On the phone, at a gas station, in our dreams
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Painting our little house from a folding chair set up in the clay driveway. Understanding that what I do well, will be what pushes me forward. Taking the time to be precise with my painting, getting the dimensions correct, undistorted, was like an exercise in vision. SEEING clearly. What is there. This physical reality is so obviously the symptomatic phenomena of a more real pattern of reality, the same way that I am.
I am becoming myself. Between becoming and being myself lay a miasma of ancient feelings, values, and perceptions. These are the unknown forces to which I respond by looking everywhere else for the solution, an end to my fears and hunger. These “forces” will be unknown until I believe that re-discovering and experiencing them will feel better than being insidiously controlled by them.
Water shortages in parts of the U.S. and other countries are currently causing great inconvenience. By that I mean people’s normal routines are being interrupted. Temporarily, at least, habits have changed. Flushing away five gallons of fresh water for one cup of urine seems quite wasteful when water is in short supply. It should seem wasteful all the time. I would like to think that a few of the water-conserving measures instituted now will become permanent. Unfortunately, actions in the aftermath of the 1973 oil shortage don’t give much cause for hope. However, like it or not, resource conserving lifestyles must evolve soon, even in the affluent countries.
The New Age, how it already seems ho-hum, like long hair and Ralph Nader and old Volkswagens. It has its own magazine and a devoted following, like yachting and blue-grass music and model railroads. What’s going on when even the New Age, with all its mysteries, can get as dull as the evening news?
There is nothing like being regarded as a problem. Problems are not comfortable. Others do not want to be around people with problems. One makes an effort to appear as if one had no problems. In other words, one should not have any problems.
I’m probably the wrong one to eulogize Town Hall. Someone with a taste for the crowds and the suds should be sweeping the ashes, humming all the while. Town Hall was its own universe, the collective creation of its own boozy imagination, a huge cave echoing sweets and horrors. Dark, raunchy, bizarre, it was a choice booking for bands but was also the club with one of the worst reputations for violence. And what a smell! — a music all its own, harmonies of sweat and fright and hustle, stale beer and smoke, an armpit only a drunk could love. If, during the day, it was the best place to buy a sandwich, one could think of better places to eat it.
During the national conventions I watched as little of the Democrats and as much of the Republicans as possible. The motives for this allocation of viewing time were more subtle than an anticipation of the well publicized dust-off that Ford and Reagan were expected to have in Kansas City. In my mind there was no doubt that Gerald Ford would emerge the Champion. The only moments of suspense I experienced came from the faint possibility that John Dean, once White House Council, forevermore convicted felon and temporarily cub reporter for Rolling Stone, would be gang-mauled and dismembered by die-hard Nixon loyalists while George McGovern gave thousand to one odds he had no intention of paying off.
“What are you — a weirdo?” the man in the cowboy hat and plastic clogs asked me. For hours I had been hanging around the foul-smelling men’s room of the Greyhound bus station in Ishpeming, Michigan waiting for The Wizard. The Wizard was to tell me about the secrets of politics on this planet.