Sunday, July 16, 2023

What goes around comes around

        This moment was ripe with transcendence. 
       It was an unseasonably warm day, especially for a breakdown, but the man at the side of the road was blissful. 
        I stopped and asked "is everything OK?
        "It's great," he beamed.
        "You are the picture of determination," I said.
        "It's all fixed now."
        "Have a good day. Take care," I offered.
        "It's a great day. Have a good life" he smiled.

        Exuberantly peaceful, broken down, at the bottom of a hill! 
        The scene and his spirit launched me on a mind journey. I thought of the Wheel of Life, the the Bhavackra of Tibetan Buddhism. 
        That prompted the old saying "what goes around comes around" a kind of modern idiom of the ancient "as you sew, so shall you reap." 

       The consequence of one's actions will have to be dealt with, eventually. 
        By then thoughts tumbled in their own spin. Turning from Buddhism, to the Bible, and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, (Song of God) resting on the axiom of science, for every action there is a reaction.
      I marvel at the fast circuit to such deepness after a chance encounter with a happy fixer of a broken thing.

        The profound truths stayed with me. They danced across my mind the next day as I was cooled by the mist and blowing fog that crossed the path of my hike, even as friends elsewhere sweltered in triple digit  and historic heat.

        I thought of Black Elk's Earth Prayer to the Great Spirit, older than all need. "Hey lean to hear my feeble voice. At the center of the sacred hoop."
        As our own sphere revolves and rotates in an ancient wheel around the sun, things are changing. 

        Our grandkids listen to cataclysmal projections as we witness scientist's surprise by how quickly those things are changing.

       It's a complex equation, life, still indecipherable and always beyond the reach of our expanding knowledge. Still, we have learned there is consequence to actions we have taken.
       We have been braced and sustained, guided and blessed by a knowledge  ancient in mystery. It arrives as a longing, pushing us to a connection, exceeding the sum of our collective intellect, all too frequently assertive. Empiricism changes the boundaries. Certainty is elusive. 
      The mystery is deeper than we knew, even where heart and brain intersect. Soul? Spirit? Essence? Cosmic breath?
       People can grow in the face of the mystery, others seek not to look.

        Every tongue and culture, all tribes and histories hum primordial aspiration and drum admonition to uphold cosmic principle. How we live matters. 
       In origin stories, verses, parables, songs and eschatologies of every age there looms consequence. Woe to soiled and defiled cities, to oppressive regimes, priests who profane the sacred, judges who are wolves, officials who are corrupt, those who ignore the hungry, naked and homeless, those who shun mercy and justice; heat of anger, fire of passion, trembling mountains, earth consumed when we do not uphold life and prepare for new generations as sacred purpose.

            Black Elk's prayer "...with tears running O Great Spirit, my Grandfather, with running eyes I must say the tree has never bloomed.  Here I stand, and the tree is withered. Again, I recall the great vision you gave me. It maybe that some little root of the sacred tree still lives..."

            No matter creed, faith, philosophy or dreams, we need to protect the little root. Life comes first, before power or wealth. Life.

            There is work, one little piece at a time, and there will be struggle. How many can we count to be happy fixers of broken things?
          At a recent gathering, as much of the conversation stirred the anxieties, all of those broken things and places on this planet, a few of the crowd said they are happy to be aging out at the time they are, not wanting to face what may come. I took a countering view, expressing disappointment that I will not see all of the fixes and wonders the next century will bring. Our potential and promise rises from the sacred root that compels humankind to sew hope and touch stars, create and think and survive to tread on the edge of mystery. 
          Science. Soul. Sacred Principle. Our choices make a difference. 

        See you down the trail.


Monday, July 3, 2023

Dave Bennett-One of the Greats

         We were sorry to learn that Dave Bennett passed over the last weekend.
The last time I called he was too weak to take a call but his beloved Judy was the communication link. 
        After a long struggle and failing health, Dave is free from the suffering but his legion of friends and fans will miss him.
        Dave was an extraordinary guitar player. Our paths crossed back when we were young men. Lana went to high school with Dave and even then he evinced his talent.
        He played for years in a great band, toured the country, made albums, gathered a following who loved the music. But he and his bandmates who approached greatness, never got that show biz break to emerge as the kind of international superstars that would have made them famous and wealthy. They deserved that. They were more talented than some who played higher on the bill, but it's not just about talent. Like most things in life, it takes luck and politics.
        So after a time music became something he did for love and fun because like the other guys there were professions and jobs to pay the bills and provide for the family.
        Our sympathy goes to Judy, daughters Kelli, Amy and son Tyler. And to his mates including Dave, Carl, Mark, Gary, Alan, Pat, Jon, Teddy, John, Dan, Dane, Brent, Gracie and others I've probably forgotten. 
        A few years ago Dave flirted with the idea of a move to California and we were excited that we might even be neighbors. His roots were in central Indiana where today there are a lot of aching hearts. He was mellow, a cool and good guy.
        I can't count the number of nights I saw Dave on stage. A few years ago I told him the all time number 1 on my CD play list was his solo album Out of the Bleu.
Dinner parties, cocktail gatherings, or just me wanting to hear some virtuoso playing  it has filled our home. If you can, try to find a copy and you'll understand why those of us who heard him call him extraordinary. I'm grateful for all of the music he leaves, that way we can still enjoy him at his best, doing what he did so well and what he loved.


        See you down the trail.