Listen to the Podcast:
These days, I often sit by the window watching the big brown river flow out to the sea. I spend many hours this way. The river is strong and withdrawn but I am beginning to learn her moods.
These days, I shun unnecessary activity in favor of contemplation. (“For contemplation hee and valor form’d,” says Milton of Adam in “Paradise Lost.”) Lately my idea of “unnecessary” has expanded exponentially to include almost anything that isn’t purely and selfishly creative. I feel the surge of energy when I am going to play music, for example, but most everything else feels like a chore and I prefer to spend my time by the window.
It seems as if I am doing nothing, but so much is happening right now.
Over the past two years, I have been on the road touring about 18 months. I am incredibly grateful for those adventures and the stories and people I found out there, but now I need to sit and watch and think and wait.
As they say, All good things to those who wait.
Out there, I gathered images and scents and embraces but now I need to sit quietly and make sense of all that happened.
It takes strong things to drag me out of this meditation. Yesterday I played harmonica while a flamenco dancer danced so close I could see the beads of sweat percolating from her cheeks. There are few things that are better than sex, but playing harmonica for a dancer is one of them. I felt like Orpheus conjuring Grace herself from the earth – but more likely it was me who was being conjured.
There is a way of life that taps the central vein running through the universe. We have to find it – and it bucks like a bronco when we try to grab hold of it – but when we do we are connected to the true force, the energy that brings us out of our slumber and makes us fully alive. All our ports are open and we are sucking in the purest liquid, submerged in it, fearing we will drown and then realizing that we can breathe even better in it, this liquid life-force.
So much of the time we are convinced that the universe will collapse if we abandon our earthly cares – stop paying bills, fail to worry about all the tedious, small things – but the truth and the real danger is that when we let go and connect, we at last come alive. And the world is never the same again.
Once we are alive, the old rules do not make sense like before or even matter. We look at them and squint and shake them upside down and try to make sense of them again. But they won’t. We ask ourselves, Why did we ever believe these unintelligible things?
These are the things I think about when I am looking out my window watching the river – that beautiful brown-water river filled with the soil and color of Latin America – flow endlessly out into the sea and dissolution.