Bruce Cockburn On His Rage, His Music, And His Hunger For The Divine
What the occupation of Iraq, and the public perception of it in the U.S., reminds me of is the German occupation of Holland during the Second World War. The Germans thought that the Dutch would welcome them with open arms, but of course the Dutch hated them. And the German people were offended. That’s what we’re seeing in the United States. People were told before the war that the Iraqis were going to welcome Americans with open arms, because the U.S. was saving them from this horrible dictator. But they haven’t.
There was a great longing and loneliness inside me. And as I delved into this loneliness, I asked, “Is there an ultimate freedom?” I would eventually walk some thirty-five hundred miles of back roads in the United States and Mexico. Having left behind everything I knew, I had nowhere to go, nothing to do but die into this question. I’d never really wished to be an explorer, yet this inquiry moved me to let go of all that was not entirely new and alive. So my walking journey began.
When the discussion simply stalled out, I would dismiss the students early, leaving Frida waiting for her attendant to pick her up while I rewound the film and gathered my papers. On one such night, after a movie about the life of Billy the Kid, she said, “I met him once, you know.”
Michael and I had a daughter, two years old, and I was pregnant with our second child. I was supposed to be happy, but I didn’t like my husband to touch me; in fact, I didn’t like my husband. I’d gone from the cage of my parents’ home to a cage of my own making. I could hardly breathe.
For a Catholic kid, there was nothing good about Good Friday. From dawn to dusk, we had to fast on toast and tea, and then, when we were good and starving, we had to choke down a bowl of my mom’s fish stew. We couldn’t cut loose or even watch TV. We were supposed to mope around looking glum. We spent the entire afternoon in church.