As we grow older memories and senses seem to fade. Is this simply time passing and replacing parts of old precious memories with newer less meaningful ones?
Have we dulled ourselves with the foods that we eat, the drinks we choose to drink and the lifestyle of stress and urgency which seems to be the norm as of late?
I had decided, as of the end of the summer that I would give up all the bad things and go back to basics. I have proclaimed in the past that I had chosen to see the world though the eyes of a 9 year old forever, but was I taking good care of the 9 year old within me?
As a conscious and caring adult, would I expect to let the 9 year old eat bad foods, smoke cigars, drink martinis and bottles of wine?
Would I subject that innocent child to the day to day stress that is crippling us as a society?
Pressure, pressure and more pressure gives way to anger and frustration.
How can a child be happy, healthy and expect to grow up with a good sense of whom he or she really is in an environment of negative thoughts, stress, poor foods and other bad ideas.
My guess is that if that no one would knowingly hurt a child like that….. So I won’t hurt the 9 year old within me.
As of September 14th I gave it all up to God, everything bad, and decided to get back to doing for myself what I did or wanted done for me as a kid. Give the tense and troublesome situations up and trust that the adult would handle it for me.
The adult at this point can only be the universe or what I believe God is.
So I would get proper rest, drink only things that make me and keep me healthy.
I would get exercise, pray or spend time day dreaming, being creative and would eat rite.
This I would have to modify from my 9 year old menu because the nightly pasta dishes I had as an Italian child would now supply me with so many carbs that I might find myself doing a tag team comedy show with Louie Anderson.
After 2 weeks time I began to sleep better, dream better and even think better about myself and the world around me. The planet can survive with whatever the current stock index is or whatever bottom becomes in the real estate market…no matter how low they go. There is peace on the horizon and the lack of crap in my life made me catch a glimpse of it.
After 1 month my attitude went from needy and angry to grateful and content, even appreciative. It gave me the chance to look inside and around me and realize that I was blessed with a beautiful life. How could I have been so blind?
Within my fresh new world I found myself listening to people, not just talking.
Stopping just to listen to a lake shore and to the wind whistling through pine trees in beautiful Whistler BC. You see, 6 months ago I would have been thoroughly angered that I had to go ALL THE WAY to Whistler British Columbia to do a show. The horrible task of taking a free flight to Vancouver, then a sea plane over the most breathtaking mountains, lakes and even glaciers to get to the gig. I would then go through the drudgery of doing and entire 20 min show and staying at a 5 star hotel. I would then on to endure a hot bath and a nice book by the fireplace in my suite after the show not to mention a handsome check upon my arrival home….
What had I been thinking all of these years. The man that I was a month before would have been angry and pissy but the 9 year old LOVED IT and saw it as an adventure and a gift.
Now the phone rings and I get an offer to do a cruise from Boston up to Halifax Nova Scotia and back with stops in Newport RI, New York City, Bar Harbor Main and St John New Brunswick. This is a fall foliage tour where they stop to see the scenery and beauty of the autumn colors. Now 6 weeks into my clean mind and body I get on the cruise, find out that I am not in the main room but the lounge and have to do 3 60 minute shows in 1 night to boot. The old Stephen would have been sent in a rage but through fresh eyes I saw this as a wonderful challenge of stamina and concentration. Can I do 3 shows “full on” in one night? Am I good enough to shine as a headliner in a lounge? Would people enjoy the show or would I be seen as just another lounge act? Fear would have made me miserable and angry. It would have had me conjuring all dark thoughts and manifesting a negative cloud around me, sucking innocent bystanders into a vortex of doubt, arrogance and apprehension.
Let’s see if I can hit the ball over the fence, climb the big oak tree, swim all the way to the buoy and back….it was simple…….I will just GO FOR IT.
It was somehow simpler a positive light.
Because my body wanted to do more I got up early, did sound check and rehearsal and decided that I had plenty of energy to go ashore and see Bar Harbor Maine.
It was there that I awoke for the first time in what had seemed a lifetime.
I was transported back to fall 1966 on Long Island. The trees were on fire with God’s palate of colors, the harbor was winking flashes of sunlight on the waves and the boats and dock scene was out of a movie set, to beautiful to actually be natural.
I walked the town in a childhood daze and in wonder taking in the images like it was my last day with sight. As if tomorrow I would be blind for life and that these images would have to last me for the rest of my life. I also brought a camera to record the sights. Funny, I thought, I had not brought a camera on a gig in 12 years. Why had I not? Did I think that the best of life was behind me and that there would be no time to reminisce about new “good old times”?
Continued next Month