Flying by a hope and a dream
The trouble with maintaining a blog is that you think of all sorts of things to write about when you’re doing something else, like working, or driving, but when you finally sit down in front of the computer, all those great ideas go right out the window. So you end up, or at least I end up, spewing a bunch of “blah, blah, blah, I’m not feeling so good right now” twaddle that comes nowhere near the brilliant, elusive, dreamy posts that fly in through one ear and out the other before they make it into typed words. Oh, if you could have seen the posts I composed in my head.
I’m sitting here in a cafe typing into my laptop right now. The impermanence of life is weighing heavily on my mind, and has been for a while. The holidays are over. One person I knew, a man who helped me out a lot, simply by living an example and by exuding serenity when I got to a crisis point over 19 years ago and had to abandon one way of life for another, died over the holidays. Another person I’ve known just about as long, who was around when I was wrestled by life into surrender, is reportedly on her deathbed as I write this. My daughter, 23 and beautifully independent, left for Thailand right after Christmas on a one-way ticket. I sincerely hope there’s a god, or maybe some benevolent spirits, who will watch over her and keep her safe.
Me? I’m not a loser. I make a lot of mistakes. Lately, the task of making amends has been coming up, partially because of where I am in a certain spiritual-growth process, and partially because, well, I’m sick and tired of making the same mistakes over and over, and I’m tired of doing stupid things that hurt people I care about, and I want to stop and I want to set things right. I’ve got one in particular that’s at the top of the stack, an old friend I badmouthed on Facebook, and maybe somewhere else I can’t remember because I was in a fugue state of being a butthole. I’ve tried to make amends several times, with no response any time. Please don’t laugh.
Many of my resentments seem to grow out of my frustration to be heard as a songwriter and musician. I get frustrated, then bitterly resentful, and then that negative state I’m in, along with the damage I’ve caused, turns people against me. What I really need to do is let go of any desire to play music — not give up, but just let go. I did that for my nonexistent love life, which is still nonexistent, but at least I’m not torturing myself anymore whenever a beautiful woman crosses my path, or worse, a beautiful woman who at one time professed love for me. It doesn’t mean I have to stop playing music or singing or writing songs; it just means I have no expectations that anyone other than me will give much of a hoot.
This morning I woke up to a pretty cool dream. It was long and byzantine, probably fueled by the anodyne Tom Ka Gai soup I ate the night before to ward off this horrible fluey-coldy thing that hit me on New Year’s Eve, and all I remember was the end. I descended with a small group of people, familiar to me but I can’t recall their names, into a cave that led to another world inside the Earth, kind of like Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I’d enjoyed in comic-book form (Classics Illustrated) until I stupidly took it with me on a Boy Scout 50-mile hike and the Scoutmaster caught me reading it behind a tree and he made me burn it and a couple of other childhood comic favorites, me weeping like a pussyboy at losing some things I loved dearly, in front of all the other Boy Scouts.
Anyway, this group and I descended into this other world, which was verdant and primitive, like the plants were at an earlier stage of evolution. There were these younger boys, like my sons, and at one point one of them told me how cool it might be if we could fly. “What’s holding you back?” I answered him. “It’s easy. Watch.” Then I got a running start, but my arms out like plane wings and took off. I was zooming around this inner dome world, rising and diving and doing barrel rolls, and I saw that they followed. The sky was pink and orange with clouds, and the landscape was lush and green, like hilly jungles that went on for miles. At one point, I flew over what looked like some kind of modern defense installation, or maybe a nuclear power plant or a UFO, all gleaming chrome in the bright light. My mind couldn’t make sense of what it was doing in the corner of this domed jungle world of my dreams.
And then, we all landed, and it was time to leave. There was a woman sitting in a lounge chair on a deck, and she was a composite of my first girlfriend Jo and my daughter’s mom Lynne and a couple other women I’ve loved. She looked up from the newspaper she was reading, and as I walked by she rose up and planted a big kiss on my lips. “It’s so good to have you back, Bri,” she said, calling me by a shortened version of the middle name I’d gone by in my younger years. “It’s so nice to see you acting like your old self again.” I’m not sure what she meant. I mean, I kinda have an inkling, but I’m really not so sure.
Then again, there is a lot I do not know, and probably never will. —Jackson Griffith