October 13, 2016

Last weekend, my sisters and I had the pleasure of seeing Bob Dylan perform live.  I have considered myself a Bob Dylan scholar/enthusiast ever since discovering his music/poetry as a teenager.  At one point, I had Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie memorized by heart and could recite it line for line.  (If you’re not familiar with this poem, go check it out, as it is a great message of living one’s purpose and following inner knowing with faith and optimism.)  It was synchronistic to see the announcement today about Dylan’s recognition with the Nobel Prize in Literature a few days after having revived my connection to his music.

At Desert Trip, (the concert last weekend) his set was very intentional and included a few of my favorites.  He ended with the song Masters of War.  

I’m not sure the people around me at the concert quite understood what he was saying.  I heard comments about how it was a strange ending and I told them “it was a political statement.”  Political means relating to the people – the organization of a society – not just the idea of politics we hold now where we believe “governments hold power and effect change.”  This is a great delusion of our modern era – that social change is up to someone else.  The power to change the world is in your hands.   Bob Dylan is a visionary here to awaken people to this knowledge of our power.  Let us not be deluded into complacency and assuming that simply voting is enough.  We must create a revolution of love within ourselves, our relationship to nature, to each other, and to the Earth.  

On this week of Columbus Day, I thought it was appropriate to consider what it means to be a Master of War vs. a Master of Peace.

As we are gearing up for a few great conferences over the next few weeks here in Southern California, I am thinking about who the revolutionaries of our era are and what we can do to empower each other to create a better world.  These conferences coming up include the Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color 2016 Conference (October 15, which my friend Liz Ross is co-organizer of) and the West Coast Ecofeminist Conference (November 12, which my friend Julia Orr is the organizer of and which I’m involved with as well).

I have been connecting with America – the land of this beautiful nation – on a personal level the past few years.  Speaking to her and asking her for guidance.

I want to share this writing with you from a class earlier this year.  

Please go here for my full blog post on America and insights from Native American culture and Tori Amos.  https://www.charlottecressey.com/reflections-real-america/

And, here are Dylan’s words from Masters of War.  I can’t say I agree with the “eye for an eye” approach of the last few lines, but I do want the death of the outmoded paradigm and old stories of the “dominator paradigm.”


Masters of War by Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead