It’s gotten cold in New Jersey very suddenly. Today it is only about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) as I write this and I can’t get the heat radiator in my little apartment to work. Science baffles me and always has done and I often have to have people explain very simple things to me. I like to drive French cars and so things can get mighty confusing indeed.
I have just been down to my local Army/Navy store and purchased a US Navy watchcap and a Carharrt insulated work jacket and depending on your perspective I am either going to look like I’m standing on the deck of the US Navy Dwight D. Eisenhower and firing off orders or I’m going to look like I’m a New Jersey working man about to fix a hole in the road somewhere. But, internally, I think it’s all part of my little Hippie/Bohemian/Warlord trip and I probably look like a chump.
Today is John Lennon’s birthday and in the Army/Navy store the radio was playing his songs endlessly and the radio jock was commenting furiously on the ‘honesty’ of the man and how he took his raw insides out to the world. Then there was a commercial break for something that someone was trying to tell us was ‘real’ but it was only a substitute for satisfaction. I think it was a mortgage broker trying to sell someone a bigger house.
Well, John Lennon himself did end up in the Dakota building and Menlove Avenue was far behind him. We mostly all seem to be infected with this disease of wanting more and it does us a great deal of damage. I think it all stems from fear and it’s the devil’s own job for me to sit in the same place for any length of time.
My favorite John Lennon song is Isolation and in it he sings about being removed from the world at the very core of his being and I think that is a feeling many of us know. Actually, he sings that song from the perspective of himself and Yoko and they did become some sort of united team against and for the world. They believed in love but I think he took heroin for a good deal of time as well. Before that he took a truckload of Preludin. He wanted the world to be a better place. I think if he were to be still alive he’d be spastic with everything that goes on.
John Lennon had a very troubled childhood and I think he missed his mum (Julia) for all of his life and he yearned for her endlessly. She died when he was seventeen having bought him his first guitar a few years before that. I think she also taught him how to play. To me it felt like he missed some sort of inner connection and from that we received some of the very best songs ever written. We have much to thank the rest of The Beatles for as well. I don’t believe John Lennon could have ‘made it’ without Paul, Ringo, George, Brian Epstein, George Martin, and many others.
When he met Yoko the yearning seemed to come more to the fore and it became quite exquisite, beautiful, and meaningful. At that point in time, and particularly near the end of his life, he seemed to have found what he had been looking for and the world was enamored of the way he continually spoke of Love and I do capitalize that word.
Contentment and bliss make anyone very attractive and yet many of us destroy any chance of that coming ever our way.
Doctor Wilhelm Reich said that people had three layers to their character. On the surface was the superficial layer (“Have a nice day”), the secondary layer was where the Demons lived and at the very core was God, or Love, or a true and meaningful yearning and probably mixed up with fear as well.
Many people have a hell of a job (so to speak) trying to bury that second layer. I think it often breaks free. Alcohol and drugs tend to make it all worse. The bitterness and sarcasm and anguish come right to the fore and a huge sense of fear overtakes them. When we give life to the fear that’s when we invade Syria. It is usually hopeless trying to relate to someone who is either drunk or high on drugs. Rugs might work, but drugs…no…
Then, some people live their whole lives in the superficial layer and are scared to take it any deeper because they have been mightily disappointed before.
I lost a friend on Sunday night from a drug overdose. Not that I knew him that very well, but I have known a lot like him. Too many. He was part of a crowd of Punks/Bootboys/Skinheads back in Christchurch that I knew in the 1970s/80s…and none of us really knew each other that very well…(well I didn’t anyway…)…it was all beer and skittles when it was going well and we all yelled and screamed at things from that secondary layer. We were superficial with each other but there were times in the midst of the night when we said things about Isolation and Fear and Anger. We all knew they existed within us but we never talked about them too much.
It was just very hard to relate to each other when the Ramones were playing and if you did open your guts someone would break a beer bottle over your head or call you a Wonk. That’s how it was in jail for me too. I hate being called names, so I’ll take the beer bottle.
Then after all this excitement in our lives, a lot of us just went away and died. That’s what we did. We just closed down on ourselves and the on the world and it killed us. We became armored against ever having a better life. We became afraid of reaching out and we could stand the despair, but we just couldn’t stand the hope. Some of us physically died and then some got an even worse deal.
Used to be that when someone died of a drug overdose I would say that they couldn’t handle their ‘hard’ (hard drugs). I hardly ever felt fear or sadness because I was operating from that secondary level of Anger and Demons. I hated people because I believe they hated me. I’ve gotten over that now. I have a good life and it gets better every day. I’m not afraid to either talk about the bad times or to celebrate the good.
I miss my friend and I miss John Lennon. I’m a much stronger person for it all. I can be touched.
A Tinker’s Cuss started life on the Phantom Billstickers Facebook page – it’s a new feature here at Off The Tracks and we’re repeating the earliest posts before carrying on with new words from Jim Wilson.