Think About it

Bob Dylan ~ Concert Musings

Bob Dylan

I love Bob Dylan. His voice has always captivated me. And his lyrics – raw, unadulterated poetry. I remember sitting cross-legged in front of the stereo back in college, listening to his music and trying to finesse the start and stop buttons to create cassette tapes with my favorite songs on them.

Bob performed in Savannah recently, at the Johnny Mercer Theater downtown, as part of his “Rough and Rowdy Tour” that runs through 2024. I told G that it will probably be the last time we will see him, as we are moving to Spain in a couple of months. “Thank God,” he said.

There was a guy outside the theater holding a sign that said FALSE PROPHET in big letters with WHO DO YOU SERVE? written underneath. He was shouting at passersby. We arrived at just a few minutes after 8:00 and stopped at the bar to grab a couple of drinks. To our surprise, Bob had already started playing. We have never been to a concert at Johnny Mercer that started on time! We grabbed our drinks and went to find our seats in the darkened auditorium. The usher warned us that photographs and video recordings were ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN. “Bob will stop playing,” he said.

Our seats were good ones, but I could barely see Bob’s face and G couldn’t see it at all because there was something on the piano blocking our view. The stage was reminiscent of a cosy lounge, and I whispered to G that it was probably a menu he was using as a prop on the piano.

“It’s a defibrillator,” G said.

“No way,” I laughed. “Look, there’s smoke coming out of the vents to make it seem like a bar.”

“That’s oxygen,” G said.

We settled in to enjoy the show. The band was in top form, and Bob’s vocals were strong. His latest album has some really great, jazzy songs. G was like, “Why isn’t he playing any of his old stuff?”

“Because he’s on a tour for his last album,” I replied.

Right about then, someone walked up the aisle in a green striped shirt and little green derby hat. It was someone we knew. The guy continued to walk up one aisle and down the next one over for several minutes.

“I think he’s lost. He forgot where he was sitting,” I whispered to G.

He stopped to shake hands with a guy sitting a few rows back. On his next turn at the bottom of the aisle, an usher stopped him, probably to tell him to sit down. He reached out to shake her hand. It was hysterical.

When the usher passed by our row, G asked her what was on the piano. She told him it was a defibrillator, and that Bob had asked for it to be put there. People were shouting for him to move it, so they could see him play. He got up a couple of times to stand at a microphone beside the piano, but quickly returned to the bench.

The guy is 80 years old. He obviously doesn’t move well. And he’s concerned about his heart. God bless him. He has continued to put out amazing music, and play the piano. He doesn’t just play the old tunes everybody knows. Why do I love him?

“The answer, my friend, is blowing’ in the wind. The answer is blown’ in the wind.

Go see him if you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed. And by the way, who do you serve? You gotta serve somebody!

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Eight Directions Feng Shui

The practice of feng shui is founded on basic principles that stress the importance of location. The eight compass directions – North, South, East, West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest – signify eight different kinds of luck. Eight Directions Feng Shui (also known as Eight Mansions Feng Shui) is a personalized formula that categorizes people as belonging to one of two groups, either East or West. Both groups have four good (lucky) directions and four bad (unlucky) directions. And everyone has one particular direction best for personal growth. The directions are based on your kua number. Kua numbers are a system of numerology based on two things: your year of birth and your gender. Here is how to calculate your kua number:

1 – Add the last two digits of your birth year. If the result is a double digit, add the two digits so that you end up with a single digit number.

2 – If you are female, add 5. (For those born after 2000, add 6.) Reduce to a single digit if necessary. This is your kua number.

3 – If you are male, deduct your digit from 10. (For those born after 2000, deduct from 9.) This is your kua number.

If you end up with 1, 3, 4 or 9 you are in the East group. Your lucky directions are E, SE, N, S.

If you end up with 2, 5, 6, 7, or 8 you are in the West group. (The number 5 occupies the middle of the pa kua.) Your lucky directions are W, SW, NW, NE.

The pa kua symbol is basically a feng shui compass. It is an eight-sided figure that contains a kua number and its associations. Also known as the bagua map, it is used as a tool to locate the areas of positive and negative energy in a home or office (as defined by lucky and unlucky directions). Once the different areas are defined, you can apply feng shui “cures” where needed to ensure the flow of positive energy (chi).

The pa kua is comprised of trigrams – three rows of broken and unbroken lines which symbolize the aspirations of humankind. There are also specific colors and elements that go hand-in-hand with each kua number. If you understand the attributes of the eight directions, you can use them to arrange the layout of your home or office and incorporate their associated elements to ensure that you are bringing in the right kind of luck to your environment. (Check out my earlier post about the Bagua here.) You can use the pa kua on a small scale (i.e. in each room) or on a large scale (i.e. applied to an entire house or office building).

In my next post, I will explain the trigrams (the line symbols on the pa qua). In the meantime, use a compass and the diagram to find out where the auspicious rooms (or corners of each room) are located in your own home and office!

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