I stare at a dead man’s life, the long strange trip of Garcia scored by Scorsese, "half a life" gone by, and how long my thread remains? Tomorrow I am 42, and the star of man says I am halfway home. In Vegas, which is only four hours away, likely more than that.
What’s the answer, asks the mind? What’s the meaning, what’s the truth? Where lies the holy grail?
What is the measure of a life?
Has this been a good one? What else might it yet become?
Notice fingers reaching, gripping. Desire, which binds us big and small.
A life is a storm, from one shore to the next releasing rain, sowing life and wreaking destruction, ever unable to maintain its own form. It sprouts anew the next organic stirrings, energy neither created nor destroyed. Permanent and impermanent.
At the intersection of which, is now. Permanent and impermanent.
Neither can we grasp.
And though we die, we are, this is, much more. Energy neither created, nor destroyed. Big and small.
What answers the universe? What answers everything?
The star lovers say it’s to be honest at 42, to be true. Because you can’t stop your rain from dropping. You can’t stop your form from falling.
Your end is halfway home. In Vegas, which is only four hours away, likely more than that.
Remembering youth, intelligence too unconscious, the tragedy of children entrusted with the precious care of one another. Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do. Please, please, forgive me, too.
Peering ahead at the greying, at the peace and lament. What can be said of a time I have not known?
The problem with 42 is that we do not know the question, Adams says. Our computer isn’t big enough. We must live 10 million more years.
As the dreamland of youth is slowly touched with grey … We’ll smile and forgive. We’ll marvel at our fears. We’ll come to know ourselves, and love one another, and eventually retire, releasing our rain to the earth below.
Seedlings can’t push. To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. I hope my children find the time to read Ecclesiastes.
My father died, like Jerry Garcia. Drug-induced yellow photographs, heavy eyes, children in the lurch. Unable to bear the burden of a family. Of a million grateful fans, or one more Moses.
We’re fragile. I’m fragile.
I wonder why I’m not yet in their place, then I remember mother, and grandmother, and wife, and children. Adopted fathers, and those who have read my words, and friends. They are why.
And when you’ve been fragile, and I’ve hurt you, or failed to meet you with the love you are, we are children entrusted with the care of one another. Please forgive us. Please forgive me.
I’m not afraid anymore. You can tell me that I’ve harmed you, for surely I have. I forgive you for harming me. Releasing our rain, wreaking our destruction. The tragedy of children entrusted with the precious care of one another.
They say there is more wisdom after 42. To be honest, to be true. The preacher said in Ecclesiastes:
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
As we wither, with might in our hands, let us forgive one another, and come to reunion as members of a long, strange band. As dreamy, drugged children meeting the return of energies neither created nor destroyed, merely recycled as our souls. Permanent and impermanent, we meet before the dawning, gold-painting sun and the vista of gentle seas and cricketed vineyards.
Though we have harmed one another, words and actions repeated in the ignorance of a heedless yesterday, we meet at the intersection, now.
Greetings, my old friend. My face, my heart, warms at the sight of you. Perhaps I must ask you to forgive me. I forgive you, for we are merely children, and you are beautiful. Can we play now?