September 1966….August 2010, These are not the dates on a tombstone, thought speaking strictly for me I could have died then and there. Diamonds and rust, Joan, Judy, Leonard, Bob and Pete and Arlow and the Band–the acid, the pot, Hair, the Doors, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Martin, Bobby and John, but most of all I remember 1966 as the year that life began to take on a sense of adventure. It was the year in which the church organ took its proper place among the congo drums and the strum of guitars.
I fell in love and married the girl of my dream, fell in love with life, climbed a mountain, swam in lakes, drove to Canada and in general found that there was a life to be had beyond the 30 mile radius where I had spent the first 21 years of my life…Aaah, the dreams I had dreamt were dreamed and this was their lump sum, the hour was twenty and one and chevy-clad, I drove to Vermont’s October hills and watched as a thousand funeral fires consumed summers last hours and summers last flowers.
It was not beginning as a sad piece, but nostalgia always has an edge of sadness. For me that fits right in with Faure’s Requiem as the first piece of classical music that i fell in love with. 1966 was a year for so many kinds of falling in love. Splendor in the Grass and Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Carry Grant all happened at the same time. I realized that I had a mind that I could expand and i have not stopped expanding it since. Drugs and politics mingled in the air with a new morality that emanated from deep within. Ralph Waldo Emerson, gave up the ministry in order to minister unto his congregation. American Literature and World History mingled with young bright college students and I was one. I was in the class and I knew the answers, I could do the math and it added up to a new fact that i could be successful and popular. I loved that I could admire art and dogs and that I could dance and I could love. And that I could chose the objects of my love and though it threw me out of favor with the magnificent catholic church, it catapulted me in the direction of a deep subjective search for my soul. A search that i would not abandon as long as i had breath and vitality to appreciate the grandeur, the equally magnificent institution of the human mind. The sanctuary where I would eventually find the God that had alluded me for so many years was my own mind.
Consciousness of the subjective remains a fascination for me. I have no problem telling you that there is a significant part of my narcissism that absolutely enchants me. I am so glad when I bump into a thought that i am creating that excites me. I love the idea that my muse is within and that though it may be infused by many aspects of the universe, I get to experience it as a moment of beauty and truth. I love that I can let myself create essays, and watercolors and musical interludes and that none of this appeals to my grandiosity, rather it appeals to my simplicity.
The lake water was a tad cooler than it had been a week ago. The nights have been both clear and cool so the warmth that the lake captures from the sun during the day evaporates by night. Nonetheless, a swim at sunset while the sky is turning shades of purple and the clouds are reflecting a brilliant orange and yellow ribbon of color–a swim at sunset washes my naked body and cleanses my soul. I walk out of the water and I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude and i know that I want to live a long and productive life.
Simplicity is my virtue, and gratitude is the currency that i use to bargain with the universe. The more I am able to allow in the treasures of life, the more I find myself in a position to discover ever expanding gifts that I had not seen just a day earlier. The more I enjoy life the more of life presents itself to me.
In a way the decision that most influences the small nuances in life are the very same decisions that are forming the direction that I need to take. Allowing in the memory of 1966 presents me with the possibility to enjoy 2010. I have manifested some of life’s most reliable gifts–courage to make life into an adventure rather that follow the fears into a darkness that guarantees an unhappy outcome.
So, when I decided this year to follow the summer into its peaceful conclusion, I took a risk, and followed my good feeling thoughts right down to the lake side that I knew would sooth my mind and heal my soul. Forty-four year ago I started out to let myself get what I needed from the world. With an ever evolving capacity, I am closer and closer with each year to the state of mind that God has wanted for me from the very beginning.
I trust the god-mind within as much as I doubted the legends and icons of the magnificent vatican perspective of old.