Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Teacher of Love

      I’ve heard his name mentioned a thousand times throughout my life. He’s somewhat of an icon to many people I’ve known. How could someone, who lived just 33 years, leave such an indelible mark?
Posture straight and standing tall, he walked miles of dusty hot earth, finally reaching his destinations. Of Jewish decent, born in the spring time to a loving mother and father, he set off in his teen years to begin his calling; show others what he inherently knew in leading by example.
His steely-blue eyes, auburn-colored hair and trim stature represented hope, faith and prosperity of the heart for those who had the good fortune to embrace this man’s warmth. He needn’t meet one in person for them to envelope all he offered; one merely need open to their hearts, souls and awareness to receive the restorative benefits he spread like a ripple effect upon calm, clear, aquamarine waters.
His life, however, was short-lived as he was killed at age 33. Those outside his mind-set were deeply threatened by the fierce loyalty to his own beliefs. They were in far greater number than those who followed him. His powerfully intoxicating personality made those outside his group terrified of losing these individuals.
In the end, on a snowing winter’s night, he was put to death. As his loved ones, from far and near, gathered at the specified site on the mount, they cried in agony at what couldn’t be stopped. As his mother lay crying at his feet, his father comforted her and in his own agony, still felt the pride his heroic son embraced.
I’ve dreamed of him swimming nude in the warm waters, surrounded by tiny waterfalls. I watch as he pulls his lanky body out of the waters to lie next to his lady love and soak up the rays of the brilliant sun. I’ve dreamed of walking through a cave and discovering a drawing in the stone of him next to a similar etching of Ross, my deceased brother. In the dream, I can’t help but notice the physical resemblances of my brother to him.
As I ponder life and what he means to me, I take comfort having a friend known only to my heart, soul and consciousness. To this day, he means the world to me; the teacher of love. 

Show Me the Way

      Scrolling through Peter Frampton’s Facebook page, I noticed a posting put up by Patricia Arias Ferreira: “Peter Frampton is still alive and heading to San Francisco.” His tour was due to hit The City on Friday, revisiting his “Frampton Comes Alive” album from 35 years ago. “Friday?” I thought, “Oh, my God, that’s tomorrow!”
      Thinking back to 1976 when I was a fresh and sassy 16 year old, I remembered begging my mother to let me attend the “Frampton Comes Alive” tour four hours away. I was shocked when she gave me the look! The following summer, Peter and his band were playing in Chicago. I was visiting relatives and again pleaded to go, however, was told, “I don’t think your mother would approve, Debbie.”
      Bringing myself back to present day, I quickly sent an email to a friend and asked if he’d go with me. He replied, saying to get the best seats and he’d pay for them! Grabbing my telephone, I called Ticket Master only to learn the show was sold out. Sitting at my desk stunned, I stared out the window into a neighbor’s pasture. I thought, “I’m 51 now and Spencer is with his father and stepmother’s family for two weeks. Here I am with permission and time is on my side.”
      Just then, an email popped in from a childhood friend, asking what I was up to. I let her know I just tried getting two tickets to the Frampton show and they were sold out. She instantly responded with a notice from KFOG, San Francisco’s local radio station, about two choice seats posted. She said to call the number NOW.
      I dialed and when my call was answered, I boldly said, “My name is Debbie. I’ll take the two Frampton tickets off your hands.” The man with the tickets let me know someone called ahead and said they might want them. I said to tell that person the tickets are officially sold – to me! He cracked up and replied, “They’re yours, Debbie. I’ll meet you in front of the Warfield tomorrow night for the exchange.” A world of thanks filled my heart.
      The next evening, I drove like Mario Andretti to The City while my friend painted my fingernails. I wanted my rancher’s hands to look presentable, complete with light pink polish. Once in The City, I located a parking garage near the Warfield. Standing at my truck, my friend and I shoved the home-made veggie wraps into our mouths. Now, it was time to get the tickets!
      The owner of the tickets was in front of the Warfield, as promised. My friend gave him the money, I took the tickets and we raced in the front doors. My hand was stamped with bright blue letters, “Over 21”; I knew I’d finally made the grade and had permission to be at the Frampton concert. Soon, I would witness the live version of “Show Me the Way”, the signature track from the best-selling album of 1976, which sold over six million copies in the United States.
      Promptly at 8:00, the lights went out and the band walked on stage. My big, blue eyeballs took in all they could absorb, while my mind raced a thousand miles an hour in anticipation. I thought back to one of Peter’s Facebook postings in which he wrote, “Can't thank you all enough for all your impassioned comments about the recent shows. The last few years have been a new awakening for me. I'm having the time of my life doing what I love. It’s so great to share it with all of you.” Suddenly, I heard my late mother’s words, “Honey, make sure to continue doing what you love and remember, I’m always here for you.” At that moment, I felt a little sad.
      The present-day “FCA” tour captivated my attention while the movie of Peter’s life reeled behind the band. As a devoted animal lover, I was taken with the photo of a younger Peter sitting next to Rocky, his German Shepard. The photos of Peter as a little boy made me want to reach out and meet the child.
      The band played while my ears absorbed perfectly mixed sound. Each member had their own special abilities: the drummer’s technique was ever-present; he also allowed the kindness in his eyes to shine on. The bass player was cool and confident while the keyboard player displayed his multitude of musical talents. Peter glowed like a Christmas tree and mentioned the goose bumps running up his left arm. He was sharing with us a passion he deeply loves.
      I wondered how Peter acquired the opportunity to have the time of his life doing what he loves. Is the answer hidden in the stars? It is given to a select few? Is it about having the right product reach the right person’s hands at exactly the right time?
      All of a sudden, the audience was staring at a man from NASA in his spaceship and it was LIVE! Peter began talking to the man and an exchange ensued. I stared at my friend sitting next to me, in disbelief. He leaned over and told me it was really happening. You see, I live on a ranch in the country mountains without television, radio, newspaper or cell phone reception. My friend knew I wasn’t aware of such communication.
      The man from NASA floated back into outer space while Peter and his band went into another tune from 35 years gone past. In my mind’s eye I was 16 again, back in my childhood home. There, it was the middle of the night and while everyone slept, I was nestled in bed with my head phones on listening to “Frampton Comes Alive” full blast.
      Then, before I knew it, the FCA show was over. As my friend and I were walking out the front doors of the Warfield, my soul felt full-filled: a long-standing wish finally came true. The morning after the concert, I awoke to see the bright blue stamp still on the back of my right hand. The subtle reminder showed me what I wanted so much came to fruition, with a little help from my friends.
      I’m inspired, hopeful and encouraged by those doing what they love. Until this happens for me, I’ll continue talking to my barn cat and rescued farm animals, sharing with them the dream for a career of my own. Watching Peter come alive proved he will show me the way.