There are spells in my pockets as I leave my hovel out East and the seething summer of my Discontent. The humidity is like a sickness, an involuntary lethargy. I have bid my farewells. I dined with the Saturday Sangha. We ate crunchy salads and played the game of enlightenment, a board game where one makes points by climbing the chakra pole and wins by landing in the right space at the right time and making lucky guesses. I met one last time with my "coven" for white sangria and tasty gourmet snacks. All in attendance wished me well, a few of them had souls that wanted to go with me and minds that knew they had to stay, still others struggled with my decision, didn’t understand how a person could just go off, all willy-nilly to start over. But this is what I do, I crave it. They took up a collection for gas money to aid in my travels.
I am not a Sun person. Not by any means, never have been, never will be. I am a person of the Moon. I like the shadows, the mystery and the darkness, I like the night, the fog and the mist. To that end, I don’t care for bright and sunny weather either. I prefer grey skies and fog that lies over the land like a blanket shrouding all that is in mystery. I like the fall when things cool down and I can even shroud myself in a warm shawl or blanket. I love a day with grey skies and a breeze that is cool but not cold, a breeze that is comfortable and indecisive about which direction in which it wants to blow, like it’s trying to trick you.
Today as I walked to work I was rounding a curve in the road, the railroad tracks fenced in with tall weeds, tall grass and grey sky, my favorite. A flock of blackbirds took flight in front of the scene and surprised me. Something must have spooked them. It was a moment; it was cool, rain from last night in puddles on the ground. Their black bodies flying against the steel grey of the sky, they flew together as though reading each others thoughts. Their reflections cast in the giant puddles, movement above, movement below. Birds can be mysterious. When they first burst out of the tall grass it was noisy but as they rose into the air there was a moment of almost total silence and stillness as though I was looking at a painting. Then time and space corrected itself, I took a deep breath and I walked to work, it was very nice.
Like a cross country Tupperware party but with hemp this tour took us all the way across the country and back again. We visited festivals and concerts, even the Chicago Democratic National Convention, selling hemp products and educating people about the benefits of hemp and marijuana. We had venues where we had to pay to get in and we also had some gigs where we got paid to set up. We were invited into people’s homes where we'd set up a nice little table and give a presentation much like one would have if they were selling Tupperware. Those were the most interesting of all. The people hosting the event would invite their more open minded friends to come or they'd invite the friends who they had debated with about the subject in an effort to make them understand better where they were coming from or as a way to offer proof that they were right in their defense of Hemp. The interactions and reactions were always interesting as we set up for people from all backgrounds and all walks of life.
Oakland Coliseum, Los Angeles 1992 (or ’93?)
Maggie was a friend of mine when I lived in California. We went to the same shows locally and saw each other at all the same parties. We liked a lot of the same things, such as reggae music, marijuana (among other things) and watching live music. It was never a very big surprise to run in to her at Grateful Dead shows back in the day, especially the west coast shows. No matter where a show was, there was always a chance I might run into her on Shakedown Street, in the hall dodging spinners or in the darkness on Phil’s side having a smoke break. It was at a show in Oakland Los Angeles that I ran into her one night when I really needed her.