Have you ever had the chance to take care of an insane person? As a warrior of freedom it seemed like the last thing that one would want to do. Insane people make no sense, they have no connection to reality… Right! Reality. Perception is reality. So why not… So I met a completely insane person by societies standards. He became one of my greatest teachers.
We were out at a park one day walking around the hills and night had fallen. At first I was worried, would he stay sane enough to get him back to the truck and to his home? I did not know. We wandered back to the truck in silence, wandering along the tracks beside the lake we had come to see. When we got to the truck he became very excited. I told him, we needed to get into the truck and go home. He became very agitated and could barely make the door open. So I opened it for him. Then buckled him into the seat. Moving around to the other side of the truck, I got in.
He stared at me, “We go on a journey now?” He said as if he were just seven or something. “I am ready.” So I said yes, and turned the truck on. We drove out of the park and onto the highway. Then he wanted music. So I turned on the radio. Dave Brubeck Quartet was playing, My Favorite Things. He laughed with glee and opened the window screaming out into the night.
I maintained as best I could. But part of me started to really wonder. I knew that to question the reality that was coming through his schizophrenia was to destabilize him completely. So I laughed out loud and totally accepted the road we were on and the beautiful night that was spinning down the highway. The song is very long in the version that we heard, loads of jazz twists and turns in sounds.
When the song ended, my insane friend turned to me and said in perfectly normal voice… “You know this is really just a big journey. We didn’t come here to stay; we are just passing through. If we can stay sane enough, which is not really sanity, we move on in the universe to another more exciting place. We are all travelers.” And then he yelled out the window…. “That’s why I love to take journeys!!!” And he turned to me and whispered, “especially in the car. That’s my first memory. Driving in the car to new and exciting places with my dad… it’s all a big journey. What’s over the next hill?”
And with that he lapsed again into silence. We drove all the back to his place of residence. When we arrived, he gave me a big hug. “Thank you for taking me out there. And thanks for not judging my insanity and calling me insane. You know, I’m really not.”
“Yes,” I said in agreement. “You really aren’t.” And he really wasn’t.
You see we all have breaks with what we call consensual reality. It happens often in life. Stress or fear, or excitement, they all lead us to different perceptions. Dancing really hard on the dance floor leads to these breaks. And we are all, in some way or another, insane. My friend just had the label and he reveled in it. I never saw him after that. We drifted apart. But that night, I knew I was as sane as he was. “In-sanity we trust!” He used to say and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Impeccability, the impeccability of the warrior is an insane choice every day. And it is the only choice we know how to make anymore. To choose the road we are journeying on and our favorite things to share with another person along the way.