Then & Now

I met a man when I was in my teens who’s words have stuck with me to this day. I was with a friend and we decided to hike down to a popular place known only by the locals and a few others here and there such as myself. It was called “twin pools” not far from Topanga Canyon Center in southern California. Back in the day, the day being the late 60’s and early 70’s, Topanga Canyon was a haven of the hippy movement and alternative lifestyle and quite frankly in my personal opinion, a wonderful place for a curious young teen to hang out. There was always something happening it seemed, barter fairs, make shift festivals, concerts, and party’s that would blow your mind. The man I met was an oracle for loss of a better word. A sort of preacher of the future with a great saxophone to punctuate his prophesies. He looked incredibly like Ian Anderson of “Jethro Tull” back in the “Locomotive Breath” days, playing his sax in the same manner as Anderson would play his flute, stopping between notes to express a grunt feeling and then moving on to the next rift. He talked about people mostly, about life and the world and what is happening to “the people”. It was what he spoke of in regards to what’s happening to people during that time and on going that has stuck with me. I called him an oracle for a very good reason, he so far has accurately predicted how people would change as a race and how the the earth would be changed by them. He spoke of how during the present time, people were finding love and peace in there in everything. How we as a people are striving to reach out to others with understanding. These words were wonderful words to here someone speaking however as he continued his tone changed. He said people are playing a game with each other, they’re kidding each other with their words of peace and love because man is going to get ugly, very very ugly and the “Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius” was a pipe dream and a sham. At first I thought maybe he was kidding but he wasn’t, and as he continued his tale of mans delusion of peace and love he painted a picture of the future right up to the time of my writing this in frighting accuracy. He was dressed in white mostly, with a huge bushy mop of hair and a beard that was long bushy and actually made it hard to see his face. If I were to meet him in a remote jungle or wilderness, I would say he looked like a wild man. But he was clearly an intelligent person with an advanced education. What he spoke of was how man was fooling himself into believing that peace was a possibility, and that we as a race will eventually kill ourselves off with our greed and the need for power. He spoke of food in the future as a convenience and how it would ruin our health. He talked about things like the internet and how people would communicate through hand held tools that they not only could talk to but see the person they were talking to. He referred to, and this was his words not mine, a “supercollider” that would change everything, at first for science but in the end for death. I asked him where he was from and he said here. I said you mean Topanga, and he said no, “I am from right here at the spot that I am standing”. I asked but where were you before you were here and he said “someplace that doesn’t yet exist for people of this age”. So I said with a bit of a chuckle, you mean the future? He said “I have no future and I have no past, I am just me here and now and when you’re gone I will be wherever you are not”. “Today man is in a hurry, fifty years from now man will be in such a hurry that he will be unable to slow himself down and that will be mans undoing, the loss of contentment, of the ability to be calm, the loss of the joy of being in the here and now. When you leave this spot, so will I but you will walk away with your memory of me, I will go away with the peace of knowing this spot, this time, and this person of which I’m talking to will forever be a part of me, what will be a part of you when you leave, what will you take with you to your future?”. I said so you are saying you’re a time traveler? “NO” he said, “not in your limited understanding of what time travel is”. Man is constantly trying to change, himself, his surroundings and without realizing it, his future, and in time, he is going to run smack into that future first with a bang, and then with a fizzle”. “You asked me earlier where I am from, perhaps a better and more fitting question would be what am I from”. “You see to be from someplace you have to have existed in that place, I have not”. “My existence is in the waves of what man always refers to as time but time doesn’t exsit the way man perceives it”. Man looks for answers without first fully understanding the question”. He wants to know, but he doesn’t open his mind to the question”. My friend had to leave but I stayed. After listening to him for quite some time he said “You should go now”. For some reason, and I’m not really sure why, I left without saying anything. As I was climbing up the hill, I stop and turn to wave goodbye and he was gone. There was no place he could have gone so quickly that I wouldn’t have been able to spot him, he was just gone. I went back a number of times to see if he would be there but he wasn’t. I ask everyone I knew in the area, at the Topanga Center etc, but no body had a clue who it could have been.

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