Susan's Blog

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Idiot Wind

No, this is not a post about the President’s State of the Union Address or strange false alarm in Los Angeles, his denial of being tied to Jack Abramoff, or his godawful budget proposal. It could be, but it is not.

This is about nothing. My own Idiot Wind. The wintry weather, which I hate, has inspired a blank, cold breeze blowing around in my head. I’ve run out of things to do with myself, I feel stuck indoors and stuck in time.

Idiot Wind is one of my alltime favorite Bob Dylan songs, a paean of pain about a love whom he now hates (apparently his wife of eight years, Sara). I’m been playing it on my guitar quite a bit, having found a site that gives you the lyrics and the chords to just about any song you want.

Max feels the way I do about the weather. If he’s not going to miss school because of it, he’d rather not have the snow. He went to bed in dread of the shoveling last night; what can I do with such a kid? 6’2″, strong as a throroughbred, no plans today, but going to sleep worried that he’ll have to shovel in the morning. Oy. “We’ll all shovel, Maxie,” I said, trying to be reassuring.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to see what we’d gotten. The light coming from the Palladian window at the top of the staircase was pink, which told me all I needed to know. Yes, indeed, it was snowing. I peered outside with sleep-weakened eyes and assessed the depth. A few inches. Max would have nothing to worry about. We got our snowstorm, as promised, but it is no wrath-of-God blizzard like they were all predicting. Talk about an idiot wind: the weather people on all the newsstations make such a big deal out of these things. It looks like a few inches, but it is incredibly blowy, and still coming down, so it looks like we’ll be shoveling more than once.

For me, idiot wind is far more literal than Bob Dylan intended it: it is the stupid weather, pure and simple, that sabotages my plans and eats away at Max’s equanimity and makes us all stir crazy. It is the slight feeling of dread I have the eve of a snowfall, that we might lose power, or get three feet as we have before, or be out of some important food item, or just be really, really bored.

I am waiting for the spring already. And of course Dylan, in Idiot Wind, provides the perfect, absolutely poignant line about waiting:

I waited for you on the running boards, by the cypress trees
while the springtime turned — slowly into autumn.

That is a long, bitter wait. Imagine losing your springtime to autumn waiting for someone who has let you down. What could be worse? Here’s my version:

I am waiting for spring, feeling really bored, watching naked trees
while the winter turns — slowly into springtime.

Yeah. That is my Idiot Wind; the stupid parodies I make up while I wait for my day to unfold, the light thoughts that float around in my head, adding up to nothing, but amuse me nonetheless.

1 comment

“Idiot” is from the Greek idiotes, meaning “private citizen”—-as in having an “idiomatic way about oneself”–guess that might qualify as an idiot wind…..Then there’s the whole notion of the “idiot savant”……

— added by kristina on Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 1:08 pm