Ripple used to be a cheap wine that hippies drank when they were smoking doll way back when. It’s not the Ripple I’m talking about. The Ripple I want to talk about today is the song by the group that is considered the iconic San Francisco acid rock band: the Grateful Dead. I am been a Dead fan since 1969 or so. I remember seeing the band at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago July 4, 1970 where they came on stage at about midnight and played till nearly 7 AM. That was quite a Fourth of July party!
My favorite Dead album is American Beauty. One of the songs on that album is called Ripple. The music for that song was written by Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist for the Dead. The lyrics, which is what I want to focus on here. were written by the lyricist for the Dead, Robert Hunter. In my considered opinion, Hunter, along with Jim Morrison of The Doors and Keith Reid and Bob Dylan were the poets laureate of my generation. A hundred years from now they will be teaching these guys in American literature classes, or in the case of Reid, English literature classes. I am not going to print out the entire lyrics of Ripple here. If you are interested in reading the lyrics, click here. And if you want to listen to the song, you can click here.
To me, this song expresses the hippie philosophy of life better than anything else I have ever heard or read or see. According to the song, life is a road that we travel alone. The road of life is unique to the individual. Others can serve as guides, and as the song says “if you fall, you fall alone.” Continue reading Ripple
Today is my 68th birthday! Yes, happy birthday to me. Thank you! In honor of my birthday I have decided to go back to the Confronting The Past series. This is a rather momentous year for me. First of all, I turned 68. Second, it has been 50 years since I graduated from high school [by the way, happy anniversary to all the members of the class of 1966 at UM HS.] Third, my wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in a couple of months. Fourth and last, by the end of the year all my children will be 20 years old or older. In my book that makes them adults. So, assuming I live to the end of the year, I will have lived long enough to see my children grow up. Not too shabby!
One of the advantages of age is that you are supposedly wiser than you were when you were young. Whether that is true in my case or anyone else’s is open for debate; when I’m going to assume that I have gained some wisdom in the last 50 years. One of the responsibilities of wisdom is that you impart that wisdom to others. After all, what good is anything if you don’t share it with those you care about? So here goes.
Continue reading Confronting the Past Lucky 13
In the time that I’ve been away (see facebook for reasons) I’ve had time to give this series a lot of thought. Talking about some things in my past may not be all that edifying or even relevant to anything anymore, so I am going to ignore those areas. Some things that I -am- going to talk about may offend some people from my past. Unfortunately, that’s unavoidable, and hopefully they will understand and forgive me for any negativity.
When I was growing up, I was pretty much both a religious and political fundamentalist. It was not until I got away from home that I started really thinking for myself. To a certain extent, that is true of most people growing up. We are the products of our immediate social and cultural environment. In some ways, I was lucky that my mother died while I was a senior in High School. It was her death that actually set me free, although it has taken a lot of time to realize that. Much of my life has been spent trying to fill the emotional hole that her death left in me. It was not until I met Elizabeth in 1990 that I found someone who could fill said hole. Also, much of my life has been spent searching for, for the lack of a better way to express it, my own personal sense of truth. [I suggest you read my article “What is Truth” on my christianheresiology site to understand what I’m trying to say here] Truth is not objective; truth is relative to one’s position on the space-time continuum. It’s like the old Indian fable of the blind men and the elephant, what you see and what you know depends on where you are and what part of the elephant you perceive.
My search for truth has led me all over the place, but these meanderings have always followed the same two rivers. Religion, and politics, in the broadest sense of both cases. The failed marriages, the many different jobs, the multiple career paths are all nothing more than bends in those rivers. With an occasional waterfall or two.
What I have learned over the years of my meanderings is that we create who we are and often recreate who we are. I know I’ve gone through several manifestations of who I am in the 65 years of my life. I can honestly say that I am extremely happy and at peace with who I am. That person is so far removed from the person I was growing up that I seriously doubt most of my High School friends would really have any idea of who I am unless they have read my Facebook page or my blogs. In the next few posts, I will talk about my meanderings from fundamentalism to… Well, I’ll let you decide what you want to call where I am.