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Monthly Archives: March 2014
Poco did an outstanding version of “Magnolia“, but she was JJ Cale’s baby (RIP) and this haunting rendition, especially those subtle chords and harmonics, gives me chills…whippoorwill singin’…
Gotta say what you need to say. And with that I am going to post some videos to view. Yeah, I know. I’m going to say what I need to say by posting videos…pun intended…
R.I.P. Big Guy…
Time to go back to the places you will be from…
Fresh off of being called a “pseudo-intellectual” by an obvious admirer (I’ve been called worse, this year too, and hey, who am I to argue with other people’s opinions of me), it’s a good time to update what’s been happening lately.
A narcissistic, pseudo-intellectual.
Sorry, I neglected the narcissistic part earlier, however after looking in the mirror, hey what can I say that hasn’t already been said?
Anyway, however it may irritate some, on Wednesday this week I was admitted to ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences for the upcoming fall semester. The program I will be in is the Master of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS). Unlike my Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS…or probably “BS” to some people), I will not so much choose two individual disciplines, as much as I will be looking at a “problem” or issue that resonates with me and through an interdisciplinary approach, develop research toward clarity, understanding or solution. Or something to that effect.
To say I am “stoked” would be an understatement. I intend to use these five months before the starting gun goes off to prepare almost incessantly. I have been “disciplined” enough during this crazy, ummm, gap year (?), that I’ve been keeping notes of any and all ideas related to my interests and passions. Whenever they come to me. Even in the middle of the night. Confession: I sleep with my iPhone. But trust me, there’s no hanky-panky happening between me & HER…(who loves you, Siri?). In other words, inspiritaion and EUREKA! moments can strike at any time and I’ve learned that they come on gossamer wings. If I don’t write them down, they flitter away into the ether.
Contemplation and exploration lead to nascent ideas which then coalesce into possible research tracks; ideally evolving into an academic path that may eventually flourish into anything from a PhD program to my wandering the earth, and beyond.
The downside to my admission (and this is completely understandable), is my having to attend the first year as a non-resident. My gotta-try-or-you’ll-never-know eight months adventure away from Arizona in 2013 cost me about $9k more in tuition. But the great news was received on Thursday when the program director notified me that I was awarded a Graduate Education Fellowship. I could type a dozen adjectives to express my gratitude for that, but suffice to say I am thrilled to begin this next adventure in life.
Deciding to “live my bliss”, “seek my personal legend”, and/or “follow my heart” was and always is (ALWAYS) the best philosophy. But of course, I’m a narcissitic, pseudo-intellectual, so what the hell do I know?
And now this…
As I hit middle-age, I am driven every waking moment by a mix of dynamics that include urgency, presence, awe, and serenity among others. Life is delicious. Heck, I would submit that even my dreams have become more vivid; I’m dreaming more in technicolor.
I’ll never forget my first dream in color. March of 1977, the night before two friends and I were leaving for spring break in Daytona Beach. Though living only 90 miles away in Milwaukee, I had never been south of Chicago in my life and the excitement and anticipation were manifesting even in my sleep. Just like in the movie, “Wizard of Oz“, that night I was dreaming in black & white about an adventure south and when I arrived at the doorstep of Florida, it appeared as a wall of the most beautiful flowers, in living color.
Dreaming in color may be how my consciousness responded in 1977 to the anticipation of the biggest adventure of my life up to that point and again now in 2014 to the acceptance of the final journey we all take, as it becomes more inevitable to me.
Coincidentally, another anecdote about spring break and death happened last week when I advised my eldest son that should I die right before or during any vacation or some fun trip he was on, I absolutely do not want him to cancel it because of me. I am simply not going anywhere nor will I care. In fact, I advised him to go with the $526.38 creamation advertised on an I-10 billboard just west of downtown Phoenix and then mix my ashes in with some Ph appropriate soil and grow a palm tree on the campus of my beloved Arizona State University.
Also fairly surprising (and relieving) was a comment my mother made when we were talking on the phone yesterday. She’s probably sick of this by now but I was still venting about some family issues. I mentioned that if I ever visit Wisconsin again, I’m only coming to see her, one of my brothers and my closest old friends. She slipped in, “Hey, you don’t even have to come to my funeral”. She said it with all the matter-of-factness that I would’ve. So there’s that.
Face it, funerals are for the living, not the deceased. I don’t believe she’ll care, and I won’t care, and I don’t believe you’ll care either. Because no matter what your belief system, whether grounded in science or myth, we’ll be in the same place – only a tiny space is the difference between now here and nowhere.
And now this…
I’m not scared of dying,
And I don’t really care.
If it’s peace you find in dying,
Well then let the time be near.
If it’s peace you find in dying,
And if dying time is here,
Just bundle up my coffin ‘Cause it’s cold way down there.
I hear that its cold way down there. Yeah, crazy cold way down there.
And when I die, and when I’m gone, There’ll be one child born In this world to carry on, to carry on.
Now troubles are many, they’re as deep as a well.
I can swear there ain’t no heaven but I pray there ain’t no hell.
Swear there ain’t no heaven and I pray there ain’t no hell,
But I’ll never know by living, only my dying will tell.
Yes only my dying will tell.
Yeah, only my dying will tell.
Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me,
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally.
Oh I want to go naturally.
Here I go, Hey Hey! Here comes the devil, Right Behind.
Look out children, Here he comes! Here he comes! Hey…
Don’t want to go by the devil.
Don’t want to go by demon.
Don’t want to go by Satan,
Don’t want to die uneasy.
Just let me go naturally.
and when I die, When I’m dead, dead and gone,
There’ll be one child born in our world to carry on,
To carry on.
I went back through my blog recently; all the way back. Someone had to do it, why not me? Well, I think mostly because this is all
in from my head. This is my proverbial tree-in-the-forest. Words fall; does anyone hear them? God, I hope not.
Anyway, revisiting my past from 2007 it becomes evident where I was intellectually and emotionally. Almost every entry represents a wayside where I pulled off the journey for a few minutes to post some information, some opinion, or some music which resonated with me at the time. Very much like a virtual diary; except for the jagged personal rubble.
What did I ascertain about this look back? How could I enlighten my “past self” if my “future self” had a chance to visit? For one, I’d say keep going. Keep doing what your doing because you’re following your heart. Get ready for the ride of your life. Meaningful experiences, superficial disappointements, riches and poverty, recognition and indifference, more creaking bones…
In essence, evolution toward fulfilling the obligation to yourself to become what you want, how you want, when you want, without having to explain it, excuse it or defend it to others. Paulo Coelho called it “your personal legend” in The Alchemist. There is a price of course. I’d tell him to get ready for some tough times; lost friendships, black-sheep criticism, fish-out-of-water lonliness…waa, waa…get over it.
It’s all about transcending the status quo. You can only do that through your heart as compass-guide. And stay out of that cage that society will try to put you in and keep you. You have to walk the razor’s edge. It’s possible. It’s emotional. It’s rewarding.
Dabble, flit. Widen your perspective. Learn. But do.not.for.one.minute forget to…get a nice tan, don’t do cold winters, admire the beautiful, exhibit awe, watch sports, write comedy, eat well, take long drives, play poker with the guys, walk across the country, be kind, dream…