Friday, February 6, 2009

A Long and Very Windey Road

this too will grow

I have to take a step back, and pause, here. The topic is synchronicity, not the amazing story of my fabulously amazing life. I have to resist the temptation to get sidetracked into why this happened, and how that happened, and what was going on somewhere else that was weird, sad, funny, or otherwise worthy of re-telling, and so lose the thread in anecdotal trivia. And I also have to make some huge jumps in time to see the connections between events. Some of the connections are rather tenuous. Strands seemingly broken may not be tied together for years. So it was with the drawing.

I left the city. I had enough money to get me by without working for a while. So I camped out on the couch at my mother's house, and spent the summer surfing, and taking day trips on the bicycle. It was good. But I knew it couldn't last, even though I had no clue what the next phase in my life would be. I was on my way back from the beach, waiting at the stoplight at Garden Grove Boulevard and Golden West. I was absentmindedly gazing at the Harley dealership on the corner, and I heard myself addressing a bunch of first year high school students about the importance of getting a good grip on the English language. Where was this voice coming from? Some weeks later I registered for college. I threw myself into school with all the fire I had in me. It wasn't until I had actually graduated, and was enrolled in the School of Education that I began to doodle in class the way I had done in the office. Again, classmates would occasionally ask me if they could have the drawings. That summer, 1987, I bought a rapidograph, a tablet of Bristol board, and a big set of colored pencils, which lit an artistic burn that would sustain me for almost twenty years.

Jump to 1990. I bought a Harley from the dealership at Golden West, and Westminster. 1991, I was riding through a small town in West Virginia, heading back west after jumping into the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, Va. A voice in my head said, "Stay here." I didn't know it, but I had arrived for the first night of Bluegrass week at The August Heritage Arts Festival at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV.. I stopped there again, the next year. In '93 I again planned my itinerary to include a stop in Elkins. It happened to be on a Sunday, registration day for workshop classes. I thought, "Oh, what the hell, see what they have to offer." Music and dance are the main focus of Augusta, but they had classes in Irish folklore, which sounded just OK, and Celtic Stonecarving which sounded cool. But Stonecarving was full. So I signed on for the folklore class. As I left the registration center, one of the clerks came running after me, and caught me at the door. Someone had cancelled; there was an opening in the stonecarving class. The first day of class I sat across from a woman who had brought along the book, Celtic Art, the Methods of Construction, by George Bain.


QP said...

Your writing style flows and that cliffhanging ending --> Will man and woman tie the Knot?

walt said...

By golly, there are some twists and turns involved, aren't there?

How come you guyz get The Voice? I mean, regular? I get "signs and indications" now and then, but I only have gotten it once "verbally" -- it said "You're finished!" I was thinking, "Hey! That was The Voice! And it sounded, er, authoritative!" Since I was so impressed that I got it, I walked away and never went back!

But you and Ben get directions! That's at least Level II.

I looked up that book over at 'Zon. If where you're heading has to do with that book, this should get pretty interesting ...

Synchronicity is a great subject, and very little has been written about it, except for new age stuff. And syncOOnicity is completely esoteric -- only for initiates.

jwm said...

Thanks, QP, and no. I didn't keep in touch with anyone but the instructor. We still trade notes. But talking about synchronicity, the other day I was blipping through google, and stumbled on to the website of another of the instructors I worked with at Augusta. Hadn't heard from him since '94 or '95. We traded a couple e-mails, and I invited him to drop by the wfb. Maybe he will.


jwm said...

Walt: I don't mean to give the impression that it is anything like a common occurrence. Truth to tell it has only really happened a couple or three times. And I have a very long list of dumbass moves, often involving the purchase of cars, where I just tried to let The Voice steer me in the right direction. That road leads straight to humility.


Sal said...

What QP said- have you been taking cliff-hanging lessons from Ben?

Don't comment often, but I am loving this.
The Net and how it can bring people together amazes me.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I never could understand how some relegate syncronicity to fate.
I mean, lookin' back at it, there's no way it happens by chance. :^)

You got me hooked on your story now, John. Excellent writing!

Looked at another way, I no doubt need to hear The Voice more often, 'cause I really ain't all that bright sometimes.

However, I don't hear THE Voice all the time like some of those TV preachers claim. Funny, The Voice is always tellin' them to have another Jesusthon to keep their TV ministy afloat...or to get a new Jesus jet or somethin'.