DEVIL MOUNTAIN CHRONICLES: The Elation of Meditation

I’m getting older, but I’m much wiser now… that is, if the word ‘wise’ is a synonym for ‘befuddled.’

It seems that I’m a lot more patient now, especially with pushy, obnoxious people. I haven’t lost my temper in years, seems like, nor do I let cruel things that mean people say to me, or about me, bother me as much. The ability to listen to others was lacking in me, but now I keep my mouth shut and listen – probably best for the whole community.

I used to talk just to hear the sound of my voice, but no more. I had so many wacky thoughts that needed to be expressed and I couldn’t keep up with them. Sort of like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory.

I’m much more relaxed now, but I’m still a work in progress.

One day I was lounging on my comfy couch when the TV conked out. After the panic subsided, I was actually comfortable with the calmness and found myself gazing out my window. Wow. The clear sky was a deep, cobalt blue. I checked out the splendid views of the majestic mountains and verdant Ponderosa pines which heretofore I had not really noticed. I was mesmerized. And then a marvelous idea came to mind: why not load my couch into the back of my truck and head up Plumtaw Road where I could be one with nature? I would find God in the forest primeval and feel at peace with the universe.

Sitting on my couch high on a mountain top, contemplating life and what I have seen in the last 67 years sounds ethereal. But communing with nature would mean commuting to the wilderness where there are no refrigerators or TVs or liquor stores. I’d get hungry. Where’s the Cheez Whiz? Where’s the Bacon Bits? And where’s the the beer?

Communing with nature is probably over-rated anyways.

What I could do is simply walk out onto my deck and assume the Lotus position facing the ridiculously phallic Chimney Rock and meditate. I would close my eyes and chant my mantra: shazam. I’d clear my mind of all the psychological trash. Meditation as medication is almost as good as the pills my shrink loads me up on. Why, just last week Dr. Quack told me I was getting better. So I fired him. What does he know?

But meditation is hard when there are hundreds of silly, disturbing thoughts banging around in my noggin, sidetracking my way to Nirvana. For instance: what if the damned Patriots won the Super Bowl again? I’d probably end up in the fetal position. And what about that unusual gift my brother Ross gave me for Christmas: an adorable Gutenberg Bible? I suppose I should accept the gift in the spirit in which it was given, but I can’t help wonder how one of the first printed books in history ended up in his possession. I really should donate this rare book to a museum. Now where did I put that thing?

This meditation/medication stuff isn’t working. Maybe I need to find my inner child and spank him. That would probably make me feel better…

Live in the moment? Why not? My sordid past is nowhere anyone I know would possibly enjoy visiting. The future? My future is a thing of the past. (Note to self: The future is not what it used to be.)

Life is just a collection of moments – as long as you only think of all the beautiful ones: like the birth of my son, or that time I actually made my Dad proud, or the time Jayebird comforted me after some jerk called me a hack writer and a lousy drummer.

It just dawned on me: playing drums is a form of meditation.

This is when I actually live in the moment, where there’s no time or space, lost in a song. It is my sacred calling to make people happy through music, and to get them to forsake the real world with its myriad problems and sadness; and nothing can beat the camaraderie that my band mates and I enjoy. Ours is a heavenly realm, one of total contentment and joy. No need for words, we communicate telepathically. And when we do speak, it is in the language of music. Our followers understand the lyrics; but they feel the music and the rhythms that envelops them.

We are the mirth makers, the purveyors of dreams, the provocateurs of dance, and the messengers of romance. And sometimes – when our music comes together in a symbiotic, spiritual way – we reach a plateau where one can almost touch the face of God!

If that isn’t meditation, I don’t know what is.


DC Duncan

DC has been a frustrated musician for over forty years, and now has decided to become a frustrated writer. Learn more at He’ll keep you posted.