Lokkal- todo SMA
Clouds and Kabbalah

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher Lokkal

The rains are early this year. After a prolonged heat-wave of record temperatures they are well received. Still after a week of overcast I am put uncomfortably in mind of my life back in Vermont, the US's second most rainy state.

Last evening, just as I was going to bicycle up to a concert in el Centro, it started to rain. I took my car, found a parking space not too far away and proceeded on foot, umbrella in hand, to the show, passing sandal-shod through rushing streams of water at every corner. It was a sell-out crowd. The performer was introduced and proceeded to give a lengthy, bilingual preamble. I guessed what we were in for when he finally cut himself off with, “I've got so much more to say, but...”

The first song was very good, but then followed an extended polemic opposing the demand for equal gender and ethnic representation in movies and art works. Now, I am not unsympathetic to such opposition, but it went on for nearly as long as the first song had.

The second song was heartfelt and well performed, but, then, again, there was another prolonged monologue, this time about the need to engage in dialogue with those with whom we disagree, even if they are ignorant. Another laudable sentiment, but, I thought, out of place at a concert, and the length...

The third song was clever and pleasing, but the third talk that followed it, this time against the too widespread prohibition of cultural appropriation was, aside from its merits, already disconcerting. Three quarters of the crowd which had largely greeted the first two interruptions with laughter and applause was now silent. The performer, who left the piano and stood for these orations, was taken back. Addressing the silent majority of the audience, he demanded, “So the rest of you are okay with that?” Then, “I love being up here. I'm king. I can do whatever I want.”

Somewhere in the recurring diatribe he announced, "I don't give an intermission. An intermission is like stopping for a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich when you're making love. I visited England recently. I drank a lot of water on the plane, because you get dehydrated. So, I was always getting up to use the bathroom. Then, I saw on Amazon that you can buy a device to strap to your leg and urinate into a tube and the urine collects in a bag." I barely managed to restrain my heckle.

After the fourth song, I, along with 5 or 7 others, got up and left. Before I got out of earshot he had already stopped the patter and begun his next song. Maybe the exodus had some effect.

My short temper gets me in trouble. I regret my anger, sometimes almost immediately. Of course, often the damage is done. Last night, storming out like I did, I missed a song where the show's producer, with whom I have a warm relationship, sat in. He wrote me this morning to ask how I liked the show, and told me, following my complaints, “I'm also getting tired of the relentless attacks on free speech, the need for political correctness, and while I would have said what he said with less anger and more art, I still enjoyed his comments. He has great stage presence, and is very funny. The Elton John song I played piano on, with Doug Robinson on melodica, was one of the best musical collaborations of my lifetime. This was our most successful concert ever, and the ovation at the end was huge.”

Over the course of decades of counseling patients, I came to concur with the former Jungian James Hillman, who, following the ancient Greeks, taught that feelings were not inside of us, but rather, that we are inside of the feelings. They encompass us like a cloud. That is, my anger is not my anger. My impetuosity or regret may be identical to your impetuosity or regret. The ancient Greeks did not have psychology, they had cosmology. For them emotions were powerful and autonomous, with their own agenda. And powerful, independent forces for them were gods.

It is a little maddening, this chiaro-oscuro, this play of happy sad, like the play of light, sun poking through the clouds illuminating the distant landscape in patches. What I felt so strongly a short while ago now is wholly passed, like the pain of a stubbed toe or the shock of a funny-bone; gone in a minute. And, then, what replaces it might yet be as fleeting.

Which brings me to Kabbalah. The Pesach Eliahu, recited Friday twilight at the inauguration of the Sabbath, begins, “Master of the worlds, You are One, but not in the numerical sense;” One, but not like one, two, three... Now I've always taken that to mean that oneness, that unity, is divine. This is certainly true whether you are a sports fan cheering for your favorite team or a parent ecstatically viewing your child or a music aficionado carried away at a concert. To lose one's ego self and merge with another, person or experience, does seem to be the point of it all. But just today I have another sense of it, almost the opposite, but a complementary opposite. The dualities, the light and dark, the anger and regret all form a whole, a oneness. These realities inescapably encompass us, passing over us like clouds. Yes, the bliss of being perfectly in tune is divine, but so to is riding the waves, the ups and downs. I suppose that wisdom is not getting wholly lost in any phase, not entirely losing track of the the other polarity. Maybe that is the little dot of yin in the big wave of yang, or the connection, the middle of the Buddhist Middle Way.


photo: Alessandro Bo (cropped)

Dr David started this magazine because he could write and liked to communicate. He fully expected that in a town like San Miguel he could find authors to publish in addition to himself. Well, practically no one is submitting anything. Stubborn as he is, he continues, now publishing himself, and a faithful cadre of authors and photographers. His motto continues to be, "It's hard to be ahead of your time."

You must register and log in to write a comment.
Please use the "login" link at the top (right) of the page.

Subscribe / Suscribete  
If you receive San Miguel Events newsletter,
then you are already on our mailing list.    
   click ads
copyright 2023