I am not finished. I am a “work in progress”. You may have a good idea of who I am … I may have a good idea of who I am … but the real Erik Apland isn’t finished until the last few moments before the Lord God hits the stop button on the holy egg timer and declares, “Time’s up! Now, let’s take a look at you.” In the mean time, I will spend the balance of my time on God’s green and blue Earth decorating my life experiences with the tchotchkes … (Thank you, Kate!) … tchotchkes of life.
Over the course of three seasons of “Star Trek” and seven seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-D each withstood token damage. That is, until the movies. Then they blew them up. The original USS Enterprise survived the first two movies and then got detonated in “Star Trek III”. The USS Enterprise-D was totaled in the middle of its first feature film, “Star Trek Generations”.
While looking over the damage, at the end of the picture, Captain Picard and Commander Riker searched for the photo album that he had shared with Councelor Troi earlier in the film. Of all the personal effects that Captain Picard had brought with him, he regarded his photo album of the utmost important. How he didn’t have them stored on an Apple iPod escapes my grasp of comprehension. But, I suppose they didn’t have iPods in the future back in 1994.
Riker remarks that she, the Enterprise-D, “went before her time.” Captain Picard responds to his Number One with the remarks of an acquaintance of his who said that:
“Time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But I believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey; reminds us to cherish every moment … because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”
I play music. It’s how I enter the world. Every note of music that I’ve inhaled since that evening forty-five years ago today has found a place to abide in my soul. I share, with anyone who has the patience to listen, the state, shape, order and fettle of my inner being: the sunshine, the rain, the warmth, the cold, the trees, the birds, the lake, the ocean, the wood, the neon, the up-close, the far-away, the tweed, the denim, the happiness, the depression, the fantasy, the real, the fleeting and the everlasting.
Almost ten years ago, I encountered the music of Nickel Creek on what was supposed to be a pass through the Country Music Television station to get to SpikeTV while channel surfing on a Sunday afternoon. But I got stuck – trapped – in a song. “The Lighthouse’s Tale”, a sad story – trapped in a major key – has a quiet, measured and timeless energy that matches the pace of life itself …
I am a lighthouse worn by the weather and the waves
I keep my lamp lit to warn the sailors on their way …
And the waves crashing around me
The sand slips out to the sea
And the winds that blow remind me
Of what has been and what can never be
Now who can forge poetry like that on the walls of their spirit and not find inspiration? I, long ago, supplanted the youth and vitality of this vibrant ensemble in my inner garden of ideas, notions, import, design and grit. And I find a place for the harvest in Brahms, Beethoven, James Brown, Glen Campbell, Enya, Oscar Peterson, Gordon Lightfoot, Edith Piaf, John Mayer, Andy Williams and the Beach Boys.
How do you enter the world, my friend? What theatrical stage to you take – what platform do you storm – what threshold do you cross to reverberate the life that sings, dances, paints, burns, pulses, do-se-dos and, otherwise, hoola-hoops inside your soul? Do you capture, and nurture within, the vast essences of humanity that touch you the most, make them a part of you and then feature them wholesale through your lens of heart and spirit?
We are expressive beings. The flair in our clothing, the way we decorate our homes, the neatness of our desks, the style and color of our cars, the pedigree of our pets, the preferred flavor of our Jell-O, even the gait of our walk all reveal even the slightest essence of the unique spirit inside our skin and bones.
It has been my pleasure to be with you, dear reader, for three-hundred and sixty-six days. You now know much about me that I never ever would have thought important enough to share. It’s the little things in life that add up, trounce and trump the big things. I will miss talking to you. Come around and see me some time. I’ll take you out for some soup. In the mean time… I think I’ll go dancing in the rain…
Credits: To Mom, D., K., three or four Uncle D.’s, Cousin W., … ah, heck, all of you. You all frost my calvinator. And to God. Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the forty-fifth of my final forty-five CD’s.