While watching Patti Smith being interviewed on the PBS Newshour a while back — ostensibly hawking a new book, but really just talking about her life — I was jerked from my television-induced stupor when she spoke about the value of an occasional moment of “clarity.”

Clarity.  I knew exactly what she was talking about.

We’ve all had those moments when the foggy minutia and metronomic, one-foot-after-the-other drumbeat of daily life abruptly vanishes to reveal a startling reality that, in retrospect, is suddenly obvious.  Such clarity can arrive on the wings of alcohol or drugs (marijuana and LSD were particularly good at delivering Cosmic Truths, or it seemed at the time), which strip away the cloak of inhibitions and defense mechanisms that shield us from the real world  — and the real world from us — or in the aftermath of extreme physicality: a serious injury or illness, automobile accident, or any other peak experience that reduces life to its bare essentials.

Everything changes after something like that, for a while — but there’s the rub: this newfound clarity seldom lasts.  The fog and drumbeat return soon enough, and we go back to sleepwalking through life.

Same as it ever was.

About hollywoodjuicer

I was a juicer in Hollywood for forty long years, and now I'm not.
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