Daily Archives: April 26, 2005

Seed Thought: Page 43

I wonder why it is that the folks over at 43 Things picked the number 43. Could it be related to my favorite David Crosby song?

Page 43

Look around again
It’s the same old circle
You see, it’s got to be –
It says right here on page forty three …
That you should grab a hold of it
Else you’ll find
It’s passed you by

Rainbows all around
Can you find the silver and gold –
it’ll make you old
The river can be hot or cold …
And you should dive right into it
Else you’ll find
It’s passed you by

Pass it around one more time
I think I’ll have a swallow of wine –
life is fine
Even with the ups and downs …
And you should have a sip of it
Else you’ll find
It’s passed you by

— David Crosby, Stay Straight Music

David Crosby, in the liner notes for the CSN boxed set, says about his song “Page 43”:

It’s about the mythical instruction booklet to life that we all wish we had and don’t. An optimistic song nonetheless.

While I agree that the song does present an optimistic outlook on life, particularly if you adhere to the “Be Here Now” philosophy as espoused most popularly by Ram Dass (a.k.a. Richard Alpert), I think that far too many people on this earth feel that their particular “instruction book” is somehow applicable to a wide range of individuals with which they have little, if anything, in common except their humanity and the natural milieu upon which their lives are dependent and inter-related with (which in fact is quite a lot, when placed into perspective against their cultural and societal differences). In any case, it is my philosophy that each person must write their own guidebook, and that “book” must be by default more a memoir than a practical “how to” reference. You can investigate and evaluate the memoirs of others, hoping for a bit of insight into some of your commonalities, but, as they say, the Divine is in the details, and there’s where it’s always necessary to stray from the recipe. Then, too, Mark Twain commented once that if you truly want to describe a person so that another would recognize them without question, you cannot paint them using only their good points as a reference. The individuality of humankind is determined by its flaws, the aberrations from the norm that make us each unique.

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I Want to Tell You Something

I want to tell you something
in a few short locking lines;
you may find the concept shocking,
or reject it, but that’s fine.

You may not think it a poem,
for it doesn’t show a thing;
it does not just throw out pictures
like a TV set with springs.

It employs some form and function
(precepts you may not embrace),
and provides no shallow unction
or catharsis, on its face.

There will be no critics fawning
on its radical design,
its unorthodox construction
or bold use of the sublime.

It will never make a journal,
never win a poet’s prize;
it is far too straight and simple
and wears no arty disguise.

You may not think it a poem,
if you trust your teachers’ rules,
or judge it by its reception
from most modern writing schools.

I want to tell you something;
that’s my sole intent and aim.
Whether you accept the message
or not, to me it’s the same.

For I do not write for your sake,
to mesh neatly with your truth;
that you out of hand reject it,
without thinking, is my proof.

I want to tell you something,
but if you choose not to hear
it doesn’t really matter
for it’s only art, my dear.

It is not a revolution,
nor a glimpse of the divine;
not a new proposed solution
for the trouble of these times.

It is not some tortured pretext
by which I excuse my rage;
just a small and rusted latchkey
that I’ve used on my own cage.

I want to tell you something:
if you read between the lines
you’ll find I’ve communicated
more than these few words of mine.

26 APR 2005

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