Sunday, January 31, 2016


Institutions are for the institutionalized.
Forty fifth college reunion this summer.

I had an idea, with my dear friend, A.,
who matriculated with me but took three
years to write his senior paper, to give
something back...not to the school, rather
to our create an event, a mini 
reliving of that open and wonderful time
of our lives that changed us all forever in
such a diversity of ways. We thought we
could get some like mindeds together,
play music, read poetry, perform 
spontaneous theatre, give lectures on
Buddhism and plumbing, in short, show
how we have contributed to the world 
beyond money, beyond another bench
somewhere in the Arb dedicated to the
class of such and so.

A. looked at the reunion page of the 
website and saw that everything had
been carefully planned. There would be
no one would raise their
hippie flag atop the student union this
time. Even the past had been sanitized
to reflect an ideal of cultural sameness
that cannot be a living thing. 

I wrote half my senior paper on mescaline.
I wrote the other half the way I knew they'd
want it...I knew the gauntlet well by then, and
all I really wanted to do was get out of there 
and into the real world that I was not prepared 
for, except to the extent that I knew that it too 
was a game with rules. When I got my paper
back, the comments reflected this exact point
of view. The rest of my life I learned to follow 
my heart, not my rational mind; that tool good
for grocery lists or sending a man to the moon,
but useless either to experience the world or
understand the experience.

So, no letters after my name. I had some
professional licenses, some good theatrical 
reviews, a book of poems published in an
obscure country on the other side of the world.
Some might have said I taught meditation well.
I like the epitaph on a tombstone that Vonnegut
coined:     "He tried."


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