Updated: Jul 19
In fact, 70 Trips Around the Sun
Richie, first - there will be an intermission and at the end, you'll find a link to a playlist of all songs in this post. As I was creating the post, I remembered the movie "The Music Never Stopped" and wondered if this post would ever stop - as it became like the lotus with so many layers unfolding.
Though I’ve included a few memories of our early years together, what I’m really excited about is what’s been happening since we’ve reconnected. I’m grateful for beginning to discover who each of us has become and am enjoying the wisdom you've been sharing with me. What’s helping this process for me is the power of our shared experiences during those formative times in our lives – when we were trying to figure out adulthood. Personally, I still haven’t figured it out and find, instead, that just letting it flow carries me and has always carried me where I’m supposed to be.
1. Love Your Neighbor AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF
As I Began to Love Myself – A poem for your 70th Birthday by Kim McMillen
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
The above Charlie Chaplin article spoke to me of how one finds contentment. That led me to this next one…
2. TRAILBLAZING A PATH TO CONTENTMENT
--"’I believe our core desire is to find a level of contentment in life.’ This essay reflects on the five faculties of Buddhism that need to be developed to start the journey towards ease, peace and contentment.” The article begins with a story…
“There was once an ancient city that was far off in the jungle one that had an abundance of prosperity. All the people who lived there had delight with being alive, felt joy, were at peace they had a quality of tranquility and happiness.
At one time, the path to this city was easy to find and the way clearly marked. All were welcome.
But over the centuries, fewer people would seek this path and as time went by the trail became overgrown with vines, fallen trees, and bushes. Finding the path and the city became difficult and arduous.
The Buddha during his journey to find the answers to freedom from suffering
(described as Nibbana or Nirvana) rediscovered this path, long forgotten.”
The article continues at the above link…
“It’s a narrow path and few find it…”
And here’s an equally valid alternative perspective…
--(video) an old-timer shares wisdom from his times on both paths…
Another Trip Around the Sun – Dead Larry
As I was creating your birthday message, I came upon this track. The album art drew me in…who was this guy “Dead Larry” – a Deadhead?, someone now deceased whose friends posted a song in his memory?…anyway, the song has a great beat and the following lyrics spoke of you:
“A man of heart and a man of wisdom…”
3. USE “DEAD RECKONING” TO FIND THE CURRENT PATH…OR, THE PATH THROUGH THE CURRENTS
--Definitely a cosmic tune, the writer reflects on how the song has Taoist, Buddhist and 23rd Psalm imagery. He asks…[my comments are in square brackets]…
--“What place has ‘Ripple’ had in your life? Has it helped you through anything? Have you sung it to your children as a lullaby [see “Teaching Children…Grandchildren” below]? Have you played it around a campfire [see image below]? These are just a few ways the song has lived in my life.”
--Sort of reminds me of our nights on County Line beach (Hells Angels had the fire) and camping in Florida (we owned the fire and ice…cold ones)…In the background is Chickie’s bus…
4. STEALING FIRE FROM THE MOUNTAIN
--My son read this a few years ago and said it was amazing. I’ve included it because, from what I’ve discovered about you from your practices, (which DO speak louder than words), is that you challenge yourself - physically, mentally and spiritually. The next section is from the Stealing Fire Book website. It’s already challenging me to really look at where I am…not judging…but simple deeply seeing…
You know who you are. You’ve hung on to that surfboard or skateboard or ukelele long after they started collecting dust in the garage, just on the off chance you’ll get back to the Zone someday. You crank your favorite college soundtrack up to 11 when no one’s home, and maybe even down a beer (or three) while you’re at it. You couldn’t stand the writing in Fifty Shades of Gray  (but read it anyway). You got tired of “just sitting there” meditation, but now you’re putting butter in your coffee and ice cubes in your bath.
Those fleeting moments you’ve spent outside yourself, connected to something bigger, are the North Stars of your life. Without them, you’d probably shrivel up and die, but you’ve always had a hard time explaining their appeal, and justifying them to everyone around you. You’ve refused to just “grow up” “get real” or “be serious.” Your guilty isolation is over. This book gives you permission and validation for what you’ve known in your bones all along.
 If fifty were too many, why not try…(FYI – The site misspelled “grey” as “gray.”)
--Pacific Coast Highway! VERY HIGH!!!
--awesome display of power from our Earth's core. We are a microcosm of this - we have so much untapped power and heat and light in our core. We do our inner work to unleash it...
--the lava flows reminded me of rolling and breaking waves
--one viewer added her comments: "I've got the lyrics tattooed on my legs; my younger self telling my now-older self to stay true to my Eugene Oregon hippie runner girl roots!
As I say below, one of my memories includes parties where we tried to take over the record player to hear OUR favorite tunes. Often, this battle for the bands was waged between Deadheads and Stoners, Uhh, other Stoners. That said, to be fair, here's an appropriate one... Play with Fire - Rolling Stones
5. MORE RIPPLES ON STILL WATER
--Blogger’s reflections on the spiritual content of Robert Hunter’s music
“…When there is no pebble tossed…
“…No wind to blow…”
The un-mazing Ripple effect…helps us navigate the mazes in our lives…
…If I knew the way, I would take you home…”
“…no simple highway…”
6. WE EACH GOTTA FIND OUR OWN WAY HOME…OUR OWN PATHS…
Early on after we got back together, we were walking in the woods and you said something that gave me insight into how you see our world, “There are many roads up the mountain.” This really resonated with me because I too have come to the place where I no longer believe that there is ONLY ONE WAY, as in one religion or belief system. That said, I do believe that underneath all the different streams we see on the surface, there is one River of Life feeding all the streams.
Asking another such as a teacher or guru is OK as long as we eventually follow our own internal guidance system…Enlightenment…salvation…is an inside job.
Which way do I go, George or Paul or John or Ringo…or Jerry…?
You can fool some of the people some of the time…not sure about all of the people all of the time…I’m hopeful that there will always be some who use their built-in truth recognition software to help them decide which is real and which is an illusion.
Cartoons…it’s no wonder people grew up so Looney and violent…
He went thata way…duh, thanks, George (or Jerry, Bob, Phil, Bill, Mickey…)
“If I knew the way…”