will.

I suck at games where you have to guess the song from the lyrics. And if I have to figure out who sang the song, or the year, I'm even suckier.

Don't feel too badly for me, I believe that this non musicality aids in my earworm immunity. I never get songs stuck in my head and have been know to take great pleasure in putting them in the heads of others.

That is why it stuck me as really odd when I started humming Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin today. First off, because Bob doesn't write zippy, hummable show tunes. Also, I'm not a hummer. And ,as I just said, I don't associate music TO my life-- it's just kind of on in the background. This gives me more than enough reason to think that this song is my anthem.

The song, written and released while I was still a-changing as a baby, is about adapting. It's about seeing the need to change as the world changes. My world is changing, my kids are getting a bit older, crossing into new parenting territory for Brian and I. I am getting older, careening through menopause. The world, how we communicate, how we share, how we show we care for each other is changing, too.

I read a quote from Mr Dylan that just sealed the anthem deal for me. When asked about the implied ageism meaning of these lyrics, 
"Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land

And don't criticize

What you can't understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command

Your old road is

Rapidly agin'.

Please get out of the new one

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin'"
 Bob Dylan said, "Those were the only words I could find to separate aliveness from deadness. It had nothing to do with age."

Damn right it doesn't!

The part I love so much is the imagery of "to separate aliveness from deadness". I want to feel alive. I don't want to feel like my life is ending just because my kids are growing, my body is changing and more candles than ever light up my birthday cake.

I want to feel excited about using the gifts that God has given me.

I want to explore this world that He has created and where all of us reside.

I WANT to be alive to change.

Right now my times are a-changin'. I am morphing from being a stay-at-home mom to being a work-at-home mom. My time, previously prioritized by childrens' needs is now organized by working projects. Mostly writing. You can still see weekly blogs on , and also a weekly column in The Kansas City Star (appears on Wednesdays at - just search for my name, Susan Vollenweider). I love this sahmiam blog, even if the title doesn't exactly fit- it's who I was when it began, remains the number one prioritity in my life, and therfore- it shall remain ever so.

And there is another huge, time filling and personally rewarding project that- sadly- I still can't share with you. But I will. VERY soon. I'm really excited about it, and- trust me- keeping it secret is driving me batty. It's this big chunk of my life that I am keeping from people who previously had open access. And I hate that. But it's necessary.

So, until next time when I promise to share-- go google The Times They Are A-Changin'. Marvel at how many covers have been made, AND find your own anthem. PLEASE comment on this blog if you read it and tell me what your anthem is. You don't need to tell me why, unless you would like to- I would love to hear about it!


  1. SF! Do I hear book pages rustling in the background? So glad you stuck with this blog. Always a smile.

  2. Thank you! No pages rustling--yet. But very exciting none-the-less. What's your anthem?

  3. My anthem? I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar? Um, no. Take This Job and Shove It? Oh, wait I don't have a job. The Ants Go Marching One By One? Dang it! Now you've given me something else to think about. And I love that you have some exciting hidden secret! Looking forward to the unveiling! BTW, I really like your new blog design. Go get it, girl!

  4. Thanks! New year, new look, ya know? I KNOW you are going to come up with a rocking anthem...can't wait to hear what it is!

  5. The music's hereditary.

  6. A little late, but Margaret Becker's "Take Your Candle, Go Light Your World" has always kind of been my theme song.


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