Sansaku: Strange Medicine
We have no idea what’s “really” out there. Physicists say most of the matter in the universe is made of dark energy. What we perceive is less than five percent. It’s the same with a person, most of their matter is composed of a similar energy.
I’ve also heard it said that the nonverbal content is ninety percent of the message. It mostly depends on who’s talking, their intentions, under which circumstances, to whom, for what reasons, how it’s said, and what it “really” means. This is the dark energy.
Words rarely mean what they say, even when we try. The contents are not the container. But strong liquor tastes the same out of pottery or crystal. And the great mythological themes pour out and into ordinary life, where the divine energies are the same whether dressed in proper clothes or looking like a well-educated tramp.
I doubt the gods praised Prometheus, although the poets did. As far as Zeus was concerned, he defected. When I asked my dad, he said his unpardonable crime was defending too well those people who didn’t deserve it. They didn’t like that he won using tricks. He added, “Of course, when I did it for the rich and powerful they praised me.”
He was very aware of the hypocrisy. If you steal a kingdom, they’ll call you a king. Good luck if you steal some bread. Corder was losing his idealism the longer he practiced the law, which punished both the rich and poor alike for stealing bread and sleeping under bridges.
I suppose Prometheus had a similar sense of justice. I know they suffered a similar fate.
He said, “Most people get their freedom too cheaply. You have no idea what I went through.” It wasn’t an eagle that came to eat his liver, his was an alcoholic bird of prey. The irony wasn’t lost on him.
After landing from his fall from grace, Corder changed his name. I’m sure it wasn’t legal. That wasn’t his way. He signed his checks as Denver Smith, but when he went into bars, they called him Doc. He was hardly incognito.
I’ve heard it’s a joy to hide, but a disaster not to be found. This is one of the reasons dream group worked so well. Someone almost always said, “There’s something I’ve been hiding.” They wanted us to find and see them. It’s how my father and I felt about each other.
He wanted to know my secrets and I wanted to know his. I can’t express how much was riding on this. Our myth was at a turning point.
When I found my father, I met the man. History lived in him. When he met his son, he wanted to know what kind of a man he’d become. It was obvious I was not like him and yet we needed each other to be whole and free. Strange medicine.
If equanimity is that larger and more inclusive view of joy and sorrow, he had it. When I didn’t, he reminded me, “This, too, will pass.” Unlike our mother’s even temperament, which came from love, his came from a shadow-side awareness. Almost nothing surprised him, especially the darker shades of life.
When he was eighty-sixed from the Colorado Bar Association, he took those well-crafted talents southwest. The bars in Tombstone, Arizona, had swinging doors and gladly let him in.
The myth changed stage, set, and scene. Now playing the piano, he held court at the Crystal Palace Saloon. He was still the same character.