Riding the Waves to Eternity

Hangin' with the Cosmic Surfer

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Summer leaves have blown away.

1 January, 2016 (18:28) | Steal Your Face | By: Ian Burdon

Something odd has been happening to me lately: something unexpected, troubling almost. After 34 years of indifference I have been listening to the Grateful Dead. I say specifically 34 years because it was in September 1981 that I went to see the Dead play at Edinburgh Playhouse and came away feeling distinctly meh.

Grateful Dead

The Dead: Edinburgh, September 1981

I have always liked some of their songs, notably Ripple and Truckin’ as well as covers I’ve heard of Friend of the Devil. I also like American Beauty as an album. But overall I’ve always found them too ramshackle and approximate to pay them any mind.

But for some reason I’ve had the opening of Friend of the Devil running through my head as an earworm for a couple of days. To exorcise it, I opened up Wake of the Flood on Spotify, and found myself enjoying it, especially the Weather Report suite.

I still don’t care much for their extended cosmic jams, and I much prefer Jerry Garcia’s bluegrass stuff with Peter Rowan et al, but I’m obviously mellowing in my middle years.


Kirstin and I had a pleasant walk this afternoon to start the New Year. We didn’t go far–just a round that took us from the house and back for 2.5-3 miles, but it was something I really must do more of this year: 2015 was entirely too desk-bound. In the same spirit, I have been pondering something that Melissa Harrison wrote on Twitter yesterday: “What you do with the days is what you do with the years. What you do with the years is what you do with your life.”

I think that sentiment is correct. Ironically, given where I read it, my first thought is to spend a lot less time checking social media–I haven’t looked at Twitter for 24 hours and am rethinking (again) the ways in which I engage with all my cyber-friends and acquaintances. The trick, I think, is to take Melissa’s aphorism in reverse–work out what I want to do and work backwards.