Turning Sixty With Mr. Eddy

Yesterday I turned sixty, probably about five a.m. I was nestled in bed with Linda at the La Posada Lodge in Winslow, having received as a gift from her a "Fossil" watch, and a card: "Marriage means commitment. So does insanity." A watch named "Fossil" may or may not be a snide thing to give a man entering old age. Luckily I received it after an incredibly good meal which included a whiskey introduction and featured a fine Oregon pinot with a Churro lamb plate. It combined in my digestive system sometime in the early morning hour of my birth to put me into a direct confrontation with Mr. Eddy.

Dreams are not what we remember. I know that because I spent several years journaling my dreams, and I know that if I wrote the dream, or recorded it, and went back to sleep, I'd think I remembered it but when compared with the immediate version the memory would leave out things or get them confused. I have to think that the first version also left out a lot and changed a lot to make a linear story.

And so I assume that the dream has to be linearized by the conscious ego to fit into its conceptual frame. But I don't think that is the same conceptual frame that is the natural habitat of the dreaming mind. Dreams often resemble what William Burroughs and Brion Gysin called "cutups." They are randomly spliced pieces put together in a new linearity. And there is something else about dreams: they can be two scenes, viewed from two perspectives simultaneously.

The dream about Mr. Eddy has escaped me except for a couple of details. First of all, Mr. Eddy is a character in David Lynch's movie, "Lost Highway." If you watched the clip linked (Mr. Eddy) above, you can empathize with my being nervous about a confrontation with Mr. Eddy. In the dream I called him, simply, "Eddy," which may have been a tad familiar. In the dream I was nervous about his reaction to that one, but he seemed to not notice. He was giving me a pair of shoes.

They were too small for me. I could tell that by looking.

At sixty, I look back at the effort I have made to examine my life, and I can vouch for the truth of one thing: the biggest barrier to knowledge is pride. There was the person I wanted to be, and imagined myself to be, and there was the person I was. I think the biggest conflict was between the part of me that wanted to be like Mr. Eddy, and the part that was more like the tailgater. As I look back I realize that there has always been a part of me that could surge into rage, and another part that keeps it under control. That's what Freud noticed in himself as the id and the ego.

There is a passage in one of my favorite novels, "Lonesome Dove," in which Woodrow Call rides his horse at full speed into another rider during a moment of charged anger. The feeling of road rage has been around for a long time. It is the rage that has to be dealt with in some way, either by giving it permission to act out, like Mr. Eddy, or through an abstract medium, like David Lynch, who made the movie. He had the satisfaction of being Mr. Eddy, but also of being the rest of the characters as well.

So the shoes that Mr. Eddy offered were too small. It makes sense to me.

When you turn sixty it's time to get some shoes that fit. Shoes in a dream represent your contact with the ground, or day to day life. Small shoes indicate you might be having some trouble with that. And of course I escaped from the earth entirely for awhile, which is reflected in Ash Fork. It isn't on the ground, but is a land of dream reality. Now I am thinking in terms of writing something from history, about somebody real, or some real situation.

I need some shoes that are appropriate, and I won't get them from Mr. Eddy.

There was an interesting aspect to my calling him "Eddy." It reveals that the gangster, or outlaw, is in reality a child. Thus the poor impulse control. The gangster is the shadow of the priest, and where you find one you find the other, just like you find the puer as one polarity in a field where the other polarity is the senex. Where the one is consciously acting out, the other is unconsciously constellating. It is always interesting to notice the unconscious aspect of a person by looking at the conscious presentation and seeing it with it's paired opposite.

And so, in the midst of ruminations about life as an old man, I found myself standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona on my sixtieth birthday. There was a dusting of snow and a wind chill that cut to the bone.

In the afternoon we drove out to look at some ancient Hopi village sites. Probably because of the cold we were the only people out there besides the ranger in the gift shop. The Homolovi Ruins are on a hill overlooking the Little Colorado River. What I remember most vividly about the place was two coyotes who were running in the sage beside the road. One was on the right side and one was on the left. The one on the right side slipped away into the brush but the one on the left stopped and looked right back at us, "You watch me; I watch you."

And so we watched each other for a little while. By mutual agreement I drove on, and he went back to doing what he was doing before I disturbed him. I used to have an anthropomorphic coyote on my business card, a representation of the divine fool. If the fool persists in his foolishness, Blake wrote, he becomes wise.

I certainly hope so. There's no fool like an old fool.

Posted: Fri - December 28, 2007 at 07:06 PM