The Times They Are-A-Changin by Bob Dylan
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
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
When I was contacted about creating a quilt for the Times They Are-A-Changin challenge I was honored and a bit conflicted as the song was a call to social action when I was in high school. Thoughts of the dark times of racial protest and anti-war rallys circled in my mind, my work is about family and how to live graceful lives. But after printing out and reading the lyrics as poetry and thinking about how times have changed in the fifty years since the song was written I was enthused and filled with thoughts of how things have changed for better or worse.
The one big universal change I see is the use of communications. In the fifties we had a phone on a party line. It was used sparingly and everyone was cautious about the fact that your neighbors could listen in. Along came private lines and even more than one line in your house. Remember the kid’s phone?
Portable phones came out, they were the size of small shoe box and a status symbol. Now phones are small enough to stick in a pocket or hang on your ear. Everyone walks around talking to someone else (or texting, tweeting, instagraming or using the latest hot ap). It’s not unusual to see two people in a restaurant at a table together talking on their phones to someone else. Connected but not really connected.
The best long-lasting, meaningful conversations are the ones that take place in the kitchen with your mom. She teaches life’s lessons from the knowledge her mother passed down to her. My mom taught me how to cook, wash dishes, keep a neat house and most importantly how to make things by hand. She loved to sew and she pased it on to me.
This is a photo of my mom Beatrice (standing) in my grandmother’s kitchen along with my beloved Aunt Dottie. They were having a conversation and a good time, you can tell by the sparkle in their eyes and the happy smiles.
I hope kids today can have that conversation in the kitchen with their mom or dad. Even if it is just during reheating the delivery pizza, have that simple conversation, what’s going on, how was your day, how are you feeling, how’s school, did you meet the new kid down the block? Be engaged one on one. Listen. Have that simple but caring conversation, it may save a life.
Comments are always welcome!