Waking Up Brings Possibilities
(Blogger’s note: What follows is a guest piece for the Blog written by my long-time friend Milky Dent. In fact it was a few months back when Milky phoned and asked me if I’d consider writing a “Foreword” for his upcoming book – tentatively to be titled “The Files of Milky Dent”. I said I’d be honored and in fact I went ahead and wrote that Foreword, after reading the reams of copy he’d mailed me. I also went ahead and proclaimed myself formal “Editor”. You’ll find my name there on the ‘copyright’ page…….So, that’s a piece of recent history and I’m thrilled, speaking both for Milky and myself, to tell you his book is now at the presses and will be published January 1. I’ll be selling copies for him, cheap, and I can honestly tell you, faithful readers of ‘Couch Surfing at 70’, that Milky’s book is the real deal, and with these times in which we currently live real hard simply to survive, it’s a big blessing. The hope and everything. I’ll keep you posted on the where and when of its availability…….Now, what follows is a Milky “File” which surprisingly never made the book. Call it a prequel. And it’s just like the book – all about compassion and joy.)
Someone interviewed Bob Dylan six years ago and he explained he was channeling his songs more than planning them in advance, like maybe there was the widest possible subject idea – “I know, I’ll write a song about an American”, something like that – mostly it was sitting with a notebook turned to an empty page and a pen or a pencil, whichever fancy found him, and simply watching words pretty much fall out onto the paper. Channeling.
I was remembering this Dylan piece this morning, it could have been Rolling Stone or one of the British rock magazines where I saw it, some musical writings, anyway I was remembering because Ronnie Lawson was explaining to me in the coffee shop we like – well, we like lots of coffee shops, but this one is one of the faves, it’s off Pacific just up from Speedway, both streets in Venice, CA where we are visiting now, and by visiting I mean no specific length of time, it’s been nearly two years, but we could look at each other over dinner later or maybe we both take turns looking in the mirror and pretty much magically arrive at the same conclusion, that it’s time to move back to Cape Cod where Ronnie says most every day is where her heart remains – though I’ll take a real long moment here and explain something about Ronnie Lawson’s heart and how big it is and how it’s ever so sharable and that’s what happens all the time wherever she is which these last years have been here in Venice but could as easily next week be back in West Falmouth.
And anyway – I’ll skip lots of details and examples and testimonies and even what some would call a Chautauqua (which is an Iroquois word meaning “two moccasins tied together”) regarding the big old heart of Ronnie Lawson and get back to the coffee shop talk and how Ronnie was telling me that possibly it was a dream or dreams she’d dreamed last night bringing her to this place on waking today – and Ronnie never lets a wake-up go by where she doesn’t go to the little Buddha statue we bring with us wherever we live and since it’s been southern California lately we have it out in the small backyard of our cottage in Santa Monica off Ocean and Eighth, and she upon waking even before brushing teeth or breakfast or reading or coffee we brew at home, she goes to the Buddha and lowers to her knees and holds her hands in what she has taught me is called the cosmic mudra and says out loud this – “Thanks, my man, for another day.”
And I always feel special when I get to see that and I like being reminded that getting up brings just an unbelievable amount of adventure possibilities and back to the coffee shop off Speedway and we had coffees and this was after eating our usual pancake breakfasts at Lulu’s Café at Lincoln and Paloma where we skip the coffee knowing we’re hitting up one shop or another directly after so we are at this one which we like the best which is “Royal’s” and Ronnie is sharing with me that when she woke up and was feeling a little dreamy and slightly trance-like as she walked through the living room and slid the slider open and walked out to the Buddha in the yard and this time she sat on the grass and dirt like you see bronze statues when people sit in formal meditation and in fact the way our Buddha statue’s always sitting and she said out loud thanks for the wake-up and then she sat there in silence with her eyes open and she tells me sometimes all the places she sees when she gets moved to “sit” versus just kneel and say thanks and she’s telling me this at Royal’s that within this morning’s dreamy sitting the words “I channel” came to her and she told me that and it pretty much resonated with me – who you know as Milky Dent which is my one and only and true name and as the sharer and teller and in fact creator of all these thousand-word tales (‘Files’) I also dig that channeling thing and both me knowing that and what Ronnie was telling me made me think of that magazine interview I had read of Bob Dylan’s….
And I remembered feeling empathy with it, yes, me too, this is sharing, this is humanity at work where what you say tingles throughout me and not just the physical me but the soul me too, and that’s another thought, which is Ronnie is the person I know on the earth who talks more about the soul than anyone else, more than me more than Bob Dylan more than my ex LoLo Reynalds, well she was an ex in a different version and that’s pretty cool to think and talk about and it is in fact way cool when someone gets to truly understand with a vivid engagement of every sense that we – and this we is what I hope to be the collective we, all us bipeds — but I don’t know that and maybe it’s only some of us, whoever it is, “we” get to begin to develop the awareness that our lives are going on in different versions all at once simultaneously, so here I am working for the town of Falmouth’s Park Department cutting lawns in town parks and the town square and all the elementary schools and also at the high school and lawns close by beaches, which in the sweaty summer that is sure a joy and while I’m personally of the belief that joy is present all the time I also think you need to make an effort to look for it, anyway sweat cooled by ocean breeze behind a self-propelled rotary blade mower is joy, and there I am cutting lawns in Falmouth and spending some nights with Ronnie in her apartment and we spend some nights in mine, keeping separate places has some positivity in that version, but in this version no way, we love living together and doing most everything together which includes most hours of the day when Ronnie isn’t off at the center volunteering because we both earn what you’d call a living working at home, me with the writing of course, yeah, and (the simultaneous time thing) in this version we live together in Santa Monica CA and I watch Ronnie bow and sit and pray and ask for blessings and give blessings and share blessings in front of the backyard Buddha every day and by every day I mean every day that we wake up with the awareness that here we are waking up again and hello there birds in the bush and breeze clacking through the palms two yards over and the hot tar when we both decide to take off our shoes walking down Ocean toward the walkway….
And I hope this is clear that the Park department gig in Falmouth and sitting here in Venice Beach at Royals talking and thinking and remembering Dylan about channeling are happening at the same time, the same year (’74), the same month (June), the same day, this very same moment. And that’s just two of them (moments) and when I do talk about this when we sit with gin and tonics and look out the slider at the sunset turning the world pink and orange and light purple Ronnie just smiles, she’s done sharing verbally today, and nods her head and hugs me with a closeness you’re so lucky to feel and if I all of a moment am in Falmouth – and forget the three-hour time coast-to coast-difference, those are just made-up numbers – I can see myself tonight in Ronnie’s living room and the downstairs neighbors who are this middle-aged couple who Ronnie says you could take their picture and put it in the dictionary when looking up “wicked in love”, they’re playing Santana records, the music seeping up through the floor, and we get to dance on her rug and in the coffee shop I’m able to lean across our two-person table and give her a delicious warm kiss. And, considering these sweet images (if you are so inclined), and the way I wrote this all down without planning, yup, some of it is channeling.