MK: Your mom was very supportive and even protested the draft with you. How important has that relationship been in your life?
JB: She went to jail with me for protesting the draft! She's 96 years old now, and my relationship with her is very important. The calling at the moment is to spend time with her and with my family. I am learning from her how to get old. Our society is very confused about how to deal with getting older.
I spend a lot of time with Buddhists . I'm not a Buddhist, but their relationship with death interests me. My mom says she's not afraid of death, which is a very good way to go into it. Her view is supported by my Buddhist friends, so I want to learn about it. I want to know ahead of time how to deal with it when my mom goes, because I am very close to her. I don't think it has to be hideous. I think it will be sad and there will be grieving, but there will also be something wonderful that will come from it. There will be some way that I can grieve my mom that will bring in the glory of her life.
MK: Is there someone you'd like to shine a light on that you think every woman should know?
JB: Heaps of them! The women around the world who keep things together. The women in the Third World who do almost all the work—they raise the children, they work in the fields, they do the singing—and they make their villages work.
MK: What do you know for sure?
JB: That when I dance on the tour bus with my son—that is true joy.
The soundtrack and DVD for American Masters documentary Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound are available for purchase.