Tuesday, January 26, 2010

After the Fall...


...somebody told me that, back in the 60’s, when fabled rock band Iron Butterfly tried to record a song called In the Garden of Eden, the singer was too wasted to pronounce the words, so it came out In A Gadda Da Vida....which is a good story...if, most likely, completely dubious....then, that's true of most creation stories...and why they tend to be ruined when taken literally...

...around that same time Joni Mitchell sang we are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden about a fabled rock festival she didn’t actually get to attend, though many of her friends did, and she’d wanted to...so, really, she wasn’t singing so much about that legendary communal gathering, or even the longing for the fabled garden that, according to that 33 rpm myth, the festival was about....but longing for that longing...hoping for that hope...impossibly dreaming of holding that impossible dream...

The Paradise is in the desire, not in the imperfection of accomplishment...
Allen Ginsberg

...some years ago was sitting in a coffee shop...there was this kid...mid-teens, or so...not bad looking...kinda gawky...he was there a lot...usually alone...like me...but, this one afternoon, there was a girl...about the same age, kinda cute, clever smile, long hair tied back in a child’s ponytail...kinda gawky, too...sitting across from him at a tiny table...and looking every bit as nervous and awkward as he....though anyone could tell they liked each other...a lot...and that they themselves knew...even if they weren’t really sure how to proceed from there...and I couldn’t help thinking goddamn, what I wouldn’t give to be that kid right now...

...(don’t worry...this isn’t some sick Allen/Polanski/Humbert kinda story about a pervy middle aged guy going after little girls....more a sad, wistful middle-o'-the-wintertime kinda one, about wishing one could turn bad memories in for good)...(even if it’s better to follow what the bumpersticker says and give up all hope for a better past...like all the yogis and Buddhists say, live in the here and now...even if so many of them seem so hung up on mythical pasts...when perfectly enlightened words were written by perfectly enlightened sages...which, I guess, shows just how hard it is...and why we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves for now and then wallowing in our self-indulgent might have beens)...

...to be in his seat, zits, confusion, and all...with the boundless fears that go hand in hand with boundless hopes...countless strange discomforts, all fresh and new...but also the knowing that, deeply disturbing as this clash of innocence and experience called adolescence might be, for this moment at least, he wasn’t alone in it...and that he and she could only imagine what flowers might grow out of their confusion...

...harsh as the end of that story in Genesis was...prospects of mortality and death, angels with flaming swords, and all that...at least Adam & Eve had each other...

10 comments:

Kitty said...

WOW! That's some next level shizz, Doc!

Eco Yogini said...

dr Jay that was kinda sad.

no matter what people say about being detached and such and such, we are social beings.

Bob Weisenberg said...

I loved this blog.

Bob

Ed T. said...

I see where you're going with the wishing you could be in his spot thing, but personally, I think that too sometimes, then remind myself what a struggle and effort it has been to get my mind to where it is right now, and I wouldn't give that up for anything.

the walking man said...

Funny thing about being Buddha or any of the other names for the enlightened state...no where is your state of being required to the same as mine. I isolate at times as choice and I am with my wife and/or friends because of choice, neither state is wrong and neither position removes me from my being.

Longing for something missing simply says define and find whatever it is that will fill your need.

Be Well Cynical Yogi.

Brooks Hall said...

So it sounds like there is nostalgic envy for the young geeky-sweet couple you saw some time ago. They represent Adam and Eve for you, 'flowers might have bloomed from their confusion' if they had decided to make it work.

And it seems like the uniqueness, awkwardness, and even the imperfections of the young couple are remembered fondly, yet the same things in middle age ring differently. Why? What about the newness of the journey now-at whatever age. I think that age brings an illusion of knowing something about connecting, or the failure to do so, but in reality a connection can be a cool entry into newness without regard for the age of the people involved.

I don't miss adolescence. But I feel the ache of remembering, anyway.

Lana Gramlich said...

Having lived most of my life alone, I have to say that it's quite nice having my husband now. I wouldn't trade this in for those awkward, zit-filled days for a billion dollars.

earthtoholly said...

I don't wish to go back, but there's an enjoyable melancholy (how contradictory is that) in the "ache of remembering," as Brooks so aptly put it. Those feelings, though sad, make for a strangely comfortable place.

Oh my gosh...I bought In A Gadda Da Vida when it came out and remember my mother coming into my room and turning it down...bummer.

Loved this post, drjay, and now I'm kinda sad...but enjoying it.

Melinda said...

That's so interesting--I never heard the Iron Butterfly 'in the garden of eden' story--but you know, it doesn't seem that far-fetched to me, really (after all, I HAVE been that wasted -- on a few different occasions (maybe 100)).

Anyhoo--I know what you mean about wistful reminders of one's lost youth. I was at Golden Gate Park a few weeks ago and there were some kids (God I sound really old) riding skateboards. It reminded me of what seems like yesterday--riding my own skateboard in the park.

Although I would not trade where I am right now for all the youth in the world. I am trying to learn to appreciate where I am and live with fewer regrets. It's not always easy, Jay.

Laura Hegfield said...

I don't want to go back there. And yet there are some fond memories of flirting and awkwardness and longing...I'm sorry you are feeling a bit lonely :(