steady to the center

Over forty summers ago, at the neither-here-nor-there age of fourteen, I picked up my bongos, stuck out my thumb, and followed the long-haired trail of freedom through Western Canada. My middle-class traveling companions and I ended up in the middle of a hippy community in a public park in central British Columbia. Brick WallOne sultry evening, a long, cool black man showed up introducing himself as John Lee Hooker’s brother – they were in town for an upcoming concert. He took out his guitar and played to the awestruck gathering. Unfortunately, I sat down nearby and pounded on my bongos. Despite the gentleman’s encouraging smiles in my direction, my wine-drenched mind just wouldn’t allow me to keep pace. (The following morning, an acutely annoyed banjo-playing hippy, who had also tried accompanying the star guest in the park, threw a beer bottle at me when I picked up my bongos to tap along.) This was my early introduction to a liberal, but not entirely liberating, life-style. I went in and out of hippy circles over the following decade, eventually cutting off my freak-flag (long hair) and escaping out of alcohol and drug abuse. (When my fourteen-year-old son recently put his hand on my shoulder and declared, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to the sixties!’ I couldn’t keep my lip and eyebrows from curling in honest resentment to the sentiment.)

I didn’t become a corporate executive, military commander or gambling-empire tycoon (I prefer working with my hands – wood is nice), but the wild ways of the beautiful children of nature also didn’t draw my allegiance. It’s funny how life’s many complications actually come out of two simple mistakes: right turns, and left turns. Did you know that your governing nervous system is made up of a distinct left and a right side? I say governing, because we’re normally victims of our pendular moods – domination of the left and right sides of our brain (ego and superego). There’s also something very important and little understood called the para-sympathetic, which automatically animates the various functions of the body. After self-realization, this benevolent caretaker glides in, like a first-class customer service, to make life more fulfilling. From this point on, you become your own *manager, gravitating always to the optimum *center, for maximum efficiency and enjoyment. (*not to be confused with corporate manager, and political center!)

Just to set the record straight: Hippies and other social drop-outs are not always left-sided; and public leaders are not always right-sided. I’ve seen ambitious hippies playing a marathon world-domination board-game, which made me glad that they didn’t really hold the reigns of power; and I’ve met a couple of military officers (Russian and Indian) who write poetry and pray for world peace.

(Here in Austria, there are some pretty intense vibrational elements from the two extremes, from Nazi attitudes to Freud and Catholic ghosts.)

metal peace

10 responses to “steady to the center

  1. This was really Wicked… Gave me an idea or two. It is so nicely written that is brought tears in my eyes all while while I was smiling like a maudlin. Ok, a small part was of the gin I’m having. But overall, man *YOU* Rock… My Pc internet is down so am using the phone’s. See you around mate, be seeing you…. Take care, Regards. Ra.

  2. Such nice illustrations! I mean both, pictures and life experience. These two make one stay and read the rest of the post holding his breath. Thank you, dear Edward!

  3. I was typing the comment and then, suddenly, read on the right “Ganesha’a Mouse”. I could only read as the pics are switched off on my computer. And when I switched on that very picture anticipating what could be there, the actual picture made me smile so widely 🙂 ! It is such a nice idea to put it there – makes you relax after reading about serious things.

  4. Such a pleasure to read your article!

  5. steady steady steady to the center, sorry i cant express how it does feel but yes it feels awsome like you dont want to leave this center anymore. Lotsa love to you Mr. Yoda!

  6. Bill Strachan

    Hi Ed, I know you are doing well by the interesting writings and people you have met. You are a very interesting and compassionate human being. You also have found what makes your life a fulfilling place. I have always enjoyed your free spirit and now you can pass that on to your kids. I hope that what ever you are doing that good health and a happy spirit will be part of your karma….Take care and I will be thinking of you and your family.

  7. Thanks, Bill. So great to hear from you (it’s a long time since high school in the seventies 😉 Hope everything’s going well for you – happy trails …

  8. Nice to read …..I remember ….. and know where we `v bin ………

  9. great post, Ed!

  10. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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