A Rapturous Weekend

I must admit that there are times when too much work, too much of in your face evil, and too much of striving against it, lands me in a not so good place. I'm sure this is merely the result of not yet attaining to perfect faith, but such is the case. When depleted of positive life force, I find myself praying for a much needed boost often. This cycle of fight, recharge, fight, is something that I have grown accustomed to in my personal life, decades before I ever even heard of toxin induced Autism.

So while the focal point of my personal battles was shifted by my son's problems, the pattern of personal growth through internal battles and re-charging has remained very constant. One source of renewal for me, has always been the music and writing of Jon Anderson, and his progressive rock band, Yes. I can't even recall how many times he has lifted me out of a hole with his gentle and beautiful spirit of love and light, ever since I first heard his angelic voice in Yes music back in 1969. Even though way back then, I couldn't understand much more than half of the lyrics he was singing, it did not matter. Somehow, from day one, I felt a powerful spiritual connection to him as though we were long separated brothers on the same path, and similar journey through life.

Of course I could, and always did, get boosts from reading as well. Reading the bible, and other works of the spirit, like Siddhartha, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, etc. have always been a great help. But something about Jon Anderson and Yes... Here was someone on stage who somehow connected with me like no other person I had ever met, though I had never even met him myself. Richard Bach, the author of Illusions, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull said it best when he said that oftentimes the members of our true family are those whom we have not yet met in this life.

A few short weeks ago, in one of those times of deeply feeling a need for a boost, it popped into my head to look online to see what my old friend, never met, Jon Anderson was up to these days. I knew that he had recently recovered from being very sick for awhile, so I got the thought that he must be performing again. Imagine my surprise when I learned that he would be doing a show in his new solo acoustic tour on May 21'st, practically in my backyard, 30 minutes away in a small local theater! I raided the change jar, and bought a ticket. Then another idea popped into my head...

What if I could meet him after the show, and what if I could give him an info pack on Wyatt's Way Home? What if by some crazy chance I could enlist his help in my work, beyond the help his music has already given me over the years? I sat down and typed a letter to him with all my contact info at the end, and put it in a large envelope along with the first two chapters of the book I am writing on Wyatt's journey through Autism, (Wyatt's Way Home). I also couldn't help but print out a picture of him in the hopes of also getting his John Hancock on it. I knew that part was just silly fan kind of stuff, but I stuck that pic in the envelope anyway. A few weeks later, the concert rolled around, and I grabbed my info pack and headed to Woodstock Vermont.

The concert, taking place on May 21, the day some have declared for the rapture of all Christians, was indeed a rapturous event for me, even though I'm still here to tell of it! Jon was in fantastic form, and his music, funny stories, jokes, and words of wisdom, lifted me straight through the ceiling. I fought to not cry too much as I felt I could almost touch home, somewhere in the Pleiades, I think. After the show, I came back down to earth, and hung around with a group of others waiting to see if he would come out to do autographs.

People eventually starting leaving, as it looked as though he would not be not be coming out again. I certainly could understand. The man had just overcome complete respiratory failure not long ago, and it did my heart good to see that he was well, and able to continue performing. I could not begrudge that he probably wanted to just relax after the show, so I began to think about leaving myself. I walked up to a stage hand and asked if he would give my letter and info to Jon. He said he would make sure he got it, so I left it with him and walked out with the last few stragglers. But I couldn't leave. I stood on the steps for another 10 minutes. Then, seeing that the doors were all still open, I walked back inside for one last look. There was Jon, packing up his guitars on the stage. As I walked up to introduce myself, the stage hand handed me back the package so I could give it to him personally. Naturally, I had to do my goofy fan thing as well, and get his signature on that picture of him and Rick Wakeman. We talked for a bit, and I at least managed to get out a thank you for all the times his music blessed my life, and picked me up. He smiled and replied that it does that for him all the time, and that he just loves doing it. But then that's Jon. About the kindest and gentlest soul I have ever met, Jon just loves to spread love and light. I handed him my package, and he told me he would look at it later. After we talked for a bit, I told him how happy I was to see him well. I wished him many more years of performing his gift, and then left him to finish his packing up. For the rest of the night, until finally conking out, I could not help but wonder where my meeting Jon might lead.

Late next morning, I'm finally having my coffee on the backyard deck, before heading into my office to check my email. I get in there and the message light on my answering machine is flashing. I hit the play button, and nearly hit the floor when I heard Jon's voice on the thing. I had missed a phone call from Jon Anderson while having my morning coffee on the deck outside! I listened to this very beautiful and encouraging message he left for me, then hit the caller ID. I stared at his number for probably about 10 minutes, because I must have had to hit the button at least 20 times as it shuts off every few seconds. His message did not ask for me to call him, but he did say that he would be in touch, so I finally dared to call him anyway. At least I could thank him for calling, and tell him I was sorry I missed his call. I figured I would probably get his voice mail anyway.

I was surprised once again when Jon answered the phone on the second ring. We had a lovely conversation for about 15 minutes or so, during which he informed me that it was funny, but he has just recently been learning something of the terrible problems with the Autism epidemic, and is actually in the process of doing something about it. I won't spill the beans here on just what that is, because he hasn't even posted anything on his website of it yet. But I will say that he has a project in the works. Like me, he does not believe in “coincidence,” and I think I mentioned something about our meeting at this time not being mere chance. We talked for a bit about my son, as well as things of the spirit. He reminded me once again, this time over the phone, that we are all on a journey and we need only to open ourselves to love and light. If it always seems so easy for me to forget that what we reflect, is in turn reflected back to us, Jon can always remind me of this truth. He then told me that he would be in touch, and would be emailing me something. Again, I won't say what until I get the chance to ask him if it's OK, but for anyone interested, you can watch the coming soon page on my son's website at www.wyattswayhome.org

Where this may all lead eventually, I don't yet know for sure. But one thing I do know for sure... I have finally met one more of my true family and friends. Thank you Jon Anderson, for truly being a vessel of love and light, and for once again being there for me! Well met!