In preparation for the Divine Masculine Art Installation that I am attending organized by my daughter and artist Pampi of alpoarrentao Productions, folks were asked to answer four questions. Here are my responses:
1. If you could convey anything to your adolescent self, given all the experiences you have had since then, what would it be?
Don’t spend so much on albums because in 30 years you can get them for free on Spotify, (with ads)
2. Looking back, what are some people, advice, events – anything – you are grateful you had during adolescence? Why?
My sister’s advice to get and stay involved with whatever matters to me, and that translated into high school debate, which literally changed my life and way of thinking. I’m grateful to my mom for forcing me to take piano lessons even though I can’t play, because I can appreciate better what it really means to have talent when I hear it. Oddly, my love of keyboard music – all kinds, came from my own failed attempts. My dad introduced me to the concept of patience. He’d always say “hang in there”. And it made me feel better – that and music, my brand of thorazine. My grandfather had a lot of patience too. We’d fish all day and catch nothing and enjoy every moment on the lake. It was good to know that it really wasn’t all about the catch. While in college, my friend John was my visa to a world outside the Southern states – my ticket to Chicago, NYC, Europe and my eventual passport to Boston where I remain happily uprooted and rooted today; a domestic immigrant with documents.
3. Looking back, what do you wish you had had in adolescence to help you transition from childhood to adulthood? Why?
I didn’t have much guidance really – lots of good general advice, you know, do your best, follow your passions, work hard, do right, earn enough to support yourself, and all that, but the advice came without instructions – it was like “figure it out on your own”. It took me a long time to figure things out. Funny, to this day, I can’t understand instruction manuals. I just try stuff out, “let’s see, this way – no that way, what does this do” and that sort of thing. I don’t like maps much either – I sense my way around. I guess I could have used a map as an adolescent, or Google or Frommer’s Guide to Life or something. I’d have gone to a different college too most likely, but I have no regrets and am thankful to my parents and grandparents for the sacrifices they made and support they gave to ensure I got an education. And I met some great people along the way, including my wife and our children. Didn’t need a map or Match.com for that. Al Gore hadn’t gotten around to inventing the Internet anyway back in my day.
4. What is something you are going through now that you think additional guidance in adolescence would have helped you figure out earlier or make easier for you now?
Environmental guilt. If only I had known about the harmful impacts of styrofoam, aerosols, plastic water bottles and those campfires and all that leaded gas my parents burned in the family gas guzzling Chevy Impala. As I kid, I didn’t recycle, or compost. I ate genetically altered corn. I carried a heavy carbon footprint. Why didn’t I pay more attention to the Earth Day organizers? Things changed a little for me after hearing Ralph Nader speak when I was 18 and I began to eat sunflower seeds and granola bars. I became more environmentally conscious. But by then it was too late. I could have saved the planet and I did not. If only PowerPoint had been invented sooner, Al Gore might have really made a difference.
- “Divine Feminine” (not just for females). (brittadubbels.com)