A Single Shade of Gray

IMG_3182 - 2008-07-12 at 13-50-24


“Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I opened my eyes to take a peek
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility” ~ Donovan Leitch

The song was in my head when I woke up. I’ve no explanation. There is a good likelihood that it is some kind of latent Summer Solstice phenomenon. Sweet. I mean, I can imagine Donovan, singing among the Standing Stones at Stonehenge. Yet he wrote it for the Maharishi. Devotion is devotion. It matters not where you aim that stuff, lessin’ of course ya aim it toward some dark and sinister place. Even then ya done did it your own self. I wouldn’t recommend it. The reason I am talking about dark devotion, other than doing it to avoid scratching my head too much in considering the Tea Party in general, is that my google search for Donovan included an article from Slate Magazine online that discussed the use of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in some really creepy movies, and therefor the song is creepy. There ya have it. A few film directors chose a piece of music and the song itself becomes creepy as a result. That’s the kind of logic that puts nitwits into political office. WELL, I don’t remember the song that way. I remember smiling and getting all blissed up by singing along with the tune. That tune and also Donovan’s “Atlantis”. Dude, thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

“People used to spend an hour making tea
Easy easy was the rule
People used to pause to think and contemplate
He who hurried was the fool” ~ Donovan Leitch

All this from one simple song in the head of a simple man on a morning in early summer high up in the Sangre de Cristo Range in Nuevo Mexico del Norte? Really? Really? Yup. Deal with it. The cool part is that it linked me, through quantum entanglement, to my teenaged self. That in itself may sound like a rather shaky thing to do, but look at it this way: at least I didn’t carry that self same teenaged self on through to this day without ever at least giving maturity a try. So, back to the bridge of quantum entanglement. I think I found the best example of this concept, and the subsequent application thereof, in a powerful book by Richard Bach (he of the famed Jonathan Livingston Seagull)Running From Safety. You can also find it in a cutely entertaining film from Disney, “The Kid”, in which Bruce Willis is confronted with his childhood self. But back to the book. There is a powerful scene in Richard’s book where he is searching for the youngster he was, and is led to a closet, in which his younger self is hiding. Richard opens the door, expecting a sweet reunion. Nothing sweet comes forth. Little Dickie is indeed there, and he comes out with a flamethrower blazing.  Ouch.

Mine is not so dramatic. My travel across that bridge, through the wormhole, whatever, takes me to a slim teen on the roof of a house on Lower Matecumbe Key in the Florida Keys. It is dark, but not Tea Party dark. The somber teen is gazing upon the stars. In another scene, the same teen is floating on a cheap blowup plastic raft, drifting along with the gentle currents that flow in the channel of a dead-end canal, which is the focal point for a small community of houses. The teen’s dad has a nearly state of the art stereo system in the living room of the house, which sidles up to the canal, just as the teen sidles up to life its own self. The boy has the stereo cranked up, not to ten but nearly so. No one is home; the music is his own. So as he drifts in the dead-end canal, upon a bed of plastic, he hums along with the brilliant Neil Young to the song “After the Gold Rush”. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I’ll come up for air now. Dawn is happening. The cat is on the bed at my side. Second up of coffee right here and now. Here and now is a sweet concept that is all so popular these days, a sanctuary from the Red Bull rush of modern life. You see that rush even in a small mountain town such as Taos, New Mexico, which is a few miles south of where I sit at the edge of the north mesa. Here and now simply means being in the moment. One of it’s greatest proponents is Ram Dass. He has been known to visit Taos. When I was still working at the upscale natural foods supermarket, it was on a Saturday morning that rumors of Ram Dass’ presence in town were in circulation. At one point a coworker, who thought that she had seen the man enter the store, came up to me with an air of excitement. She asked, “Would you know Ram Dass if you saw him?”. Smart ass that I am I replied, “Why? Is he here now?”. Doh! Such tomfoolery at such a sacred moment. I hardly know what to say. That, at least, explains the edgy quips, k?

Today is another work day, and the cats at the animal shelter will receive as much care as I can deliver in the midst of a crew that is operating with a shortage of manpower, womanpower, whatever. Cats are wise, in my estimation. I’ve even been known to declare them to be harbingers of mystical powers that we humans could also have. Friggin eerie critters they be. Mystical powers and love. They are really good at love. Even that cat who bit me so severely a couple of months ago is good at love. Just not with me. But I swear, I was just following protocol when I grabbed her in seeking to curtail the limited freedom she had attained by escaping her cage, and she responded in a powerful display of instinct by sinking two finely crafted fangs into and amongst the copious array of nerve endings that converge within my right index finger. You’ve got ’em too. Protect them from harm or feel the pain. But about the love – hers, Tessie’s, attitude toward me is not for lack of love, nor for lack of forgiveness. Do cats even have forgiveness in their bag of tricks? I don’t know. Hers is a natural shielding designed to prevent further trauma where trauma did indeed once occur. That, my friends, is wisdom. Which reminds me, I have an appointment, Monday at 11 AM, with a psychotherapist who will hopefully help me regain the wisdom that so naturally exists within the thickly inflamed enclosure we humans develop from incidents similar to what happened to Tess.  Tess is a pure gray cat in a world of color. Boy howdy DO NOT get me started on a fresh metaphor. I got to go to work in two hours. It’s been fun.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k?



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