EPISODE 221: Centennial

Healing, one’s healing, doesn’t come from fiat, i.e., from declaration. Nor does it come from deletion, i.e., from living as if events in your past never took place.

Healing comes from abreaction and merger, from engagement, even the ‘clash by night’, with the past and with your hurt, rejection and pain.

I saw this recently “up close and personal” during a visit to my old college.

It was the centennial of my final club (i.e., fraternity), and the whole world had returned to show good faith and loyalty. Suddenly I became witness to an ancient institution that is throbbing with life. It is permeated with vitality, esprit, and hopefulness. And yet it’s also keeping faith with tradition — with the customs and delightful amenities that so beguiled us in the ’70s. (As ‘Yes’ beguiled us, with “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Roundabout” — just to name two.)

In a way, I saw the secret of institutional endurance — as opposed to institutional entropy. You keep up with the present people you serve or are intended to serve, and you keep faith with … the shoulders on which you stand. I beheld my old final club: the perfect instance of doing both, and with humor, delight, affection, and warm-heartedness.

But there was one more thing. I needed some healing, at least a little, as there was always something that wasn’t quite right or about which I had regrets — loose ends, you might say. And Lo and Behold!: Healing came on that front, too. A breach or two was closed, a tear or two mended. “Euripides?” “Eumenides?”

Come Fly with Me (1957), and, then again, with ‘Yes’, make “Your Move” (1971).

EPISODE 222: Circle for a Landing

The problems we all have are different, depending on the person and your history. Yet they are all urgent; and they all require, ultimately, urgent care.

This cast presupposes the universality of urgency, at least in one concrete area of your life. In other words, everyone is more or less circling for a landing.

But how to land? You didn’t go to flying school, did you? Most people didn’t. So how do you land?

The short answer is, you have to go elementary — you have to return to first principles. And for most people, this means going back to the past.

You can’t go forward in life — you can’t even begin to live in the present — if you haven’t abreacted your past.

I had a surprising chance to do this recently. In fact, I’m still in shock about it. This is because a college reunion grabbed me right back to … the Twilight Zone. I entered the Twilight Zone. Partly it was because where I was was unchanged, physically and emotionally even, in comparison to what it was, physically and emotionally, 45 years ago. ZHOOOM!: It’s 1971 again. Hey, and what’s that song blaring from the dorm windows? It’s “Roundabout”, by Yes.

If you don’t believe me now — and I’m actively hoping you will — you may one day. And then “you may ask yourself” (Talking Heads): Where did I file that podcast again, the one about memory and merger? LUV U.