Sunday, May 13, 2007

Balance or Psychosis

It is hard to maintain balance, to maintain the equilibrium of our lives. We are the product of our upbringing and for many of us, we are the product of an idealistic age. I remember the back of the station wagon, the huge land yacht, facing rear, flashing fellow travelers stuck in traffic the peace sign, and wondering why only the young drivers flashed you back with a smile on their face. An age when MIT graduate students came to our 5th grade class to show their solar car, which while only miniature, sure impressed me. From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Kung Fu to Kimba, from Speed Racer to Run Joe Run, we grew up thinking we could make a difference and that anyone could be President and the limits were truly the stars.

We looked upon the open territory, and felt like Lewis and Clark, if not totally, at least in spirit. And now, as we approach or pass the middle part of our lives (hopefully) we are faced with the dream crashing down upon us. The bright sun, the warm beach, is erased by the wave embracing us, tumbling us effortlessly in the dark, silent power; we are powerless and cannot breathe. We know the air is above us, the life giving oxygen is somewhere near, but we are disembodied, unbalanced. We are at the point, where either we will escape the grasp of the tide and surface, thankful and strong yet somehow unsure, or we will disappear into the expanse of the sea, another bit of life floating through the currents like so much plankton.

Melodramatic you say? I long for the times when I could listen in the dark to interviews with Philip Glass and the performance of Einstein on the Beach on celestial radio no less. Why do I remember this 24 years later and perhaps more importantly what will I remember 24 years from now? (note to reader, I remember this almost verbatim, but I looked it up for accuracy)
Two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight.

There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Finally she spoke. "Do you love me, John ?" she asked. "You know I love you. darling," he replied. "I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life. my sun. moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being."

Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight. Once more she spoke. "How much do you love me, John ?" she asked. He answered : "How' much do I love you ? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore. Impossible, you say. Yes and it is just as impossible for me to say how much I love you.

"My love for you is higher than the heavens, deeper than Hades, and broader than the earth. It has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending except my love for you."

There was more of silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Once more her voice was heard. "Kiss me, John" she implored. And leaning over, he pressed his lips warmly to hers in fervent osculation...

Sometime, I will tell you about when I met Philip Glass at Duke University. I think he may rather continued his conversation with me about La Mont Young (whom after I had "discovered" in my youth, my mother I told me how she met him at parties in the early '60s in Greenwich Village) but his "hosts" were eager to take him out to dinner and discuss their academic appreciation of him. I digress, and I need to end here and not ponder on the current state of music...BUT if you want to listen to something nice, check out the Metheny Mehldau Quartet

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