I’ve been thinking a lot about Bob Dylan lately. Listening to his old recordings, and watching Scorcese’s documentary about him. I’m amazed by his ability to absorb so many influences, to become like them, to walk away from his past and reinvent himself, to write the story of his own life. I recognize that there were two sides to this. On the one hand, he was known to lie and steal, pretending to be who he wasn’t and taking music from others. But the artists in Shakespeare’s day said the same thing, calling the bard an “upstart crow beautified with our feathers.” Dylan learned all he could, and used these influences, transforming them in his relentless quest to speak some human truth into a messed up world.