A few years I saw Charles Bradley perform a day set on the main stage of the Sasquatch Festival. Watching him belt out this Neil Young classic like there was no tomorrow with the Columbia River Gorge in the background was quite the thing.
SBTRKT - New Dorp. New York (ft. Ezra Koenig)
Yesterday I woke up overlooking Times Square. This is the view this morning. Life is rad. #Montana #BigSky #NoFilter
Last night when as the cab drove me to the hotel, we passed a number of places I once walked. City blocks, hidden paths, even (shudder) a shopping mall. “What is the city but the people?” Places I ate, drank coffee, read books, laughed, and cried. But mostly, though not always with tears, I cried. And this is the feeling that overwhelmed me. That led to a tension in my chest I have not felt in some time. As the 690 bent I could not prevent myself from fixating on the thought, “I was profoundly unhappy here.”
I put into practice what I was reading; I put an away message on my email and a “Do Not Interrupt” setting on my phone, both false protections from the sleep that I hoped would come. And it did. Not the anxiety ridden night I expected, or the exhausted drop that delivers less rest than guilt, but rather a full and interactive night of sleep, one in which the mystery of lucid dreaming seems closer to comprehension.
I awoke to someone else’s schedule, not one that I planned or desired, but the sleep helped provide the agility required to cope. A day of minutes. Quiet one, a burst the next, chaos to follow. Rinse, repeat. Productive, certainly. Relational, most definitely. Difficult? No question. At times it was just a fragment, at others it was overbearing. But always there. There is the block on which I once lived. There is the porch of the house in which I realized I could not be happy. There is the shelter in which I began to rediscover myself in service to others. There is the table at which I was told I was important. There is the altar at which I worshiped. There is the laundromat at which I sheepishly washed my clothes in the middle of the night because I could not bring myself to ask for help. There is the road on the side of which I literally screamed out for You to hear me. There is the cafe in which someone knew my name. There are the remnants of a past.
I need a haircut, which is relevant because I spent all week trying to remember where i got my hair cut here. I still can’t. I can remember where I ran, where I sang, where I hid, and where I shone, but I cannot remember where I got my hair cut or where I filled up with gas or where I bought shoes.
Tonight I reconnected with a person from this past. I struggle to justify the hell that was here for the people that I met, or the experiences that I have been able to learn from. But this person; what a wonderful gift. A friend, a brother, a mentor. At table we talked, we laughed, we shook our heads with confusion, and we knocked our glasses together in toasts of appreciation for little moments of truth and enlightenment. Only a true friend can create moments like these. Moments in which after two years it seem like a day has not passed but lifetimes have transpired, and suddenly the realization occurs that they have…though the lifetimes are not just your own. The connection in fact runs deeper, through tradition and lineage that extends beyond blood, to a way of thinking that will either help or doom both self and surroundings.
Which will it be?
While we feasted and occasionally spoke while the most chic of hipsters kept our pint glasses full, this reverberated through the restaurant’s speakers.
Appropriate or accidental; grace filled or adventitious. Who knows. Who knows if that matters. it must.
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head’ll collapse
If there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself
Where is my mind?
Playing on repeat in the brain today.
One of my favorite #wanderlust quotes, provided by the pen of Pico Iyer and posted today in this form by @patagonia books.
Quite sure that this song was written for sipping lemonade on a breezy summer day.