Sunday, 12 June 2016

Dylan's Best Opening Lines.

I was just reading an article about the ten best opening lines to Bob Dylan songs.

I just saw him a  month back. Third row centre. The  performance was so bad it was impossible to even applaud. The first ten rows were occupied by the die-hard Dylan fans and we even found it hard to even grunt at his dismal show.

I groaned out loud in bed last night..... the whole night to the early morning. Every sinew and joint and muscle in my body ached. The past three months have been great but tough. The workshops have been fulfilling. It was a sort of out-of-body-experience. I was in 'impart mode'. The last students waved goodbye and took the train to Tokyo yesterday.

It was Rudolf Steiner who said something along the lines, " You give away in your 40s what you learned in your 20's and 30's so you are empty in your 50s to prepare for your 60s."

There still are some dregs at the bottom and I am doing my best to empty them in my 50s to move onto another stage in life. Textile dregs...Japanese cultural dregs....

The Otis College of Design alumni were wonderful. We met at the hotel and as we walked out to the street we witnessed a big black crow pulling apart a hapless pigeon on the sidewalk. I booted the crow and in group horror we realised the pigeon was still alive.

Tim sketched it on the spot.

The poor bloody bird got boxed up and driven to my place in the mountains. A few days later we realised it's leg was I took the sharpest pair of Hiro's ikebana scissors and amputated its' leg.  Aghhhhhh... But a week later, 'Sidewalk' is fine. Today, on his daily hop around the yard he played a while and then 'flew!!!!!' back to his makeshift cage made from six stainless bar-be-que grills wired together.

On the same day 'Sidewalk' came, a poison  pit viper who was terrorizing the pond's endangered tree frogs and their eggs and tadpoles met his maker (in the campfire) with human help and a 15 centimetre horrible centipede terrorized the students in the living room was unceremoniously chopped in two with my best sushi knife. (video grab)

Safe from the viper tree frog. Sidewalk in his cage. Kittens pose.

Crazy few days.

On the tenderer side of life... the kittens are growing and playing and keeping us awake with scampers on the second floor. What a kitten heaven with dozens of boxes and looms and places to hide.

I wake up every morning with the silkworm trays white with hungry silkworms....I go the mulberry fields in the mountains and cut mulberry in solitude  as the sun rises.

Fresh dew wet mulberry....

They will cocoon tomorrow and I spent a few hours today cutting bamboo and making these wonderful things for them to spin in.

and they all look like this with all the cocoons in them in a few days time:

And for the majority of the cocoons the cardboard version is waiting. Sidewalk is in the cage behind us.

Yesterday the Otis group posed with Sidewalk and the doggies for a sayonara picture...

Now if I had the energy to pick up my guitar and compose I am sure I would have a few Dylanesque song lyrics from the chaos of life these days.

But the doggies are unfazed today.

Top Ten Dylan opening lines:

1)  Someone’s got it in for me, they’re posting stories in the press.

2)  They’re selling postcards of the hanging

3) If your memory serves you well, we were going to meet again and wait

4) Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?

5) The river whispers in my ear, I’ve hardly a penny to my name

6) My love she speaks like silence.

7) You got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend

8) ‘There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief.

9) Nobody feels any pain

10)  Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside


  1. We saw Neil Young a year or 2 back. It was terrible. Most of the audience would have been fans from way back (judging form their age, not their enthusiasm). I have never walked out on a concert but I did this one. Leaving the concert hall, I looked around: a large part of the audience had nodded off to sleep!

  2. I saw Dylan two years back and it wasn't bad. He sang 12 Sinatra songs from his last album this time. I more or less get his point musically and it is refreshing to see someone who is not a crowd pleaser. But he was sloppy and his band was playing in dread of how he was going to play the next song. There were no grooves. (Which I understand that he is creating an uncomfortable musical tension that leaves the audience with no sense of musical conclusion. ) AGhhh....he is a genius and I shouldn't complain after he has enriched my entire life with his genius. I wonder what Neil's problem is?

  3. How awfully disappointing about Dylan. I saw him several years ago in Sydney . It was a bit ho-hum but he took Highway 61 to another stratosphere. Worth it just for that. I'm listening to Modern Times and Time Out Of Mind in my car all the time, 2006, 1997, I was holding my breath reading Sidewalk's story-you don't give up on any needy animal that comes your way! Simply astonishing, you are!
    Claudia Fisk

  4. Too many needy animals around the house these days. I am off to Russia for a month and need to find animal lovers to keep care of them. Two thousand silkworms making cocoons right now so they will be out of the way.
    Hope all is good with you. Love those later Dylan albums as well.

  5. if not a song..then there's probably a novel in this!

  6. Hope to see the cocoons when they are all made up! Thanks for sharing all the animals at the Textile Zoo. Miss them, and the amazing Sidewalk as he recovers. Tims sketch is such a great capture of that life or death moment we were a part of. XX

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  9. and then there's this other first line: my mama told me there'd be day like this, there'd be days like this my mama said.