I saw the singer and songwriter Paul Simon last night and he’s “still crazy after all these years.”
He appeared at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia to a sold-out crowd of tens of thousands. I got to see him through a friend who got tickets when one of her friends recently had surgery and could not attend. She made the tickets available the morning of the event.
I cried tears of and joy and heartfelt remembrance when the singer offered his final song on stage. It transported me back some forty years and I felt so much compassion for the world that has had to get along without his voice these many years
“The Sounds of Silence” played through me as I recalled watching the movie “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman as a 19-year-old candidate in the US Army’s Officers Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia. It was but a year before being shipped to Vietnam.
“Because a vision softly creeping, /Left its seeds while I was sleeping”
It struck the marrow of me then and still does whenever I hear it whether it be live with him playing one of his many guitars on stage, or when hearing it over the radio, an old record player or from a CD.
It was only the second concert I ever attended. The first was at the other “Mann” located along Kelly Drive. (It used to be called the East River Drive then.) I saw the Philadelphia group called the Soul Survivors.
I enjoyed Paul’s performance a thousand times more!
How I got to see the musical icon was through the personal intervention of the Universe. I was late for a Buddhist retreat with the Tibetan Buddhist lama Lobsang Samten earlier in the day. Just as I opened the door at the Quaker building called the “Plymouth Meeting,” I got a call on my cell-phone.
Leaving the building where some 10 people were chanting, I stepped outside and took the call. My good friend MaryCatherine was notified by one of her friends about the available tickets and she called me with the offer.
Had I not been late, I would not have taken the call and my friend would have contacted someone else for the venue. The Divine Intelligence often does work in mysterious ways, both big and small!
Stranger still was what happened earlier in the day. I had “tracked” the availability in Atlantic City for one of my all-time favorite Rock & Roll singers – Dion of “Dion and the Belmonts. I was asked to “track” three other artists and I couldn’t find any I really liked but settled with Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones and a group my son loves, a heavy metal one, called “Slipknot.”
Less than an hour later I got invited to see one of my other all-time favorite artists through the benevolence of a kind and wonderful Universe. Thanks guys. Now I am truly “Homeward Bound!”