Thursday, December 17, 2015

"You must travel it by yourself."

"Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass     

       Once during my elementary school years I relentlessly begged my parents to buy me the Police's album Ghost in the Machine. The first time "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" came on the radio, my love affair with Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland began. Seldom if ever being a demanding child my parents thankfully relented and the album became a Christmas/ early birthday gift. Along with my first drum set and a brand new pair of skates, listening to the album over and over has been a vivid, beloved childhood memory. You could say the intense fascination with the Police and wanting a drum set was comparable to Ralphie Parker's overwhelming mission for a Red Ryder BB gun in the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story.
     The album features the songs, " Invisible Sun", "One World", "Demolition Man" and " Spirit's in the Material World". The title, Ghost in the Machine was inspired by the book of the same name written by Hungarian-British journalist, Arthur Koestler. Many years later I purchased the CD Ghost in the Machine along with the Police's incomparable anthology and most of my early music history is safely stored on an iPod.
     Another powerful track from Ghost in the Machine is featured in the video above called "Secret Journey". The footage for the video was taken from the 1992 documentary film Baraka -A World Beyond Words directed by visionary artist Ron Fricke (Samsara -2011). The entire film is an incredible photographic journey of human life and religious ceremony. Although the song" Secret Journey" isn't featured in the film the images and music created for the video above complement and enhance a surreal experience.
       Sting called " Secret Journey" -" a quasi-mystical song, stating in a press interview," You have to do something, go somewhere, to get outside yourself. I read the book "Meetings with Remarkable Men"(G.I Gurdieff)  which says you have to make a journey. It doesn't have to be a real journey, it can be a mental journey."

         During the holidays, it's especially easy to become nostalgic or fondly reminisce of "better days".  Although we do adhere to traditions of the past we should also recognize and respect change. It's human nature to adapt and aspire, to take on challenges and study new ideas. So instead of lingering too long on Memory Lane feeling regretful or sad, recall all of the difficult twists and turns you've survived on your own unique path. Remind yourself of the knowledge, courage and strength you've gained. No one else has or ever will travel that road for you. Honor it.

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