A couple of off-line conversations about the inspirational power of music and of SF (science/speculative fiction) have gotten me to dig up this old Facebook piece and to share it here. See bottom for details.

I dedicate it to Little Rinpoche.

1. My best friend in kindergarten used to mix up mind and matter; he would say “It doesn’t mind” and “I don’t matter.” Somehow that’s stuck with me. I think he was on to something.

2. My first radio was in the shape of a little soccer ball and played a very tinny version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” when my cousin and I turned it on for the first time. We danced to it until it broke.

3. I joined the Columbia Music Club in seventh grade and promptly ordered some Black Sabbath albums. The name sounded cool. My intuition was right: I loved ‘em, and would go around playing (electric) mouth guitar in middle school.

4. I was a plump little kid until I went to boarding school in Rome for a year at age 12. While there (my parents hoped I would grow up to be a Ukrainian Catholic priest), I got good at foosball and billiards and got turned on to Jethro Tull and Amon Duul II. I was a sucker for dramatic electric guitar openings and unusual chord changes. “Sitting on a park bench/Eyeing little girls with bad intent/Aqualung.” Some days we walked in the fields outside the city and wondered about the used condoms; other days we went into town and saw graffiti saying “Fuori Americani!”  I was glad to be Canadian.

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