bibliomancy with bob

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Thursday, May 08, 2008
Today I stopped by my home library branch to pick up some holds and take back stuff; stuff other fools had the temerity to request so I couldn't keep it. (283 other fools in the case of The Wire, season 4 [so good!]) This is my sentimental favorite branch, the branch I have used since I moved back to the city, the branch where I used to volunteer, etc.

I took a spin around the stacks to see if there was anything I couldn't live without (beyond the books I came to pick up). This usually involves a trip back to the 800's (poetry, essays), a trip over to graphic novels, a quick perusing of DVDs and CDs (although I have too many of each right now), a stop in the craft section (I currently have out about 6 beautiful books on crochet, even though I haven't crocheted in months), film/music/television, gardening, fiction, new books. I didn't pick up anything extra today, although I made out pretty well when I was there last week. What I did find was an old friend on the shelf. When I used to volunteer and work on the paging list (pulling materials to fulfill holds), I would always look to see if certain books were in. Bob Dylan's Chronicles was one of them. Our branch has two copies -- sometimes they both were in, usually they both were gone. But when it was there, I'd always pull it down and open it up at random and see what Bob had to say. I guess it's almost a form of bibliomancy. According to my old pal Wikipedia, the traditional method is as such:

1. A book is picked that is believed to hold truth.
2. It is balanced on its spine and allowed to fall open.
3. A passage is picked, with the eyes closed.

I didn't place it on it's spine (I'm more of a flip the pages and stop kind of girl), and I don't point at the page with my eyes closed, but rather just see what my eye falls on first. My eye fell on the passage below today, which I found comforting in a strange way. I have been having one of my weirdest up and down months on record. It's not that anything is wrong, per se, just that everything is shifting and I don't know how it will land.

Anyway, beyond Divination by Dylan, I recommend this book! Maybe you're not a very big Dylan fan and think there's nothing there for you, but I found it not to be so much about Bob Dylan the legend (Bob Dylan the author is thoroughly bored with that topic), but more about really good writing (he's a really good writer) and the mysteries of creative drive and fire.

"Sometimes you know things have to change, are going to change, but you can only feel it--like in that song of Sam Cooke's, "Change Is Gonna Come"--but you don't know it in a purposeful way. Little things foreshadow what's coming, but you may not recognize them. But then something immediate happens and you're in another world, you jump into the unknown, have an instinctive understanding of it--you're set free. You don't need to ask questions and you already know the score. It seems like when that happens, it happens fast, like magic, but it's not really like that. It isn't like some dull boom goes off and the moment has arrived--your eyes don't spring open and suddenly you're very quick and sure about something. It's more deliberate. It's more like you've been working in the light of day and then you see one day that it's getting dark early, that it doesn't matter where you are--it won't do any good. It's a reflexive thing. Someone holds the mirror up, unlocks the door--something jerks it open and you're shoved in and your head has to go in a different place. Sometimes it takes a certain somebody to make you realize it." -- Chronicles Volume 1, Bob Dylan
6 comments on "bibliomancy with bob"
  1. May The Merciless is what I have been calling this month. But just when I settled into that feeling things flipped. I like the Bob Dylan quotey thing. It makes so much sense and I have been meaning to say that since last week but it took me a bit of time to get there. GO BOB!!!

  2. May the Merciless sounds about right!! I'm glad things flipped, and glad you think the Dylan quotey thingie makes sense. I thought it did, but it's one of those things that I could see people thinking "this is crazy talk!!"

  3. Ah, but I can relate to the crazy talk. I feel like my words, at times, must sound: totally out of control, lost, loony and completely b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I am looking forward to the heatwave we are supposed to be having. I will wear the short pants and thongs.

  4. short pants! now that's some crazy talk.

    (I am also looking forward to the heatwave, although I think I will be suffering in Prineville when it happens. Is there any other way to be in Prineville? I think not.)

  5. Prineville? You are so lucky. I wish I was going anywhere! I did have a dream the other night that I was going camping with some people and I ran into you and your sister at a craft store on the way and you informed me that you would see me at the "gay jamboree campground" with the ice trays. I have no idea...

  6. Yay! I'll bring the ice trays! Once I figure out what "ice tray" means!! (where do you suppose the gay jamboree campground is? your subconscious is an interesting place my friend.)


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