Channel: (v) to take possession of a spirit’s mind for the purpose of communication

Standing in line at the local department store, I was listening to two young women discuss philosophy. Girl 1 said to Girl 2: “No one’s gonna tell me what to do. I’m my own person.”

It gave me pause for thought.

If we have eight billion people on this Earth trying to “be their own person,” we have an emotional explosion which is greater than any
megatons of bombs.

I don’t want to be my own person. I have met him. He is bland, mediocre, nervous, insecure and adds the disgrace of pomposity.

I need to channel greatness.

I would love to channel the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who uttered, “with malice toward none and charity toward all” just a few days before he was murdered in a theater.

I would like to channel the moment that Thomas Jefferson decided to sheepishly write the phrase, “All men are created equal”–even though he knew he owned slaves.

I would enjoy channeling the fresh, creative, youthful energy of John, Paul, Ringo and George when they brought such singable and danceable music to America.

How about channeling the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, who in the midst of ignorance and war, told the Earth to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

I would like to channel the spirit of the bear, who has the sense to know when to hibernate, the loyalty of the dog and the devotion of a woman to her man, her children and her cause when she feels that the circumstances are righteous.

And of course, it would be wonderful to channel the moment when God said, “Let us make man in our own image.”

I am not enough and never will be.

When I settle for me,

I end up cheating everyone I see.



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Abbey Road

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbbey Road: a road in northwestern London in England, west of Regents Park, the site of recording studios that are associated with the Beatles and other pop music figures.

John, Paul, Ringo and George were so upsetting to my parents that even though they were not religious people, both of them were convinced that the fab four collectively were the anti-Christ, even though my mom and dad were not all that pro-Christ themselves.

The "funeral procession" on the cove...

The “funeral procession” on the cover of Abbey Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know whether we’ll see another phenomenon like the Beatles in the next one hundred years. It was kind of the perfect storm of cultural upheaval. They had the look of anarchy with their long hair and pointed boots. They had the music of anarchy, which included blues chords taken directly out of the Mississippi Delta from the Negra culture. They had the habits of anarchy in the sense that they appeared to be clean-cut young men until you got close to them and found out that they were rather renegade. And they had the philosophy of anarchy because they didn’t believe that Jesus was as popular as they were.

I was not allowed to listen to the British invasion in my home as a youngster, but rather, had to escape over to Paul Morgenstern’s house to hear the wicked tunes on his radio. I was so obsessed with both the melodies and the general rebellion of being away from home and frolicking to the tunes that I took my clumsy, white, doughboy body and danced in their living room–until Paul’s mother walked in one day and caught me, and wasn’t sure whether to scream, giggle or run out the back door into the outhouse and hide.

I wasn’t invited back much after that. I kept up with the Beatles’ career by going to friends’ houses for overnight stays, where I would gluttonize on the hits, hoping that in the days of musical starvation to follow, I would be able to sustain myself.

My parents have since passed away, leaving behind adequate gravestones to mark their presence. Meanwhile, the Beatles failed to end the world, but instead, granted it a few moments of pleasure from their recording perch up there on Abbey Road.

It gives me pause today when I see people wrangling and wrestling over cultural phenomena–to stop for a moment and not participate simply because I am age-worthy.

It is rather doubtful that the world will end with a great rock and roll song. My guess would be the closing gavel at a political convention.