5 Thoughts: Lifechangers

0. YOU ARE ON A PATH. Suddenly, something knocks you onto another one. Here are five (of my many) “somethings.”

1. 2001: A space odyssey. At the tender age of six, my mind was blown, by what I could not yet say. But after that, I was crazy for outer space, science fiction, astronomy, and everything those entailed. I still am.

2. Cosmic Trigger. The prolific Robert Anton Wilson’s magickal semi-autobiography, filled with the shared wonders of inner space, made me hungry for some “reality-tunnel” explorations of my own. I was 14, but to this day, the expedition continues.

3. DEVO. At 16, July 1978 found me lost in the sleepy conformity of Northern California’s Diablo Valley. When the phonograph needle hit the vinyl of Q: Are We Not Men? a whole universe of Other Mutants opened up. They were out there somewhere, but at least I knew they existed. And that made this lonely boy a little less so.

4. The Neo-Pagan Society of Diablo Valley College. Found ‘em! March 23, 1981 — the day after my 19th birthday — I entered the company of some amiable and kindhearted misfits filled with the divine spirit of high weirdness, raucous hilarity, bold creativity, mild-mannered mischief, and a lust for life Best inadvertent present ever.

5. Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Found some more of ‘em, in the summer of 1986! Another intentional community with the above qualities, but this time, with swords. Everything I know about leading people in directed social groups — prayer services, study sessions, and public speaking — I learned hawking fencing lessons at the Cardiff Rose. (Seriously.)

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