About Going Places:
Welcome to an experiment in documentary writing. Randy Smit is director of Compassionate Connection, an organization offering pathways of practice to greater empathy and creativity for all people. This travelogue offers a multidimensional view of his own “ordinary person’s journey.” What follows are glimpses, glimmerings witnessed through the various lenses of its author; the Poet, the Person with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the Pastor, the Artist/Collaborator… the one holding together and letting loose the many facets of self that contribute to “this splendid ride worth tending.”
My damn horse ran off.
What can I say?
“What we let go of stays with us.”
Aw, shush it!
— — —
Art, my neighbor across the street, in order to care for his heart, stays busy all day out in his workshop. Love that Art.
I’m here in my pajamas (I’ve been told crips should never admit this to anyone, ever,) remembering a candle, listening to faint whispers. They have traveled to me these hundreds of years. I found ’em in a folder which was in a folder inside of a folder in my computer, a PDF copy of some pages from a book I borrowed from a friend in 2004. Here and now, my mystic sister reports…
[Just after Communion] He… told her that now it was time that she consider as her own what belonged to Him… and that He would take care of what was hers, and He spoke other words more destined to be heard than to be mentioned.
Teresa of Avila
— — —
You should wait till you feel better to write.
No, you should wait until you’re at your worst, when things are most pressing, undeniably….
Better yet, it’s probably best not to force yourself into some decision. If attending the entries becomes an obligation, I fear that we are off to the races and headed in the wrong direction.
— — —
I think it’s pretty clear to anyone who’s ever thought about these things carefully, that Yoko Ono was not the one responsible for breaking up the Beatles. Rather, as this extended essay will attempt to argue, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were just two people who were developing spiritually and artistically at different times, different paces and in different directions.
In conclusion, we are left with a body of work that continues to inspire, music that very few of us would ever want to have to live without. That these two came together and ever coalesced to create beautiful things for us to dance to and be young to and to cry to and dream with is miraculous. We can be grateful, in the end, that any of it ever happened and left us singing… There are places I remember.
— — —
Pete writes on his knee trying not to pop the ball point pen straight through the paper. Be careful how hard you press in an effort to put down words.
This was just after I had said, shivering after the blankets came off, “What would it be like if the temperature around us was always 98.6? That would be way too hot, right?”
“Be glad you’re not a fetus” Pete replied.
— — —
And where are the hippies, my brother?
They’re still parked on a beach in their snug Winnebago which comfortably houses two, but the five of them do okay.
He’s been dreaming tangerine and letting the seagulls sing him slowly awake. Coals from the bonfire still smolder at the center of the circle of stones they placed after it was raging high with its fireflies buzzing wild all down the muggy shoreline.
Even later, golden in the firelight that huffed and leapt gusty, they would disappear into the darkness, each reappearing like a new idea, glazed and dripping, wet sand between their toes. When they step close their faces light up first, he remembered thinking.
Sunset had oozed into the fire through the evening and now that same subtle orange turned circles aglow at her fingertips. July 20, California. They could, if they wanted, lie here all day till the drizzle passed. But there was a knock at the door.