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  • I did not know my Grandfather well, but I knew him better than he realized.
    He had remarried, a younger woman, someone my Father’s age, and began a second family.
    When I moved to New York, I thought I would have an opportunity to recover some of the lost years.

    I went to visit him. I brought my packet of slides to show him what I was making.
    If he was going to know me that was all there was to know.
    “ Most importantly,” he said, looking at the images, “I like these.” And he meant it.

    He went over to a stack of pictures and told me that he had made paintings at one time. One of them had won an award in an amateur art show, he said with pride.

    “This one I call the dream of the moth.” he said, pulling out a small box-like frame with a collage construction inside. There was a large tear in the center of the paper, a zigzag that resembled lightning, an actual moth, and a drawing of a mushroom. “You see,” he continued, “ the moth had a dream that it became a butterfly.” He pointed to the lightning when he said the word dream. “Do you know what caused the dream?” he asked me.
    I nodded.
    “The mushroom caused the dream,” he finished his own thought. “Do you understand?”
    I nodded.
    Yes, I understood.

    I had heard some of the stories.
    My Grandfather was a successful Doctor, class valedictorian, and a golden boy of Scottish and English heritage.
    But something happened, as it does to some, and he drifted away.
    Perhaps the iron blood of the Calvinists and the heritage of the Scottish reformed ministers that peopled his past were too harsh for the dawn journey of his soul.

    I met him once in the land of Nod where the fruits of Abadan Allseed descend from time, and the lineage of Eve.

    “What is wrong with them?” I heard one roommate ask the other, their voices carried through the door to the room where I lay.
    There was indistinct mumbling, and then a loud, “Oh! I know just what to do.”
    The music of Jimi Hendrix filled the apartment.
    “Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?” sang Jimi, the shaman, who walked me through a place I was not certain I could return from.

    My Mother had been in school when the posters went up to recruit volunteers for Timothy Leary’s experiments. My Mother asked her Father if that was something she could do, and he told her not to sign up. She listened to him, she valued his opinion and, after all, he was a Doctor.

    “Physician, heal thyself.” These words hold wisdom.
    Some things skip a generation and some things define a generation.
    Some doors are best left unopened because once the threshold is breached there is no going back.

    The genie, once out of the bottle will not be eager to shrink again or to fit back into a narrow space.
    One day I met my Grandfather in a time and a space that was infinite.
    “I alone am left to tell the tale,
    Call me Ishmael.”
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