Baby Boomer Babble


Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship


Baby boomers ask a lot of questions. Where do we get what we believe? Who tells us "the truth." How do we get it? How do we hear it? How do we understand it and live it? We try to get beyond the mundane, but often we're not quite sure how.

We thought maybe drugs would help answer all the big questions, but it didn't take long to figure out that wouldn't work. When "the truth" comes to your mind, it had better be clear. When the light goes on, you don't need drugs dimming it. When one of those peak moments arrive, you don't want it to be blurred by the false promise of drugs. In the journey down life's path, drugs were a dead end.

We went looking for gurus. Ah, someone to show us the way. Someone that speaks "the truth." Our gurus lived on mountain tops, in crystal cathedrals, sang songs on the radio, gave lectures in the great halls. All we had to do was listen and follow. But we misunderstood. We thought life could be taught, that the divine, our divinity, could somehow come from another. We failed to realize that our lives are the divine, that if we live a reasonably decent life, spread kindness, try to be a good parent, a good son or daughter, a good friend, a responsible citizen, that if we do our best, and keep working at it, the guru will turn out to be our life and we the pupil.

We are all on a trip on that magic swirling ship. And it ain't no easy journey. I'm writing this on the eighth anniversary of my almost dying from a sternal staph infection. Trust me, the dying is not near as tough as the living. Wondering if you are doing what you need to be doing? Am I the husband I need to be, the father I want to be? Am I teaching young people things they need to know? Am I hearing the music, or too absorbed in my own story to listen to it? The bottom line for a lot of us boomers is: Am I making a difference?

In the eight days I laid unconscious in the hospital, I boarded that magic swirling ship for a ride down a long, lighted tunnel. It had all the makings for a classic near-death experience. Unfortunately, I didn't think it taught me any profound conclusions about life, or death. Now, eight years later, I'm beginning to piece it together.

When the end was near, there was no beautiful angel waiting for me, no pearly gates, no heaven or hell, just a carnie asking me to take a ride on a ship. He gave me the experience of taking the ride. He didn't explain it, interpret it for me, he didn't tell me what to make of it. The only thing he helped me do was to get on board. When the ride was over, all he said was yes or no. Was the ship my passageway to the next world, or my ride back to this one? I couldn't figure it out, which scared me. How could I know? But I must have answered.

Ends up I'm figuring that magic swirling ship travels between both worlds. And the answers to all our hard questions, to who we want to be, what we want to accomplish, the difference we want to make, are revealed in the journey between the two.