Friday, May 11, 2007

Hey, It's Friday!

I slept for three hours, woke up for two, and slept for three more. I guess that counts as six hours of sleep. I spent that dead zone between 4am and 6am reading the 40th anniversary issue of Rolling Stone. They interviewed plenty of 60s icons. I read only a handful of interviews such as Bob Dylan, Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead, Tom Wolfe, and Keith Richards.

Wolfe mentioned that he never took LSD even when he was hanging out wearing a suit and observing the Merry Pranksters. "In covering Kesey and The Pranksters, there were all these all-nigh sessions. They'd be taking drugs. I wouldn't," he admitted. I would bet that Wolfe never volunatrily took a hit of liquid sunshine. It was nearly impossible to be in that scene and not get dosed at least once.

Bob Dylan said some interesting things on creativity like, "I never tried to manipulate inspiration." Or, "I come from a time when you had to be original - you had to have some kind of God-given talent to begin with. Just about everybody and anybody who was around in the 50s and 60s had a degree of originality. That was the only way you could get your foot in the door."

Bob Weir discussed the downside of the 60s, "My generation almost let democracy disappear in this country - by not voting, by getting lazy, by going to sleep. Everybody took a big snooze after the Sixties. And very few people woke all the way back up."

There are plenty of other interviews that I had not read yet such as Jack Nicholson, Patti Smith, Mick Jagger, and Jimmy Carter. I'll get to those on another insomnia driven night.

This morning on my jog, I realized how much I missed wandering around Amsterdam in a hash haze as I'd duck down unknown streets where I'd just walk and soak up the scene.

Those 60 hours in Amsterdam were used to organize my feelings. I needed to escape to a place where I could block out everything in my life and be devoid of things like work, responsibility, and being a so-called member of society. Dropping out for a couple of days, jumping off the grid in Human Head terms, wandering around in a strange yet familiar place and trying to unwind and letting go.

The attachments had gotten intense. Work, life, family, friends, relationships, multiple sites, business deals, future projects, and instant communication. I needed to let go and float for a few days before I returned to the world.

I had a true vacation. A holiday. Alone. By myself. No watches. No cellphone. No time. Forgetting the day of the week. Forgetting my name. My monkier. It was cold in Amerstdam which helped forget. It could have been November or February. Monday or Thursday. 1 pm or 6pm. I had no idea. Day or night were the only two distinctions I realized.

Everyone passed on the street was a stranger. I tuned out the dialouge of other travelers and tourists as all their different languages blended into background noise. My curisous side tended to drift towards eavesdropping on other conversations. The pyschological sadist in me loved trying to get inside their heads and figure out who they are. The writer in me does it to get a better understand of the human race as I unwrap the outer layers.

How do people do simple things like drink coffee or talk about a previous vacation to someone who's never been to that exotic place?

I loved the ability to blend into a coffeeshops and cafes. I was able to read my book and sit, organizing my thoughts while sipping super hot coffee, or slurping room temnpature beers and losing myself into fits of creativity... trying to come up with ideas on what to write.

In Amsterdam, I developed an odd fascination with Homer, the inspiration for all of Western literature. And he wrote those works over was 3000 years ago. He was the one who influenced Shakespeare who influenced a slew of 19th century and 20th century writers that I admire.

Homer wrote about men dealing with courage, fear, pride, and sense of finding one self. All at the same time, the most common theme that ran through his works were the longing for home.

The last few years I have been longing for home I had to come to the ultimate relization that I'm not anywhere close to being there. I used to think that my next gig would be the one that will allow me to go home again where I could stay put for six months and write about my experiences. That never happens. It seems like I keep getting sent out on the road.

It's a struggle. I'm able to travel but I lack of personal writing time. I have very little time to sit at home and practice. Artiscally, I often found myself stale and that's why I need moments out of the loop to hone the craft. Yes, the challenge has presented itself. Improve on the fly or else.

When I'm on the road, I have few attachments and very little material items aside from what I can carry with me. Nomadic life interests me when I get to decide where to roam to. Being told where to go has its drawbacks. Alas, the road is what you make of it. And in the end, it's the people that you meet which refine the experiences.

Maybe I'll never get home and I'll be on the road for the rest of my life. Bob Dylan has been on the road for four decades.

"I like the originality of the road," he said. "It's real life in real time."

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