Photo by Jorma Kaukonen
I’m a drifter on the sea of time. I remember my dog as a puppy… but he is not a puppy. He is grey around the muzzle as am I and we have spent the better part of a decade in each other’s company. I think of friends I have met and when the light of their existence surfaces in my mind it is as if I just talked to them yesterday. But that is not the way it is either.
One would think that it would be easy to hold all these dear ones and their memories close at all times but there just doesn’t seem enough time and space for that to adequately happen. Reflecting thus it just seems like the vessel of life doesn’t have enough space on board… or perhaps that’s just an excuse, or just the way it is.
There are so many people who have touched my life. I wish they were on the surface of the memory pond at all times instead of lurking in the currents waiting to be swept to the surface unbidden, at the oddest moments.
The odd moments come as they will and sometimes they cannot be ignored. Last night as I was heading bed a message pinged out on my phone. Normally, at the end of a day I ignore these pricks of conscience and cast off the shackles of bondage that one accepts when you let a Smart Phone into your life. The message was a group chat from Jack Casady and our friend Jeff Jampol.
‘Brian Rohan died.’
Back in the 60’s Brian was indeed the ‘people’s’ lawyer. He defended countless members of my generation most notably for pot busts. My ex-wife, Margareta, was one of these after the Airplane took a bust at Sandy Koufax’s Tropicana motel on Santa Monica. Paul Kantner and Margareta and I were sharing a suite and the cops came to our rooms when Paul and I were out. M took the weight for what they found in Paul’s room.
Brian and M would make more than a few flights to court in LA back when PSA would fly you to Burbank for under twenty bucks. Brian’s wit, wisdom and expertise would get her off in an era when a couple of joints might buy you a dime in prison. That is just a passing memory for me today.
The last time I saw Brian was a couple of years ago in LA at a Jefferson Airplane Corporate meeting which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but isn’t. Since we hadn’t seen each other for a while we spent some time at the table catching up. We were both in recovery so we spoke of that as well some of the roads we had traveled. Older men will do this… it keeps us connected to the earth to be able to talk to someone who knows where have been. Brian was a little older than I, but we were young together and that’s not something you can’t buy.
Over that last couple of days, I noticed the daffodils are blooming in odd little patches around the Ranch. There are some actual beds for them and then there is that one blossom that will make its presence known in the middle of nowhere. This morning as I walked The Big Guy, I noticed that the forsythia was in full bloom around the parking lot. Yesterday it was green… today a sunny gold.
Spring is here and thankfully and I am here to enjoy it with my family. As rivers inexorably swirl us to the sea, I cannot help but wonder how many seasons of the daffodils there are left for me to enjoy. I’m not the one who gets to pull tickets so this is a rhetorical thought of the first water.
I have another dog to walk.
Photo by Vanessa Kaukonen