For some reason or another I found myself trying to recall the lyrics from a Doors song, Texas Radio and the Big Beat… Of course, the magic of the information age is endless diversions and detours via search engines, videos, and wikipedia, where one can immediately find the ins and outs of anyone, their life, the circumstances, obscure trivia. Myths and icons become mere humans, haunted by demons, in a matter of moments.
Having discovered the lyrics, pondered them sufficiently enough to discover they still made very little sense to me, I moved onto some of the biographical information about James Douglas Morrison. The seminal moment in his life – at least as he claimed – was at the age of 4, coming across an automobile accident somewhere in the southwest. A horrific display of dead and dying Indians scattered on the road, thrown from the wreckage, where one of the souls left its dying body and came into his. His family disputes much of the incident – the magnitude of it, the scene, the details – it affected no one else like it did Jim.
Whether or not this is true, no one will ever know. What’s interesting to me though, is how moments like this – for whatever reason – come along and affect some and not others. As one pauses for a moment – or even changes the pace of life for a few steps to ponder and consider what’s happened – the rest of the world trudges on. Suddenly, you are walking along with the rest world not in unison or harmony, but a half step behind…
Maybe the rest of the world never breaks stride and you find yourself always in that spot. At best, at some points, it’s like a ragtime piece where it’s all nicely syncopated, and one actually adds to the other – making it richer and more complex than if the pieces were exactly coordinated. Or like performing ‘row, row, row your boat’ in rounds.
Other times – it’s like being a measure behind – or even playing from different pieces of music all together. Moments where no matter what – the association never works in harmony at all – only a glaring discord whenever the two are put in the same time or place.
I think in life, it eventually happens to everyone, some moment or string of events that come along and totally changes your relationship with the beat of the rest of the universe, the moment you realize you are in a spot completely out of sync with everything and everyone around you. Sometimes, like in Jim Morrison’s case, it happens early, and propels you along a path that makes little sense to anyone, a life that’s a spectacle of self destruction, hazy lyrics and sermons that few people grasp. Jim Morrison became less the soul of the Indian, then the car crash he couldn’t keep his eyes off of. Maybe that’s what made him so alluring.
I know from my own journey, the things that affected me early on – things that caused me to always be a step out of rhythm – set my mind in another world when everyone else went on their merry way, have only made me richer. As painful as it is at some points to see the world in a manner completely different from everyone else, gradually, you come to realize it’s a gift. It’s as if you caught the early express bus to a spot that everyone seems to land in eventually. You learn to admire that you’re sensitive in ways that other people never seem to cultivate, or know how to once they get here.
Thankfully – I can’t sing, or write lyrics. I can’t get up on a stage without people laughing at me. Thankfully, I’ve found better outlets for my expression.
I like getting older. I like that I’m a late bloomer. Most of all, I like that I’m at a point in life where I’m not worried about trying to cure myself of being me, or striving for anything conventional. I like that I can embrace being happily eccentric. Suddenly I’m in the company of others who are just beginning to find themselves here for the first time. People who lived a life that was normal, suddenly in the murky swamp of the unknown, discovering what it means to be completely out of sync.
It makes me realize something I discovered a long time ago, when I first started to cook, why I think it’s a the most valuable of endeavors and diversions. The real beauty of it is, when you cook, you can set the pace of it all for a while – you can slow down the beat, lay out a spread, and instead of discord, for a few moments, it falls back into that gorgeous syncopated rhythm it’s meant to be… And after all, in the words of Jim Morrison: No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn…