231 days. 33 weeks. More than 5 thousand hours… and it still feels like yesterday and feels like a million years ago at the same time. I wonder what it’s like for him now, outside of Space and Time. It’s a hard concept to grasp intellectually, but it was a topic we wrapped our heads around more than once.
One memorable night, the late spring of 1984, we were hanging out up north at the Austins’ cottage on Dewart Lake. I was still recovering from a hernia operation, so was feeling rather puny. We tooled around on a pontoon, took turns Jet Skiing and Wind Surfing, and doing our level best to ignore the weight of what was to come… We’d just graduated high school and the world was waiting to see what we’d make of ourselves… And so were we I suppose.
At night we’d all gather in the cottage, Trent, Brian, the twins John and Jerry from next door, Brent, and myself, if memory serves. We had a few beers, passed a bottle around, smoked cigarettes, and talked until the sun came up. The soundtrack was generally Zeppelin, Sabbath, Tull, but it was just background noise…
We were unlocking life’s mysteries before we’d really started living.
But we didn’t know that. We were young, invulnerable, and full of ourselves. We thought we had it all figured out. I don’t know, maybe some of us did.
Brian and Trent certainly went on to be successful doctors and engineers.
Brent and I kind of took the long way around. I’d like to think we lived a little bit more, that we weren’t hung up on what most people counted as “success”. Brent and I were focused on spiritual matters, on the bits and pieces that really mattered. We talked about the shared illusion, the spell that society cast, and of the wondrous reality that none of it really mattered.
We talked about Baba Ram Dass and Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson and Aleister Crowley and every free-thinker under the sun, moon, and stars.
We talked about life and what it really meant. And we talked about death and how little it mattered in the grand scheme of things. What mattered, what really and truly had weight, was the soul and the spirit and the lives you touched between this point and that and where we were headed and the adventure that was just sitting there, waiting for us to shed these physical forms and embrace our true destinies out there in the heavens…
Well, you’re living it now, old friend, out there adrift on the astral wind.
We’ll be along shortly. Don’t worry, you just keep on soaring.
We’ll catch up soon enough.