Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ghost Writers in the Sky

Brian and I in Slot Canyon

I’ve never been one to read obituaries. A lot of folks I know do that now on a regular basis. Perhaps more to be assured they’re not mentioned there than anything else. I guess at a certain stage in one’s life there finally comes the feeling of mortality. The realization that the long haul ahead has passed by and now some of us are on that downhill side.

As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, I was slow coming out of the starting gate and at a certain point gave up on the notion of maturity as a goal of mine. It wasn’t as much giving up as it was realizing that I liked my life as it was; appropriate for my age or not. With my kids, I could be a kid again. Now with my grandchildren; ditto.

Saturday Long-Distance Bike Ride
So I continued running on a daily basis when others gave in to middle age and more sedate sports like golf or watching football. I upped the ante with marathons, trail running, hiking, mountain biking, long distance biking and just about anything that included non-motorized movement.

Cretin High 50th Class Reunion - 2011
My fiftieth class reunion was a shocker in the number of classmates who weren’t with us anymore. It was only then that it sank in what a precious thing life can be. That brush up against the grim reaper scraped my consciousness once again when I added the link ‘Hippies of the 60s and 70s’ to my Facebook page.

Almost overnight the list of the deceased began to pile up. But these weren’t personal friends or associates from times past. Instead they were my icons and kindred souls on that perilous journey from adolescence to adulthood. They were the artists who wrote the songs, played the music, made the movies and drew up those images in my minds-eye.

They were my trusted advisors and rule-breakers. They were the outlaws and mavericks who dared to think differently and venture where others feared to tread. They were the father-figures I never had and the coach whose rules were made to be broken. They made the movies that stirred my soul and wrote the books that captured my imagination. They helped me dream the dreams and think the impossible.

The list keeps getting longer every day.

To be honest they really weren’t my heroes in the sense of someone to follow. Instead they were the stewards of my focus, inspiration, adoration, hopes, dreams, ambitions and all those sundry illusions of youth all wrapped up in a cool song or transfixed movie that jolted my mind and raised my blood pressure.

I could list the artists and their songs, movies, plays or books that grabbed my gut and shook my innards with an explosion of emotion I hadn’t experienced ever before.

Now a lot of them are gone. Of course, I’ve got YouTube, DVDs, old vinyl and old black and white memory jolts to take me back in time.

If they were still around I’d want to tell them how much their works of art still mean to me. It’s is a road often traveled yet seldom crossed. They took me for quite a ride if only for a minute or two. But it was a great trip and made this whole life journey thing one heck of a grand experience.

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